I've been trying to write this post for a while now but the words never seemed to come out just right...
Last month, I experienced a chemical pregnancy, and a loss at 5 weeks. To date, after three cycles, this was the only confirmed pregnancy I've experienced. We transferred two embryos on day three of our second FET cycle. My first beta at 13 DPO was 43. The doctor said to me “ Congratulations, you're pregnant.” But, we all knew 43 wasn't high enough. The second beta was 41. That was it. For just over one week I was pregnant. Our embryos, our babies, weren't healthy enough to survive and thrive. I started bleeding at 5 weeks. I was so thankful to have made it that far. I don’t know why, but that really meant something to me...to make it to 5 weeks.
Since then I’ve struggled to make sense of what happened. Being pregnant for one week. What does that mean?
I've spent a lot of time thinking about the term “chemical pregnancy"...what it implies. Technically, any pregnancy that ends before 6 weeks and the identification of of a sac or pole is a chemical pregnancy ~ according to my RE. Anything after 6 weeks is technically considered a miscarriage. Many of the chemical pregnancies I’ve heard of end before they’ve begun. The woman starts to bleed when she would normally expect her period, despite a positive pregnancy test. Typically, women (who aren’t obsessive-POASers like we infertiles) may not even know that they've had a chemical pregnancy. Mine fell somewhere in between. Part of me felt like I was lying when I said I had miscarried. Part of me felt like I didn't deserve to grieve but to me it was a real pregnancy. And it is a real loss. Calling it “chemical” makes it seem like it was something less than that. But to me...it was very real. I know you might not all agree with that and most doctors wouldn't, either. But I need this to be recognized as a real and valid pregnancy. Especially after going through IVF, and getting my very first positive pregnancy test ~ this brief pregnancy was the result of so much effort and love and intention. We were devastated to lose it.
Please know that I'm not trying to make more of it than it was. But, the reality is that it was a pregnancy. I even have a picture of the embryos who snuggled in and struggled to live. It could have been our first child(ren) together. We loved those babies every single second they were with us.
I've grieved this loss. More than I had thought I would, honestly. It’s been a long, painful process. But, I'm also thankful to have something to grieve. I know that we were so blessed to have a pregnancy, even if only for a week. I'm still feeling emotional. I wish I were still pregnant. I miss the potential that we lost that month. That was my first pregnancy since starting this journey...chemical or not.
The older my children get, I find myself...with increasing frequency, starting sentences with a phrase I thought I’d never say: “When I was your age…” Yup, nothing says you’re old like those words, which have been uttered by old people since the Industrial Revolution.
Usually, “when I was your age” serves as a cop-out for my cheapness. I say things like, “When I was your age, I only had two shoes” (commonly known as one pair), or “When I was your age, we only had four channels, and one of them was in French.” But there is one statement that I wish to shout from a roof top. It is: “When I was your age, the toys were better.” If you look at some of the top toys on this years Christmas wish lists, you see cheap plastic crap that I am loathe to buy for Lochlan.
I miss the toys of my childhood, all of which I wish my parents still had. Yes, with five children, had they kept our toys, they would now have a moderate-sized toy collection, a Narnia closet leading to Fisher Price Land, that would …
Every once in awhile I'll take a peek at how people are being directed to my blog and usually I see what I expect. There are usually words/terms that you would expect if someone searches for IVF or infertility. One from this morning though got me going "huh". It appears that someone was directed to my blog by searching "Can pregnant women eat Singapore Mei Fun".
I had no idea what that was so I turned to the all knowing Google to educate me. Turns out that it's a very yummy looking dish chalk full of shrimp, bean sprouts and noodles. Yummm...if I didn't have an anaphylactic allergy to shellfish, I'm sure I would try it. It puzzles me though how that search term would have led someone to this blog. Things that make you go huh?
I hope my title did not offend you, it's just that I'm simply trying to convey my reaction when I looked down at that sad looking little piece of plastic that I had recently peed on a cold and dismal January morning and saw two lines starting back at me.
"Holy shit balls"
There simply can't be two lines...there are never two lines...things that Janet pee on don't produce two lines, only one line. Janet's hostile uterus had rejected all previous attempts to be occupied so those two lines must be some kind of mistake.
I went about my day.
Next day...two lines a little darker.
Third day...two lines yet a little darker.
Funny universe. Very funny. You are such a cruel tease. This is what I was telling myself. I was preparing, perhaps even trying to protect myself from what I believed to be, the inevitable, heart wrenching disappoint I had gotten used to.
It's now Monday, January 6th and on my way to work, I stop in an buy a digital test. I clutched said tes…