Woman convinced she was pregnant is devastated to learn that her "bump" was not a baby
For so many women, becoming a mom is undeniably the most important part of their lives. Most women are born with natural maternal instincts, and when it comes to them having a child, it isn't a case of 'if', but 'when'.
One woman who was desperate to start her own family was 29-year-old Daireen Diver from Strabane, Northern Ireland.
Daireen’s turbulent journey started at the end of 2015 when she went to her local doctor to discuss starting a family with her partner of 11 years, Jason, 30. Then, after six months of experiencing bloating, vomiting, and stomach pain, she was asked to do a pregnancy test by a doctor.
The result seemed like a dead cert, after all, all the usual symptoms of pregnancy were there. The doctors thought so, friends, family, and strangers were quizzing her about being pregnant, and she had even started to develop a "bump" around her abdomen region.
Check out the video below to discover the story of a woman who, unlike Diver, had a tumor that turned out to be a baby:
She explained: “I took my first pregnancy test in January 2016 at the GP surgery. Because I was still having my periods, I didn’t think I was pregnant, but deep down I hoped I was.”
But when the results came back, Diver was informed that her bump was not the baby she had longed for.
The test came back negative, and doctors informed her that the symptoms were down to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Regardless, Diver's ‘bump’ continued to grow more and more, prompting people to continue to ask if she was expecting.
Knowing that she definitely was not pregnant, Daireen figured that regular exercise and a healthy eating regime should have helped shift her growing stomach. But - while she did manage to lose weight across different areas her body - her stomach remained swollen.
She continued: “I was due to go on holiday to Ibiza in August 2016, so I wanted to lose a little weight for that as, at 10 stone (140 lbs), I was the heaviest I’d been.
“I started exercising and eating better, and lost a stone – but it made no difference to my stomach. My frame was skinnier, but that just made my stomach look even bigger.”
In a worrying turn of events, Daireen then began to suffer from vomiting and diarrhea.
Eventually, Diver's pain became unbearable, and she had to be rushed to Omagh Hospital in County Tyrone, where doctors eventually carried out an ultrasound scan of her abdomen. This scan revealed that her swollen stomach was actually down to an ovarian tumor so large that it couldn’t even be measured on the screen.
Recalling the terrifying event, Diver said: “One morning, I woke up and Jason had already left for work. I was in so much pain, I could barely move. I rang the doctor and said I needed to come in because it was severe.
“I drove there and by the time I got there, I was bent double and crying.
“He told me I needed to go to the hospital, so Jason came and picked me up and took me. I was scared because I had no idea what that meant,” Daireen said.
“Cancer was not mentioned at this point, but the thought did cross my mind, it could be cancer.”
Knowing they had to act fast, Diver was transferred and admitted to the more specialist Altnagelvin Hospital in Londonderry. The following day, she was told she would need immediate surgery.
“I think it was only then I realized how big this really was. The anesthetist came to prep me and check my airways," Diver said. “He was asking me to take a deep breath in and I was breathing as much as I could, but the tumor was pushing on my diaphragm and I was struggling to breathe.”
After a two hour procedure, her right ovary was removed, along with the tumor that now measured 10 inches, contained three liters of fluid, and weighed over 14 lbs.
“When it was gone, I realized that was the first time in months I could feel my ribs. My stomach just shrunk so much,” Diver added.
During her recovery, a sample of Diver's tumor was sent away to be tested. The results revealed that Diver has been suffering from a rare form of ovarian cancer called "borderline mucinous ovarian tumor".
According to the charity Ovarian Cancer Action, most borderline tumors are benign, but Daireen's tumor was, in fact, cancerous. Thankfully, her surgeons are confident that Daireen’s operation was a complete success, resulting in all traces of the tumor being removed, and that it hadn’t spread.
“That meant I didn’t need any more treatment,” Diver explained. “They warned me it could return, so I’m having regular check-ups.”
Now, it may sound like Diver's dreams of becoming a mother had been dashed, but her remarkable story was far from over.
Daireen has been approved for IVF treatment to help her make her motherhood dreams become a reality.
She said of her life-altering tumor: “My stomach was so swollen, I looked like I was nine-months pregnant. People were constantly asking me and my friends when I was due and telling me I should relax ‘in my condition.'
“Now, I’m excited about the prospect of being a mom. I do feel so lucky I’m alive, but I think it will be when I have kids that I really feel like I’ve come through this.”
Following her ordeal, Daireen, who is now being supported by Ovarian Cancer Action, was able to take some time to come to terms with her cancer and subsequent surgery, and decided to make some huge changes in her life.
“I felt so lucky to be alive. I ended up quitting my job in recruitment and starting my own business as a hair extension specialist. I struggled with the fact that I lost one of my ovaries during the operation so now I only have one.
“Throughout my recovery, everyone was telling me not to worry about that, but a family is something I’ve always wanted," she said.
Now Daireen and Jason hope IVF will finally give them have the baby they’ve longed for.
“I cannot wait to be pregnant for real,” she added.
We would like to wish Daireen and Jason all the best for their future! And for more information on ovarian cancer, please visit www.ovarian.org.uk/ovarian-cancer or https://www.cancer.org/cancer/ovarian-cancer.