...Today is Tuesday, April 17th. It's a rainy spring afternoon, and the weather outside matches what I am feeling inside. Drab. Cold. Gray.
I've debated writing this for a few hours now and while I'm not enteirly sure I'll click publish quite yet, I need to get my thoughts on paper (so to speak).
There has been so much I've wanted to blog about the last few weeks. So much I wanted to share- my excitement, my anxiousness, my worries. So much in fact that I wrote an email to myself so I wouldn't forget. I'll share it here to give you a peek into what was going on...
Thursday, April 5th. I’m writing all of this before I post it on my blog while the memories are fresh.We had decided to adopt. After trying to conceive for three years, we felt in our hearts that adoption was the right step to take and figured that conceiving just wasn’t in the cards for us, and I was coming to terms with that. My period was to start on April 3rd. When it didn’t come, I was bugged. I was past hoping for a pregnancy, but I was frustrated that my cycles were becoming longer and longer. First it was the normal 28 days. Then it was 30. Then 32. When I still hadn’t gotten my period by the 5th of April, the thought that I might be pregnant crossed my mind, but only for a split second. Instead of being excited, thinking I could be pregnant, I was annoyed. I had one pregnancy test left from a pack I bought that had 3 in it. The first two tests brought heartache and major disappointment. Each time I had pee'd on that stupid stick, I was full of hopeful anticipation. Now I was just annoyed. I hastily took the test out of the package, did my business and then waited. Instead, this time, I threw a washcloth over the test and continued to get ready for work.
Two tests earlier, I would have studied that stick like a hawk, praying my heart out in the three minute waiting period for two lines to appear, only to be struck with disappointment as a single line became bolder. That was usually followed by feeling a wave of sadness engulf me. It was a vicious cycle, and I wasn’t going to let that happen this time. This time, I could care less. I just wanted to know and it didn’t matter, anyway. I knew I wasn’t pregnant. About 5 minutes later, I walked back into the bathroom and grabbed the test from under its hiding place.
Two lines. One light and one dark. But there were two parallel lines.
I squinted at it again. Clearly I wasn’t seeing this correctly. I picked up the box to make sure I was reading it right. Two lines = pregnant. My head slowly turned up and I met my gaze in the mirror. Furrowed eyebrows and a look of confusion stared back at me. If I could have taken a picture of my face I would have. It was a look of complete and udder shock. I didn’t let myself get too excited because I thought it could have been a false pregnancy. Still, I threw on some clothes, pulled my hair up quickly, skipped putting on makeup and left the house to show Andrew. He was going to be so shocked...As I re-read that email I can't help but cry. I was so, so excited. Finally, what we had wanted for so long, what we had waited for, prayed for, and hoped for, was happening. I made an appointment with my fertility doctor that morning and a blood test confirmed what my home test had told me. We were expecting. My hcg level was a 70 and my progesterone was low at a 10. My doctor immediately prescribed Prometrium to spike my progesterone levels. Another test two days later showed my hcg levels at a 170 (doubled = good) and my progesterone was good. They estimated that I was about 4 1/4 weeks pregnant and wanted me to come in for an ultrasound on Tuesday to check the yolk sac (when I would be 5 weeks along). Tuesday came and I anxiously waited on the exam table. When they nurse came in, she told me to lay back and scoot down (I should have remembered from last time) and started the ultrasound. As she was looking around, her face got a bit serious. Looking at the same black and white screen, I couldn't tell what the heck I was looking at. She hesitated and then said that she wasn't seeing a sac- or anything. I told her I was pretty sure I ovulated later than they thought, and if that was the case, I'd only be about 4 weeks pregnant. The nurse told me at 4 weeks they wouldn't be able to see anything, but she was still a little concerned it could be ectopic (since my levels were going up but no visual). This, of course, sent a wave of panic through me, and she sent me to get another blood test. I went back to work and waited until that afternoon, hoping for the best, but I knew something wasn't quite right. The call that came later confirmed what I was feeling. The HCG levels had gone up, but just barely, which caused them to be more concerned. Usually with an ectopic pregnancy, your levels will slowly increase, but won't double or triple like they should. I freaked out and had a mental breakdown right there at work. My coworkers, I'm sure, thought I had gone crazy, as nobody knew what was going on. I left early and called Andrew on my way home, bawling and telling him what happened. Hoping that I was just a week behind, my doctor scheduled another ultrasound for the next Monday and the wait was torture. I still had all the symptoms of early pregnancy (tender breasts, fatigue, semi sick) so I tried to stay positive and spent the rest of the week praying and hoping for the best, but expecting the worst.
See, I'm a realist. While I do believe in miracles and hope for the best, I can't help but look at what doctors and scientist are putting in front of my face and agree with what they say. When my doctor told me it could be ectopic, I was really concerned it could be. When they told me that my levels weren't rising and something wasn't right, I believed them. Andrew, on the other hand, is much more hopeful. He kept telling me he knew everything was going to be fine, and while I wanted to believe him, I just knew in my heart something wasn't right.
Finally Monday came and I found myself once again on the exam table. Andrew was with me this time and another doctor was doing the ultrasound, as my doctor was out of town. Once again, the black and white screen showed nothing. I was disappointed, but somehow expected it. Andrew, on the other hand was crushed. The doctor told me that even if I had ovulated later, they should have seen a yolk sac at this point. Now I was really freaked out it was ectopic. They drew more blood and I waited at work for them to call. Finally, at 5:00, my nurse called. I stepped outside, standing next to my car as she told me that my HCG levels were a 6. They dropped so suddenly and they were so low, the pregnancy couldn't be sustained. She expressed how sorry she was, but the good news was that I got pregnant without any fertility aides. All I could do was nod, which over the phone, doesn't translate. My voice cracked as I verbally thanked her, and then I couldn't stop sobbing. She told me to stop taking the prometrium and that I would probably start bleeding soon and again, she was so sorry.
I was devastated. I called Andrew and we both cried on the phone. I left work and cried the whole way home. We told our families later that evening and by that point, I was numb. I didn't cry when I told them, which was frustrating. Looking back, I think I was probably in a little bit of shock.
The next day, when I woke up feeling crampy, it hit me. I called my boss and started bawling when she answered, telling her briefly what happened and that I needed a day to myself. Thankfully, she understood and I hung up, buried my head in my pillow and sobbed. I knew I needed to get up and make myself be productive (my way of coping) so I painted my dining room wall. There were times during the day when I felt fine and then, suddenly without warning, the tears would come and when they did, I let them fall.
A few days after my period started, I left on a trip with my mom to Los Angeles. It had been planned before any of this happened, and I feel like it came at a perfect time. I was able to relax, take my mind off of what was happening, and spend time with on of my favorite people- my mom.
I still have mixed emotions about my miscarriage. On the one hand, I got pregnant. Without fertility drugs and without ovulation kits. I now know my body is capable of getting pregnant, which is great! But at the same time, I wanted that baby so bad. I wanted it to stick and to work out and to be healthy. In the short time I was pregnant, I let myself think about how we would tell our families. Creative, fun ways - we had decided to tell them on Mothers Day. Finally, I thought, I get to celebrate with the millions of other moms. I let myself think about how I would decorate the nursery if it were a boy or a girl. I thought about when I would be due - right before Christmas. I downloaded an app on my phone that gave weekly baby updates (which after miscarrying, still popped up until I figured out how to uninstall it, adding salt to my fresh wound).
And yet, I still got pregnant. Even if it was for a few short weeks. Who knows what the future holds. Maybe it'll happen again. Maybe it won't. We're still continuing the adoption process and praying for the best. This time, I'm learning to expect the best too- whichever way it turns out.