I founded this site in June 2001, a mere 6 weeks after my own molar pregnancy. Confused and grieving, I searched the internet for information about the condition and what it meant for me, in both the near and the distant future. I could understand some of what I found online, but most of the sites I found were highly technical. Pregnancy sites offered little more than a blurb about molar pregnancies, and finding women on those sites who had had or were having the same experience was too difficult, because it meant wading through messages from countless happy moms-to-be. I was angry, and hurting, and jealous of those women and looking for comfort and support.
Among the sites I visited in those days, I came across a site created by woman named Kendra. Her site was a tribute to the baby she’d lost as well as a personal recounting of her experiences with molar pregnancy. I first learned of the cancerous nature of molar pregnancy while reading her story; my doctors had left that little detail out. I was so grateful to her for sharing her feelings and experiences that I had to tell her, so I signed her guestbook. It was then, while reviewing my own message, that I found the hundreds of other women who’d been touched by this tragic and little-known condition. There were pages and pages of messages from women thanking Kendra for her work, asking for more information, seeking links and references, and sharing their own stories. I decided that I, too, could turn my loss into something useful.
In my work as a medical editor, I used a vast array of references, both books and Web based. I thought I could put those references, my writing ability, my passion for journaling, and my emotional turmoil to good use. I already had a website of my own, so creating a page involved little more than writing the text. The original MyMolarPregnancy page went live on June 14, 2001. In addition to the home page, it had a guestbook and a Yahoo! Club, which later migrated to Yahoo Groups and remained active until 2013, when we migrated to Facebook. The healing, for me, had finally begun. Writing my story, sharing it with others, providing a place for women with molar pregnancies to meet and talk…all of these things have been very therapeutic for me. To this day I still receive E-mails and messages all the time thanking me for my efforts, and those letters make me feel that I’ve turned a terrible thing into something good, something positive, something that helps others as well as myself.
In February 2002 my little page became a full-fledged website with its own domain name. My support group had more than 40 members at that time and was still growing. I began adding personal stories submitted by women all over the world. In 2004 I conducted an informal survey of women with molar pregnancies to try to find common links among us. The results of that survey are now posted on the site. In 2008 I published a book, My Molar Pregnancy: A Collection of Personal Stories From Diagnosis Through Recovery, a compilation of stories from women with molar pregnancies as well as my own story, a description of the condition and the experience of being diagnosed, and useful Web sites and references. This achievement was the realization of a 6-year labor of love, and I couldn’t have done it without the selfless contribution of the 34 women who joined me in sharing their stories as well as all the women who have sent me their stories for the Web site over the years. The book represented one more way in which I could reach out to women with molar pregnancies to show them they are not alone and to give them hope for the future. In 2015 I was able to publish a second collection, More My Molar Pregnancy.
In recent years I have tried to extend the support by adding a second support group for women who are post-molar and trying to conceive again, which is also available on Facebook at After My Molar Pregnancy. Both support groups are private and require my authorization to join in order to give everyone a place to share openly without fear. I can usually approve membership requests within a day, but prospective members must answer the profile questions that appear when requesting to join in order to be accepted. This is a protective step to keep out spammers. There is also a public Facebook Page for news, general information, and updates.
I have designed and run this site by myself since 2001, in between being a wife, a mom, working, and everything else we women do these days! As a result, the site may sometimes lag behind in style or content. Please forgive me when that happens. Also, I remarried in 2013, so those who remember me as Jennifer Wood may now see me referred to as Jennifer Gilbreath or Jennifer Wood Gilbreath. It’s still me, and I’m still doing what I can to keep this site as current as possible.
In 2014, choriocarcinoma made headlines when Jenna Hinman of New York died of pneumonia complications from the disease after giving birth to twins. I was interviewed by phone by a New York station, and you can see the report and hear my comments here. I wrote about my experience creating the MyMolarPregnancy.com support groups for the August/September 2015 issue of GrownUps magazine. In 2017 I was interviewed by the Pregnancy Loss Journey website for their podcast, but unfortunately that link is no longer available.
Thank you for visiting. I hope that what you find here will help you as you recover in both body and spirit.