Dr. K. said it was a chemical pregnancy. That’s the scientific, objective way of saying it was an early miscarriage.
So let’s discuss this.
You take an early pregnancy test. It shows a faint positive. In my case, I got a positive digital pregnancy test 8 days after transfer. So you get excited. You go and buy baby clothes, and surprise your husband and family. Then the bleeding starts. You get a decent first beta number, but then the doctor tells you, after your second beta, that the number dropped. He tells you it was a chemical pregnancy.
A chemical pregnancy. Not to be confused as a false positive. Because you were indeed very much pregnant. But it’s a miscarriage, and the only evidence was comparing beta hCG numbers. This miscarriage happened before an u/s could show a sac in the uterus. The main symptom of a chemical pregnancy is bleeding right after a positive pregnancy test. Then, like I said above, a beta number that starts decreasing, rather than increasing.
When I was reading about this stuff on the Internet, my stomach clenched up when I read that bleeding right after a positive is a main sign of a chemical. I knew in my heart when I started bleeding and cramping that this was not going to end well. However, I held out hope that what everyone was telling me was true: this may just be early pregnancy bleeding. Because that sounds like a much better outcome, right?
It wasn’t because my body didn’t respond to the meds as it should have. It wasn’t that there was only one normal fertilized embryo. Or that I was teased by positive pregnancy sticks. It wasn’t that I ran out and went crazy like I was going to remain pregnant for the next 9 months. It wasn’t because of the alarming amount of blood and cramping. It wasn’t because all that worrying turned to joy at a great first beta number. It wasn’t even the shitty second beta that sucked.
It was that I had to find out our one little embryo wasn’t going to survive and I was miscarrying on our 5 year wedding anniversary. I mean, seriously? Seriously. Talk about the cosmos giving the world’s biggest finger.
We haven’t even opened our anniversary cards, from each other and my parents. We just can’t seem to bring ourselves to open them. We were supposed to grill some steaks and have a relaxing night at home. Since of course, I was pregnant and all. Instead, we both left work early. I came home first, shocked and numb, after crying my eyes out at work after I got off the phone with the doctor. He came home, held me tearfully while I sobbed into his shoulder. We went to bed and lied there for two hours. No matter how close I pressed against him, I couldn’t get close enough. I wanted to crawl inside his skin, where I didn’t have to see the baby clothes on the table, where there were no pregnancy tests, or progesterone suppositories, and the word “miscarriage” did not exist.
How could this have happened? He was supposed to be our little fighter. Our one little miracle, where it didn’t matter that he was the only one. The FRER I took that morning, showed a nice positive line. He was supposed to still be there. How could this have happened?
I started getting texts, Facebook messages, page comments, and blog comments. People telling us how sorry they were. How unfair this all is. How they are praying for our healing. I read them in disbelief. How could I be getting congratulating messages and then 48 hours later, messages saying, “I am so sorry for your loss?”
My loss? No. No. I was pregnant. I was going to have a baby. I bought a little frog outfit. I took pictures of positive pregnancy tests. I told my mom she was going to be a Grandma. My sisters they were going to be Aunties. I watched my husband, my soulmate, cry when I told him that he was going to be a Daddy. No. There had to be some mistake.
I was bleeding, yes, but it didn’t seem like it was a period. I had some cramps, but they didn’t feel like usual cramps. My breasts felt a little fuller. I had morning headaches. I had some weird stomach sensitivity. I was pregnant.
And now I’m not.
I had someone tell me that it was too early to be celebrating. That it was a mistake to buy those clothes, to tell my family. Hearing that made the grief worse. To know that someone thought I was jumping the gun, that I should be careful because it was too early.
I don’t regret what happened. I don’t regret buying those clothes, for telling people I was pregnant, for surprising my family. Because unlike this particular person, I am well aware that nothing in life, especially a positive pregnancy test, is a guarantee. I am well aware of the fact that, like this person, there are some who assume two pink lines means nine months of pregnancy and a safe delivery of a healthy baby.
I have grieved for friends and family who miscarried at 8 weeks, at 12 weeks, at 22 weeks. Whose babies were born sleeping. Whose babies were born and lived for just a few hours. It doesn’t matter that I miscarried at 4 weeks. It was still a miscarriage. It wouldn’t matter if I went another few weeks and ended up with the same results. It still hurts. It’s still my baby. So I don’t regret anything. It wasn’t too early. It’s never too early to be overjoyed at a pregnancy.
What is hard, however, is now having to go back and tell everyone that I am no longer pregnant. I understand people’s need to wait until the first trimester is over to share the news. I also understand my reproductive life is under constant public viewing. And I don’t regret that. But talking about it, about my baby, about this loss, is not something I can do. Blogging has always been very therapeutic for me. Writing this post, thought not something I wanted to write in the first place, helps get my emotions out. Many don’t talk about their miscarriages. I know why. It’s painful. It hurts in ways one could never imagine. To those who are close to me, know that I love you, but know that I may not be able to talk about it. I know this blog is here for my grief, and this is the place where you can go to see how I’m doing. But I just can’t talk about it.
Thank you for the comfort you guys have shown us. For being there. For telling me your own stories of heartache and loss. Know that I grieve your losses too.
Yesterday, I wrote a letter to my little one. But I just feel like I need to do something else to keep my baby alive in my heart. I don’t know what. But I want to honor him/her. Baby loss Mamas, and anyone else with creativity, do you have any ideas?