This is a story of loss. Please take care of yourself in reading it, get out the tissues if you need to or just don’t read it. For those of you who know me in real life, we aren’t really in a place where we are telling people about this right now so I would ask that you keep it to yourselves. I’m sure you would anyway, but I just had to say it.
As I write this I am more than likely having a miscarriage. I never thought I would have to type those words. I can’t even begin to talk about the emotions, so I will simply tell the story about our 36 hours of hope and what has happened since.
Last weekend while my mother-in-law was visiting I started having really intense cramps at night. I was expecting my period so I initially thought it was just PMS. But they persisted for longer than my menstrual cramps usually do with no signs of my period. I was worried but busy and distracted and functioning. Tuesday after I dropped my mil off at the airport I decided to pick up a pregnancy test just to rule out the possibility. I really didn’t think I was pregnant. Much to my surprise the test showed a clear positive.
I took a photo of the test and sent it to my hubby. We were both really excited but also scared. The cramps were not a good sign. Tuesday night and Wednesday the cramps were pretty bad. I debated going to the ER but didn’t want to be that overreacting, hysterical woman. My biggest concern was ectopic pregnancy, especially after what happened when I had my HSG. When I got home from class Wednesday night I went to the bathroom and discovered I was spotting. My husband and I decided to go to the ER right then and there.
Realizing we weren’t really sure where the closest ER was to the new house and because I wasn’t bleeding heavily or anything of that nature, we decided to go to the main military hospital in the area, which is a good hour away from our house. When we got there I was sure the triage nurse thought I was overreacting. Eventually I got called back and the doctor came in and talked to us for a while. She decided the first step was to run some blood work and see where my hcg levels were. If they were below 500 it was unlikely they would be able to see anything on ultrasound. We had a long wait to get the blood results and we were positive and joking during that time. We were talking about gender and names and when we should tell people. Finally the doc came back and said my levels were only 350 but she was going to send me to ultrasound anyway. It was at that point that she told us that she believed, having spoken with the Gynecology clinic, that I was having a miscarriage. We were both pretty crushed. As much as I had been worrying about ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage had barely even crossed my mind.
The ultrasound was awful. In stark contrast to my last test, this tech was awful. Maybe it was because he was a man, but whatever the reason was it was uncomfortable and painful in ways my last one was not. And not just because of the pain from the cramps or the stress from the news. At this point, in that dark room, my husband broke down a bit. He was beside me holding my hand the whole way but in that moment all I wanted to do was to be there to support him. It may have been my physical body going through this, but the loss is both of ours.
After the ultrasound the doctor explained that they didn’t really see anything, but they didn’t expect to see anything. There were no signs of ectopic pregnancy and there was a small, benign cyst on one ovary. Everything else was what you’d expect to see in early pregnancy. She said that she was going to release me and have me follow up with the Acute Care Gynecology Clinic the next day. I would talk to them and they would repeat the hcg test Friday morning to see if my levels were moving up or down. I was finally able to let go and really cry after we got in the car. We didn’t get home until after 1am. Neither my husband nor I had eaten dinner but at that point I wasn’t really hungry. My husband had spoken to his supervisor about what was going on and they told him to take Thursday off. I had to email my professor and let him know what was going on because I knew I could not be in class on Thursday. Not only did that mean missing a full six hour day when there are only 11 days in the full summer session, but it meant missing a day we were pouring metal in a metal casting class, which is really significant. So I had to tell him what was happening. He was really understanding and discreet. After I sent the email hubby and I both passed out exhausted.
Thursday morning I called the Acute Care Clinic early. I was told that I didn’t need to come in for an appointment, I just needed to go to the lab to repeat the test. I asked if I could go to the lab at the military base closest to us so that I didn’t have to drive so far to go to the main hospital. She told me that was fine but that that lab had to send their blood to the main hospital so it would take longer to get the results. She told me that if I had the blood work done in the morning Friday I could call for the results in the afternoon and we would go from there. I was grateful not to have to drive all the way to the other hospital.
This morning my husband took me to get the blood drawn. We got there later than I wanted to because I woke up very depressed and I had a hard time getting out of bed. The lab was busy and it took a while, but it was still morning when it was done. About 2:00 this afternoon I called the clinic to find out about my results. This time I was told that they might not have them today because the other clinic has to send them to the main hospital. I was crushed. I’m in limbo, still not entirely positive what is happening in my body. The clinic closed at 4 and she told me if I didn’t hear from them by then (I didn’t) that meant they didn’t have the results, but they would definitely have them Monday morning and I could call first thing when they open at 8.
So. I am probably having a miscarriage. I’m still having a lot of cramping, but just spotting, no significant bleeding yet. But we don’t know for certain and won’t know until Monday morning. It is likely that I will have to have a D and C.
I know this all probably sounds really clinical right now, but that’s because I can’t really talk about the emotions yet. This is incredibly hard and I was absolutely not prepared for it. I’m trying to be positive. I’m not in a place of hope for this baby, although there is still a small possibility of a viable pregnancy, it’s not likely and I don’t want to get my hopes up and any more crushed than they have already been. But I am relieved to know that we can indeed get pregnant and that there were no signs of ectopic pregnancy.
We only knew we were pregnant for about 36 hours before we were told that it was probably a miscarriage. Despite such a short amount of time I became attached, both literally and figuratively, to this potential child inside me. I still don’t know how to let that go.