My name is C, and I decided to start this blog as a way to deal with my frustration and grief after learning that my first pregnancy is most likely not viable.
We decided to throw away birth control over the summer. I had a period in late July and we got down to business, including a week long marathon of sex, sometimes even multiple times a day. To my shock, I got pregnant right away, and discovered the pregnancy via home pregnancy test on August 30th. Even though I bitched about it, part of me reveled in the tangible proof of my pregnancy-the incredibly sore breasts, the need to pee more, the extreme thirst, even the nauseau. I was less excited about my loss of sex drive, but had faith that it would return.
We were so blissfully ignorant. I took my prenatals, forced down the vegetables I loathe, and my husband began to teach my stomach Math. I know it sound silly, but for me it was incredibly sweet and romantic. I’d begun talking to the baby, making comments to them, even though I knew they couldn’t hear me yet (as they hadn’t developed ears yet, according to my 7 or 8 pregnancy books). In short, I fell head over heels with the baby growing inside me.
The first sign of trouble was not even a week later. Over the labor day (let’s not even get into the irony here) weekend, I had cramps that were so bad I ended up doubled over in pain. I was sent in for a follow up Hcg test, and was assured that my levels were going up and that my IBS was possibly just aggravated by the pregnancy. Essentially to walk it off, as it were.
The “real” sign of trouble on September 14th, when, after peeing, I wiped and saw brown blood. I called the ob’s office and asked them what to do, and was told to call back if the bleeding increased or turned red. Saturday morning, it did, so I decided to go to the emergency room. At that point, I was (by the traditional calendar) 8 weeks pregnant, which actually was 7 because I have a longer stretch between menstrual cycles. They did blood work that showed my Hcg was still rising. Then they did an ultrasound.
Problem #1-The baby measured 5 weeks 4 days instead of 7 weeks. We were told to be concerned, but that because I’m irregular, it was a red flag, not a huge warning bell. I did the math from the week of marathon sex and felt comfortable with the idea of being 5w4d pregnant as the dates lined up (even counting for the two weeks of ovulation, blah blah blah).
I had to call the ob this past Monday (9/17) to find out when they wanted a follow up. I had my “8 week” appointment on Thursday (9/20) already scheduled, so they added an ultrasound to the appointment. I was worried, and scared, especially as the spotting was continuing, and I was having cramps. However, I spent hours online searching out stories that were similar to mine that ended in healthy babies. I was concerned, but tried to force myself to believe that things could work out well for us. Deep down, though, especially as the cramps and spotting continued, I began to believe that it wasn’t going to happen for us.
When Thursday finally arrived, I was so eager to get into the ultrasound room. But the tech couldn’t get a great image of things, so she just measured my yolk sac, as opposed to the previous ultrasound, where the embryo itself was measured. The thing is that the yolk sac is supposed to be growing on pace with the embryo and is considered a fairly reliable way to date an early pregnancy.
Problem #2-The yolk sac measured 5w1d to 5w4d, which meant no growth
To be certain that the pregnancy was failing, they took some more blood to monitor my Hcg.
We were shown to an examining room, and waiting for the ob to come in. I sat on the table looking at my husband, and blinked back tears as I held forth on how I just wanted some answers, damnit! When my ob walked into the room, I didn’t need her to say anything because I just knew what she was going to say. I tried to blink back my tears, failing, as she explained that she was pretty sure that the baby wasn’t viable and gave me my choices for how to deal with the miscarriage; wait it out or get a D&C.
I told her that I’d probably want a D&C, as I didn’t want to spend weeks waiting for my body to make the decision to reject the pregnancy. She said that depending on the Hcg tests, we’d schedule it for either Tuesday the 25th or Thursday the 27th. It hurt so much to think that in a week I would no longer be pregnant. I had been shocked at the news, and a little ambivalent that it had happened so soon (instead of in December or January, which is when I’d expected it), but I desperately wanted this child.
I couldn’t hold back the hoping against hope question of “Are you sure?”
“I’m 90% certain that it’s not a viable pregnancy. I’ve been proven wrong before, but not often,” she said.
As we exited from the office into the waiting room, a heavily pregnant woman entered. For about three seconds I allowed myself to hate her. I had to remind myself that I had no clue how hard her pregnancy had been to come by, and to chill the fuck out.
We went home and wept. I’d never seen my husband really cry before, but when we decided to read a book we’d bought before we were even trying to my stomach as a way to say good-bye, he lost it and said 90% wasn’t the same as 100% and he wasn’t ready to say good-bye, and sobbed on my shoulder with the same sort of deep wracking sobs I’d spent hours having.
We talked about naming the baby as a way to fully deal with the grief. We decided on Hope, even though we don’t know if the baby is a boy or a girl. It just seemed appropriate, given how many hopes and dreams we’d had for them.
I have had patches of bad luck, and moments when I railed against the universe over the unfairness of it all, but I have never in my life felt this kind of all consuming grief.
Yesterday I got the phone call. I expected to hear that my Hcg levels were plateaued or lower and that we’d be setting up the D&C for Tuesday. Instead she said that my levels had again gone up (from 8k to 12k in 5 days). I remarked that it seemed like a really small increase, and shouldn’t it be higher? She told me that after awhile, the levels do stop doubling every 48 to 72 hours. So we return to the plan of ultrasound #3 on Tuesday, and the likely D&C on Thursday.
Ironically, the spotting has stopped, even though the cramping has continued unabated. The odds are so low, and probably lower than 10% because I’ve lost all those symptoms of pregnancy I was so excited to have, and yet there’s part of me that’s praying (even though I don’t actually pray) that the last ultrasound was just wrong (I had a feeling all through the last u/s that she wasn’t doing it correctly or that the machine wasn’t as high resolution or that something wasn’t going right) and that I could still have a baby next May. But deep down, I know I’ll be scheduling a D&C on Tuesday.
We’ve already started talking about what it will be like to start trying to conceive again after the waiting period (2 periods) is up, so I know that my husband feels the same.
I need a place that I can safely rattle on about this ad nauseaum, as I can already tell that my friend’s patience for the topic is waning, so I created this blog.