I may have just had a beer, which is not on the Dr. A diet plan, but allow me to explain.
Last Tuesday, I was scheduled to have a physical with a nurse at the fertility clinic I've recently begun using. I woke up and took a pregnancy test, just in case. And it was positive.
This moment in time -- this two-pink-lines moment -- was such a sweet plink on my timeline. Good god, second pink line. You could not have arrived at a more fortuitous moment in time. You are saving me thousands of dollars in doctor's bills. You are the indicator of the son or daughter I fully expect to come tearing out of my vagina in nine months.
I woke up my husband. He was astounded. I went to the drug store and bought various different types of pregnancy tests. I tested a total of five times and got a positive result each time. So I bought a baby name book. We discussed plans for the nursery.
And, of course, I canceled my physical. The doctor's office wanted me to have a blood test to confirm the pregnancy, so I blithely headed to a lab for a draw that afternoon.
This is where the sequence of events becomes droll and irritating and grey and possibly even infuriating.
The doctor's office called me back. Yes, you are pregnant, they said. But your HCG level is only 28.
HCG levels are supposed to double or triple every 48 to 72 hours.
I tested again on Friday. They called on Saturday. Your HCG level is only 32.
I tested again on Monday. I started bleeding Monday afternoon. I took a home test and it was negative. The doctor's office called Tuesday and the HCG level was 8. I informed them that I already knew I was miscarrying.
What a fertility clinic will never call this (because they want to keep you as a client) is a chemical pregnancy. Christina says: I hate that phrase. I hate it, too. It's demeaning. It's a real pregnancy but the difference is it's never seen on an ultrasound. It's an early miscarriage. It's a blessing in one way; I won't have to spend any number of hours hunched over on a toilet this time. But it's absolutely still a miscarriage.
Miscarriages are what happens to other women. Two miscarriages in a row is what happens to other women who have shitty fucking luck; not you. God, or the universe, or whoever it is you think is looking out for you out there: He or She would never let this happen to you. You don't deserve it, certainly. It's not fair, at all. You'd be a good mom, your deity knows.
But there it is, draining out of you. Draining out of me, a bright red river. Again.
I'm not sure what I should feel, and I'm not sure what I do feel. I feel a swarm of things that are buzzing around my head, really, and when I pluck one out of the air it's often something like: Rage, self pity, helplessness, seething anger.
Whether I am allowed to feel strong emotion about an early miscarriage, I'm not sure. I do, though. I did. I will. I don't know, really. I am confused. They said You miscarry once, then you get pregnant again and it's fine, and it wasn't fine. No.
I told my family and a few close friends, but most friends I didn't tell. If you are one of them, I'm sorry. Maybe you are one of them but you'll never read this, and that's OK, too. I can't discuss this over and over and over with everyone. I know you get it, or hope you do. I wanted to be pregnant at the same time as my other friends who were pregnant and I can't talk to them about it. They'll read it here: Hi, girls.
The only option is keep going, keep going, keep going. The woman from the clinic on the phone talks of next steps and tests and appointments and money and I answer with a voice that's small in my chest and I know it's the only option.