The Pregnancy That Wasn’t

Trigger Warning: for anyone sensitive about loss or miscarriages.

I’m sharing a bit of my history in this post – how I wound up figuring out something was wrong with me, why I sought infertility testing in the first place.  This whole episode follows “In the Beginning” and took place several months ago.  I know that I’ve found it valuable on other blogs to find how others came to a place where they sought testing, what their symptoms were, and so forth. 

I started taking the low-dose birth control pills as soon as I got home from the doctor’s office in July.  The bleeding had been only a bare bit of spotting for about a week prior to my appointment, and with the pills, it stopped altogether.  I was disappointed we’d have to put trying to conceive on hold for a month, but even I recognized the alternative was to remain a complete disaster hormonally and, by extension, emotionally.  At least this was something to try, and then hopefully I’d be “fixed” and we’d get pregnant. 

After a little over a week of taking the low dose BCP, I had what I have come to deem the stupidest thought I could have had with regards to my emotional health.  It went something like this: the ovulation suppression capacity of the pills might not work for up to a full week once they were started.  What if, I thought excitedly, willfully ignoring biology, nursing training, and all other rational concerns, what if I ovulated either before I started the pills, or I ovulated while on them?  Maybe I was PREGNANT! 

First thing the next morning, I slipped out one of my trusty First Response early detection pregnancy tests from the hall closet and hurried into the bathroom.  I waited, staring at the second hand on the clock we keep in the bathroom.  And lo and behold, there was a second line.  A faint second line, but definitely there.  I stuffed the used test into the trash.  I didn’t want to tell my husband, Arthur, quite yet.  I’d keep it to myself, and hopefully confirm it again in a few days.  I went to a baby shower for a friend that afternoon.  I was happy.  Glowing.  All was right with the world.

The next morning, I headed to work.  I did my usual thing, but as I started in on my day, I noticed something very unusual indeed.  I was cramping.  Hard.  And I could feel a trickle of something.  I stopped and headed to the bathroom.  There was blood, lots of it.  I hurried to my purse, found a pad, and put it in.  I informed my charge what was going on, called my doctor’s office and recounted what had happened.  I was still bleeding, like a heavy period flow, and cramping painfully.  They signed and sent an order for a blood hCG level to be drawn.  I managed to get that done about seven hours after the bleeding had started.  It came back at levels negative for pregnancy. 

So what happened?  I have a few theories, of course.  One, I managed to ovulate with all the crazy hormonal nonsense firing all over my body, that was fertilized and things happened just enough to raise my hCG levels to be detectable by a fairly sensitive urine pregnancy test.  HCG disappears in the blood before it dissipates in the urine, so it’s possible that I could have essentially lost the pregnancy very early but had a positive urine test as the hCG levels were going down (which would explain the negative blood test the next day).  Two, my hormones were just so screwed up that somehow it showed as a positive on the test.  Three, I had one of those very rare false positives.  I have no idea which of the above it was.  All I know is that it felt completely devastating.  Mostly, I try not to sort out which one it was.  There’s nothing in the world that’s going to tell me for sure, and no sense in torturing myself. 

I bled for about a week and a half.  I finished the BCP.   And then I waited for the next cycle to begin.

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