About this time last year, my husband and I decided it was time to start a family. It was a little nerve-wracking, being a huge life change, but we were excited. About a month and a half after, I woke up in the night to some abdominal pain. I tossed and turned for hours, and then in the morning it was better. I didn’t think anything of it until the next night it came back in full force and continued throughout the entire weekend.
Then, the bleeding started. I took a pregnancy test and it was positive. I wasn’t sure what to think at that moment in time. The next day, I called my OBGYN and told them I needed to set up a pre-natal appointment. I casually mentioned the bleeding, and they said I should go to the Emergency Room to get it checked out.
The nurse’s advice was not what a newly pregnant woman wants to hear. I thought what was happening for the most part was normal. Bleeding can happen at the beginning of pregnancy. It could have been merely implantation bleeding.
So my husband and I ended up at the hospital. They took us back right away and did some exams. I was indeed pregnant, and the physical exam went well, but they diagnosed me with a “threatened miscarriage”. It wasn’t imminent, but it was a possibility. They instructed us to come back in a few days to test my hcg levels to make sure they were increasing. With some light pain meds and several print-outs, they sent us on our way.
Two days later, I went to the lab and they took some blood to do the test. They rushed it, to help ease my fears. The nightly pain was gone, but fear took its place. I wanted everything to be okay.
On the sixth day since the positive pregnancy test, I received a call from my doctor. After a few pleasantries, she asked for a rundown of what had happened during the week. I explained the situation and she responded with the words I was dreading, “Your hcg test came back and your levels are going down. We’ll need to do another test in about a month to confirm it’s back to 0.”. I was losing the baby.
I didn’t even have a chance to comprehend what had happened. I was pregnant, but I wasn’t? I had all the symptoms, but they would go away. My baby was not going to make it. I didn’t tell anyone else but my Mom and Dad. My husband and I chose to grieve in private. He was so supportive throughout the whole process.
It was hard to understand the why. I didn’t blame myself, but I did have the fear that it was because I was older. Maybe I could never have children and I just never knew.
My only comfort was to know that the baby was not ready to be here. The timing just wasn’t right for me to become a mother quite yet.
It wasn’t until many months later that I found out exactly what had happened to me and my baby. It was a chemical pregnancy, or a very early miscarriage. In my case, I had only been pregnant for about two weeks, and only knowing about it for 6 days.
I’ve read many miscarriage stories, and all of them speak about this social stigma of talking about them. For me, I never spoke of it because it hurt so much. There was no stigma, just a lot of emotional pain. I now write this not only as a form of therapy, but to tell other women not only is it okay to talk about what happened, but it’s also okay not to talk about it. Do what is best for you and do not compare yourself and your personal experiences to anyone else’s.
There is a happy ending to my story. In October of last year, I got another positive pregnancy test and at 6 weeks, we heard her heartbeat. At 12, 15, and 22 weeks, we continue to hear her heartbeat and see her wiggle on the ultrasound screen. Everything is going well. I believe with all my heart that this is the right time for my little family to grow from two to three. I am also confident that all women who wish to become mothers will have their chance.