Last Tuesday night - the night before my first Beta test - I had this overwhelming urge to take a home pregnancy test. Usually I'm good about staying away from those things, sure that I will ruin whatever outcome is in store for me - dooming me to a negative and setting my mind to something negative. But, well, I did it. I came in, peed on a stick (really? still? isn't there a more dignified method yet?) then I walked the dog and came back in. On that short walk I convinced myself it was a huge mistake, and that it would for sure be negative. To my shock, it was not. It was a big fat positive on that digital screen. And again on the one I took later that night. G and I were so excited, yet still apprehensive.
The next morning I gave my blood for the hCG test (pregnancy hormone). They're usually looking for numbers between 100 and 200 - or so I read somewhere. Well, when they called that afternoon my hCG level was 800. HUGE! It was a great number, the nurse was so pumped, and so we were feeling great. Then, I repeated the blood test on Friday and the numbers (which should increase by 60%) more than doubled to 1640! Just great numbers, and we were thrilled.
In our excitement, we shared the news with people who have shared in our journey thus far, or at least most of them. I was looking up how far along I was - about 5 weeks - reading about development and what I should or shouldn't be doing, etc.
Then came Saturday. Just a normal day. I was feeling pretty nauseous at lunch, but felt better after I ate something. We were driving back from visiting family when I got the most uncomfortable cramping I have ever experienced. In my mind, during that ride, I justified the pain. I was thinking I was being a wimp, and that these might be the "growing pains" I was being told about. When we got home, the cramps were gone for the most part - but when I stood up and walked inside it was different. There was blood (a lot of it). When G got back in from taking the dog out, there I was - hysterical, crying... I just knew it was over.
We finally decided to call the emergency number for our RE clinic. You leave a message with a message service and a nurse will call you back. Imagine poor G trying to explain to a message service about what was happening. We just sat and waited. The nurse called back pretty quickly and, in a sweet calming voice tried to tell us that this happens to a lot of women during pregnancy, and bleeding is normal and cramping is okay.
This was not okay. We decided to go to the Emergency Room after we got off the phone with this woman. I appreciate her trying to keep me calm, but there was just no way that what I was experiencing was normal.
The ER was calm. I will tell you about this experience only because it was so strange at different points. When I walked in, and signed in, they make you write what your problem is on this small form. In a box with one inch of height, I wrote that I was pregnant and experiencing, well, see above.
The receptionist guy says "Wow- pregnant - CONGRATULATIONS!" Thanks, dufus.
We were taken back pretty quickly, hooked up to an IV, blood drawn, vitals taken, pain scale assessment asked, the whole thing. They said something about taking my temperature because I was so flushed and I simply said "I've been crying." "Oh, poor thing."
Then we were led to the ultrasound room - I was rolled and G got to follow. They made this huge deal about letting him go with me because it normally wasn't allowed. That was nice. This 100 pound nurse pushed me on this gigantic bed all the way there. This is where we met the ultrasound nurse who, honest to goodness, didn't stop talking. Oh, I forgot to mention - her only "rule" for G to be allowed to come in was that we knew we couldn't ask any questions. So, there she was, talking about miscarriage, but not talking about us, instead she was talking about other couples "like us," who are so nice yet go through this. Are you telling me I miscarried? Please, just give me an answer. I can not stand being on the fence.
At this point they asked me for a urine sample. This urine sample stayed beside me on my hospital bed the entire visit.
They wheeled me back to my ER room, where the doctor finally saw us. She did a pelvic exam to see if my cervix was open or closed, and then, and this is the part I've been looking forward to sharing - she goes on this tangent about pregnancy and that 19 year old kids that do crack (no lie, she said it) that have no business being pregnant and having babies are the ones that never have any problems, and yet, here we are - this nice couple, experiencing this awfulness. And when she left my room, she turns back and says "Go home and do crack. Then you'll have a baby."
Everyone danced around what I already felt, what I already knew. They could not confirm, or would not confirm. I was sent home with a discharge form that read "Threatened Miscarriage." They tested my hCG level while I was there, which was a great 2548. The only hope I got from this episode.
During my visit, the ER doctor called the RE clinic. The doctor on call said we could go in the next day to talk, be monitored, etc at the office that is open on weekends. We decided not to go, and just wait for my scheduled visit at my usual office.
I couldn't sleep. I woke up a lot, and finally got up super early with a huge pit in my stomach. That lonely feeling, where something just isn't right. Or isn't the same, or something. I showered and woke up G to ask to go to the weekend RE clinic. I'm glad I did. They were warm, and welcoming, and did everything they could to give me as much information they could. They also tested my hCG level, which I wouldn't find out until later in the afternoon. They did another ultrasound, but didn't see any gestational sac in my uterus. Bad news, even though they didn't say so. They said "Maybe we're just missing it - it is sort of early." The doctor, not the one they called the day before, entered the room - said he was sorry - even though they weren't telling us one way or the other if I lost the pregnancy. Mixed signals.
But it was still nice to be there. I felt better for some reason, getting checked out by the group I was familiar with.
They called that afternoon to tell me that my hCG level was only 900. A sure sign that I had in fact miscarried.
So I stop the injections. I let my hormone levels return to "normal." I go in a few days for the next few weeks to be checked out - until my hCG returns to 0 or negative numbers.
And we try again.
But, for now, it hurts. I feel pretty unstable, and cry just randomly. I'm blaming it on the mass exit of hormones, plus the disappointment. G is amazing, and I'm so lucky that he is mine.
But this is not our end in this journey. We are looking forward to trying again. We knew this was a possibility, and we will continue our plan knowing that it could happen again.