A young mother has been left infertile after her baby gave her cancer.
Carrie Aldridge, 33, was overjoyed when she have birth to her little boy, Spencer Kebby, now six, but nine months later she was horrified when medics discovered a tumour in her womb.
Diagnosed with cervical cancer, surgeons were forced to remove Miss Aldridge’s womb and ovaries, leaving her infertile at the age of just 27.
Heartbreakingly, doctors then revealed the most likely cause of her cancer – her pregnancy.
She is now in remission.
Miss Aldridge, of Bristol, said: “I still can’t believe that getting pregnant nearly killed me but Spencer is my whole world – I’d do it all again in a heartbeat.”
Miss Aldridge said that when she and her then-boyfriend Mike Kibby, 28, discovered she was pregnant, they were excited.
She said: “We could not wait to be parents – the pregnancy seemed to be going smoothly and we were ready for the big day.”
But after the delivery Miss Aldridge, who works for Highways England, started experiencing extreme exhaustion and heavy, painful periods.
She went in to hospital for check-up when Spencer was nine months old.
Medics delivered the devastating bombshell – she had a tumour the size of a grapefruit in her womb.
She said: “It was a massive shock – the doctor had to tell me again three or four times. My mum was in the room with me and I looked round at her and she was in floods of tears.
“It was an emotional blow. The doctor said my baby had hidden the tumour from view during the pregnancy. My smear test less than two years previously had come back all clear, so it was a big shock.”
Medics said they needed to act fast and told Miss Aldridge she had to have an urgent hysterectomy.
She was also told that there would be no time to freeze her eggs so she would be left infertile.
Miss Aldridge said: “I was being told that there would be no more children for me. It was a lot to take in.
“I feel lucky I’m alive, but I don’t feel lucky that I had no choice. Sometime I want to stamp my feet and scream but it would make no difference – I am now infertile.”
After the operation doctors identified a possible cause for her cancer – her pregnancy.
Mrs Aldridge was told that the imbalances in her hormones during her pregnancy could have caused the cancer to develop.
She said:“My baby had made me infertile – the irony was heartbreaking.
“I was devastated that I would never give Spencer any siblings, but as I looked into his eyes I knew I was lucky to have him and that any operation was worth it if I could watch him grow up.
“My brother and his wife are on baby number three now, so Spencer sees lots of people having brothers and sisters.
“He has asked if we can have another baby. I joke about it with him and tell him he wouldn’t want one anyway as he would have to share his toys.
“All my grandparents have had cancer as well, so I was high risk anyway,”
The stress of Miss Aldridge’s condition put a strain on her relationship with Mr Kebby. The pair split during her treatment,
Two years ago Miss Aldridge was told she was in remission after several other operations to remove cysts which developed as a result of the hysterectomy.
Since her diagnosis the young mother has been working hard to raise money for The Willow Trust, a charity for seriously ill young adults.
Miss Aldridge has raised more than £30,000 for the charity by trekking to base camp at Mount Everest and holding fundraisers at Bristol Museum.
She said: “It has been a long journey and I’m lucky to have had the charity there for me.
“I put all my efforts into being a mum and raising money for charity. The fund-raising keeps me going.
“I never dreamed I would trek to Mount Everest – so that is one upside from the cancer.”
As told to Helen O’Brien Google