Amy Cupit, 27, was given choice of either terminating her pregnancy and having surgery or continuing to carry her baby but being induced early with risk tumour would grow.
A newlywed who suffered five heart-breaking early miscarriages found out she was told she was two months pregnant with a baby girl - but also had cervical cancer. Learning she was both pregnant and had cancer within a fortnight of each other, Amy Cupit, 27, was given two devastating choices.
Doctors at Nottingham City Hospital gave her the agonising options of either terminating her pregnancy and having surgery to remove the grade one, type one tumour, or continuing to carry her baby, but being induced early – the risk being that the tumour would grow and become more aggressive.
"Both were rubbish choices," said Amy, of Nottingham. "When my husband, Mike, and I learnt what I had we couldn't believe it. We'd never managed to carry a baby so far and then we were being told I had cancer."
The couple were at their wits' end until the hospital's "miracle doctor", consultant gynaecological surgeon and oncologist Jafaru Abu, spoke to colleagues in Australia. They suggested he performed a cone biopsy – when a cone-shaped wedge of tissue is removed from high up in the cervix - later in the pregnancy and attempted, while her baby was still in the womb, to slice out the tumour.
Amy, a tenancy support officer, agreed and the nail-biting surgery took place under general anaesthetic at Nottingham City Hospital, when she was three months pregnant.
Amazingly, Mr Abu managed to fully remove the tumour and at 39 weeks, Ruby was born by caesarean, weighing a healthy 5lb 13oz. "We were delighted," said Amy, speaking out to raise awareness of her condition and to encourage other women to have smear tests. "She was our miracle."
Amy, now 33, and HMRC worker Mike, now 34, who married in 2009 when she was 26, started trying for a baby within a year of tying the knot.
"For the first year we didn't bother trying," she explained. "But then we started and fell pregnant quickly."
Sadly, she miscarried at around six weeks and her GP suggested they try again, after her next menstrual cycle. Again, she fell pregnant easily – but the same thing happened another five times.
"It sounds disgusting, but I got used to going to the loo and seeing blood," said Amy. "I began to expect it. It was heart-breaking."
Despite repeated visits to her GP, medics could not pinpoint why she kept miscarrying before six weeks. Then, in autumn 2011, she fell pregnant with Ruby.
"Around the same time, I went to my GP for a routine smear test," she explained. "At the time of the test in October, 2011, I didn't know I was pregnant."
About a week later, she was surprised to discover the smear had detected abnormal cells. A colposcopy – a more detailed smear – was ordered, which she had at Nottingham City Hospital.
The test revealed a small tumour on her cervix, which proved to be cancerous. It was at its least aggressive stage, but had the potential to grow.
"I knew something was wrong when more and more doctors kept coming in," she explained. "Then, around a week later, I was told it was cancer."
And, approximately a week after that, she discovered she was eight weeks pregnant - the longest she had managed.
She explained: "I'd had a hormone injection after my previous miscarriage. I can't recall what hormone, but maybe that's why this pregnancy was more viable. I couldn't believe I was finally pregnant and potentially fighting for my life at the same time."
Following her surgery at three months pregnant, Amy took things slowly. But, at 39 weeks, while doctors were attempting to induce her, she faced further difficulties, when she was told she'd experienced cervix stenosis - when a woman's cervix fuses.
This prevented her from having a natural delivery and, on 18 June, 2012, she had a caesarean section. Amy was cancer free and Ruby, arrived healthy and happy. But just two weeks later, the new mum started to feel ill.
"A GP said it was probably nothing, but I contacted Mr Abu and he said to come in straight away," she explained.
Alarmingly, her fused cervix had caused her womb to fill with blood and pus. Forced to have an emergency hysterectomy, this now meant she would not have any more children naturally.
So, in March 2016, they adopted a little boy, Tommie, now two. Now, healthy and happy, she plans to go to Nottingham Trent University to study social work in September this year.
She is in remission from cancer.
She said: "The experience of being diagnosed with cancer and overcoming many obstacles has made me and my family really appreciate life. I don't take things for granted and feel lucky that my cancer was caught early enough for successful treatment. My only wish is that all women eligible for a cervical smear should take up the invitation. My story might have been very different if I hadn't."
Article written by The Mirror - https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/newlywed-who-lost-five-babies-10795418