This Pregnant Woman Knew Her Baby Was A Miracle – But She Had The Hardest Decision To Make

Jo Powell tried for years to get pregnant, so, when she finally did, it should have been a joyous occasion. But just days after finding out that she was having a baby, she had to make a nightmarish choice.

Powell, a 41-year-old office administrator, had always hoped to build a family with her husband, Richard. But the pair hadn’t had any luck getting pregnant – until they found out they were expecting in 2010.

But the Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom-based pair would only experience their parent-to-be bliss for a few days. That’s because, just after finding out that she was pregnant, Powell discovered that one of her breasts had a lump.

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However, not all masses that grow in breast tissue are necessarily cancerous. Some form during menopause, while other, more mobile lumps form in younger women. Both of these types of growths are harmless.

But Powell’s diagnosis was different. She likely felt a firm cyst growing beneath her skin, a tell-tale sign that she had breast cancer. Doctors at the Nottingham City Hospital gave the 41-year-old the bad news.

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Of course, that diagnosis didn’t just affect Powell’s health – she had her first child growing inside her, too. In 2012, she told the Daily Mail newspaper, “When I heard the word cancer my first thought was, ‘I’m going to lose my baby.’”

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And Powell’s doctors confirmed her worst nightmare – being pregnant meant that they couldn’t start chemotherapy right away. Instead, they would have to wait until the baby had the strength to withstand it.

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According to a 2012 study published in The Lancet Oncology journal, most experts believe expectant mothers shouldn’t receive chemotherapy before the second trimester. This is because the baby grows quickly during this time, and their organs develop with the same speed.

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It’s also unadvisable to give expectant women a dose of chemotherapy during the last two months of pregnancy. The effects of this treatment often include a reduction in the level of the patient’s white blood cells. This in turn, ups the chances of both mother and baby getting an infection during delivery.

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On top of everything else, the 41-year-old’s doctors told her that her pregnancy hormones fed into the cancer. In effect, they would cause it to spread more quickly. Therefore, they suggested that Powell make an unthinkable decision.

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The doctors believed that the best way to safeguard the administrative officer’s health was to have an abortion. Of course, this prognosis devastated the mom-to-be. “It was like a living nightmare. We had been trying for a baby for years,” Powell told the U.K.’s Daily Mail.

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Despite the doctors’ advice, Powell knew in her heart that she had to go a different way. “I knew we couldn’t give up on our baby. There was no way I was going to sacrifice him to save myself,” she said.

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Of course, that meant that the 41-year-old had to gamble with her own life. Indeed, she wouldn’t be able start cancer treatment until her baby’s development had reached a certain point. To Powell, though, that didn’t matter.

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“I knew that even if I didn’t make it, I would have brought a life into the world,” mom-to-be reasoned. So, her doctors came up with a new plan. They decided to operate and take out Powell’s tumors but hold off on the chemotherapy for almost half a year.

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Five months into her pregnancy, Powell began chemotherapy treatments. After that, all she could do was wait. Only time would tell how her choice would affect her health – and the health of her unborn baby.

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As the Christmas season rolled around in 2010, Powell went into labor. Soon, she was holding her newborn son, Jake, in her arms. And what could be better than finally meeting a long-awaited child? The answer is knowing that he came into the world without any health issues following her chemotherapy treatment.

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For Powell and her husband, the newborn was the best Christmas gift they could have received. “We were convinced [parenthood] wasn’t going to happen for us, so Jake was sp special,” she told the Daily Mail.

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But the family weren’t out of the woods yet. As soon as she delivered Jake, Powell began a life-saving course of powerful treatment. She then underwent a mastectomy to combat her breast cancer.

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Powell’s husband was left in charge of their newborn son for weeks while she stayed in the hospital. But it seems that their time apart was definitely a good idea. In fact, the 41-year-old was eventually given the all-clear from doctors.

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Needless to say, the new mom and cancer survivor was happy to have reached end of a dangerous journey. “We’re just thrilled that we can finally be a happy, healthy family after all we’ve been through,” she told the Daily Mail. I feel like we’ve won the lottery. I’m the luckiest woman in the world.”

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