Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Second verse, same as the first

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. 


  1. Ugh. So sorry to hear this. I'm a member of the "chemical pregnancy" club as well. Unexplained secondary infertility, 2 chemical pregnancies (at least- maybe more since they can happen without you even knowing)... You can absolutely feel strong emotion about it- totally normal and valid... Keep going- you'll get there!

  2. You must be allowed to have strong feelings about this because I have strong feelings about it. I'm so sorry this happened. This brought tears to my eyes. I hope this battle changes for you soon. Just know that we're all thinking of you and hoping that you'll get everything you desire and so deserve.

    And for the record I hate the phrase "chemical pregnancy" too. Why is there an descriptor in front of it at all? Stupid. You can't be a little bit pregnant. Right? I feel like "chemical pregnancy" is medical-speak for a little bit pregnant. Which we all know is complete bullmalarky.

  3. Ugh. I can think of few things worse. You know, the good news now you can figure out why this is happening. It's not great news, but it's good.

    Take care of yourself.

  4. Christina and I were talking about how donkey balls doesn't quite capture the enormity of the situation. We tried upping the size and scope by saying hippo balls and elephant balls, but alas, everything falls short of how sucky this is.

    You and B are deeply loved and we are sorry for your loss.

  5. I am so sorry. This sucks ass. And not hot sexy Channing Tatum ass.

    Not to be the annoying Polyanna, but I hope this means that the fertility doc has an easy fix for you. Like uterine super glue or something.

    I am sorry this is happening.

  6. You are allowed to feel whatever you are feeling, sweets. Loss, helplessness, anger -- lots of anger, and frustration, and pain. I am so, so very sorry for your loss. And its totally inadequate. But I'm thinking of you. xoxo

    Fucking fuckety-fuck. Seriously. FUCK. (Someone had to say it.)

  7. I'm sorry. I know there's nothing that anyone can say that will make you feel any better except maybe "here's a million dollars, a new car, a trip to fiji, oh and a free healthy baby", but I'm here any time you want to talk.

    And OF COURSE you're allowed to feel all sorts of emotions. You've been on a physical and emotional roller coaster for X months. It's draining. When you see a bright, shining light of hope and then it's dashed away, it's devastating.

    I have fingers crossed and high hopes for a quick solve now that you're actively pursuing the fertility docs. Just remember, we're doing this together. It's like the X-Files used to say "You are not alone." Is that what they used to say? I'm not good with remembering stuff like that. <3

  8. I had two miscarriages in a row too, and it was awful. When I got pregnant again, it was so hard feel anything but anxiety and a sense of impending doom. My third pregnancy ended up being Just Fine... but yeah. It's not easy at all.

    I hope there are brighter days ahead for you!

  9. oh erin, im so so sorry. :(

  10. I'm so so sorry Erin. This sucks. Please remember to take care of yourself.
    And remember you have the right to feel whatever you feel.
    Sending you a huge hug!

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