Today something happened that brought back my memories of my miscarriage. It almost felt like I was going through it again, and it was so hard to keep on working through the tears that were filling my eyes.
I was so excited when I found out I was pregnant I told everybody. We called our parents, talked to friends and family, and then posted on Facebook. We were shocked because we were on a break from trying, at least 2 months after going off all fertility medicine. We talked all day long about names and I started looking into midwives and
birthing centers. We had even settled on a name for if it was a boy. I scoured my bookshelves and pulled out the dusty pregnancy books I had bought 2 and a half years earlier. I called and scheduled a blood test at my regular doctor (20 minutes from home versus the hour or more it takes to go to the fertility clinic). I took the home test Monday, and my doctor’s appointment was scheduled for Friday.
Friday we went to the doctor and I checked in, paid my copay, and got called back by the lady who takes all the lab work. Somehow the receptionist managed to schedule me for lab work (which is what I asked for) without letting me know that I had to see my doctor first who had to order the lab. I couldn’t just ask for some lab work (even basic stuff like a pregnancy test). I don’t know how the receptionist let me schedule the lab work without going through the doctor, but they did. The lab technician ended up talking to my regular doctor’s nurse who came to talk to me. My regular doctor wasn’t there so her nurse talked to the head doctor at the clinic, who decided he was going to order a regular urine test and not a blood test. At this point my husband and I are getting frustrated with the way this office was giving us the runaround. I didn’t need a urine test, because the test they do at the doctor is not that much different from the home pregnancy tests you do yourself. We didn’t argue though, we just agreed to do a urine test.
After I gave them my sample they had me go back out to the lobby and wait for them to do the test. The nurse came back out to the lobby to get me so I stood up and motioned for Ben to come back there with me. The nurse looked at him and said no you can sit down, like it was nothing. We assumed she just had to ask me another question or have me sign a paper or something… She took me back into the hallway and told me that the test came back negative. When asked she said she didn’t know why it came back negative when I had had a positive early in the week, but that I should call my fertility clinic. I had to walk back out into the lobby and tell Ben that the test was negative, IN THE LOBBY in front of everybody else there, bawling my eyes out so that he couldn’t even understand me.
When we left the doctor’s office we called the fertility clinic and they said that I could come in and get a blood test, no copay needed because my insurance covers all testing. In truth I should have started with the fertility clinic, because my regular doctor’s office requires a copay even if it’s just for lab work. The problem was I didn’t think about going there first because I wasn’t actively trying and they were not foremost in my mind. So we went in, got my blood test, and got out in just a few minutes. Right as I was pulling up in front of my house the doctor called and said that my tests came back and that I was pregnant, my HCG levels were normal, but my progesterone was too low. My progesterone was only 1.6, and they said it should have been about 20. They told me they were calling in a supplement for me and I went back out to the pharmacy right away to pick it up. I asked if the low progesterone could have been the cause for the negative pregnancy test, and they said no because the urine test checks for HCG levels and my HCG was normal. That means they probably had a dud that they used to tell me I wasn’t pregnant.
I started my progesterone, but on Saturday I started bleeding and cramping. I called the emergency number at the fertility clinic and they said that if the bleeding got heavy (which it did within the hour) then it meant that I was having a miscarriage and there was nothing I could do. I spent most of the day crying about it. I took my laptop up to bed and put myself on bed rest, stayed in bed most of the weekend. Unfortunately Ben has to work every weekend and he couldn’t be home with me most of the day, but he was really great during this. He listened to me and tried to comfort me, and I know this hurt him as much as it hurt me; he was so excited about this baby. He reminded me during this time that him and I get along so well that even if we can never have a baby we will be okay because we are so awesome, just the two of us. That is one thought that keeps me going through all our baby making problems, is that we are great even without a baby.
I was depressed for awhile after that. I had to go back to the doctor on Monday for another blood test. Monday afternoon they called me and said that that test was negative, my HCG was at 0, and I was definitely no longer pregnant. Some people call this kind of pregnancy a chemical pregnancy. I was pregnant and had the chemicals to show for it, but I didn’t have an ultrasound or hear a heartbeat or anything because it was over so quick. I think that people call it a chemical pregnancy in order to make themselves feel better or maybe doctors thought up the term to try to make us patients feel better. If it’s called a chemical pregnancy then maybe we won’t feel as much of a loss if the wording makes it sound like it wasn’t a real pregnancy. For me the loss was real. I have never called it a chemical pregnancy, only a miscarriage. However, I don’t put myself in the same category as women who have miscarriages after hearing the heartbeat or seeing the baby dancing on an ultrasound. For me this was almost as painful (emotionally) as I can imagine, but I know it is not in the same league as miscarriages even just a few weeks or a month further down the road. Eventually the pain faded and it is something that I don’t think about every day. I’m sad that the only positive pregnancy test I have ever seen ended so heartbreakingly, but initially I had retained some hope from the fact that it was possible for me to even get pregnant. Now two years later it is just a sad memory that gently surfaces on occasion. This is the first time that it has ever surfaced so forcefully, but I managed to survive this one without dissolving into a puddle of tears or curling into a ball under my desk. I blinked back a few tears and went on with my day, determined to go home and put my feelings into words.
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