Well, friends, James and I had planned to record a video tonight – announcing that we were pregnant. We were going to post it on the blog for tomorrow and share the exciting news with the world.
But instead, as I hopped out of the shower to get dressed and ready to hit record, we got a phone call from our nurse (I had gone in earlier today for blood work to confirm my HCG levels were continually increasing). She sounded so sad on the phone when I answered, and I couldn’t wrap my brain around why? Then she told me that my levels had dropped and that we were going to lose the baby. She apologized over and over. I didn’t even cry. I was in complete shock. The baby wasn’t going to make it? I’m supposed to get off all my meds and let a miscarriage happen naturally?
I had promised God and this baby over and over since we got the positive pregnancy test last Saturday morning (and in the weeks since the embryo transfer) that I would love this baby so much. That I would teach it how to be kind, and strong… empathetic, and smart. I promised I would help it to grow to be open-minded, aware, confident, and humble. I promised I would love it forever… and I will, always… even though we will never get to meet or hold our baby.
I’ll never forget all the dreams I had for it… all the things I imagine it would do… the lives that would change because this baby would be in the world. I will carry these dreams with me always… because someday I hope and pray they will come true. Someday.
. . .
But I suppose I should start at the beginning.
I was impatient during our two week wait. I took a pregnancy test on day 8 after the transfer and got a negative. I was saddened, but didn’t give up hope – after all, it was early. So the morning of day 9 I took another test. Negative, again. I told James I wasn’t going to test again until closer to the pregnancy test date (which was day 12 after our transfer). But when I woke up on Saturday morning extra early before the wedding we were shooting (because I couldn’t sleep) I decided that – what the heck – I would give it a try. This time a faint pink line showed up. It was a cheap-o Dollar Store test, so I didn’t fully know if I should believe it. I woke James up and said, “I think we’re pregnant?!”
We were both hopeful, but skeptical at the same time. James went back to bed for a bit and I worried that I had read it wrong, or that the cheap test didn’t work right. So I forced out another pee, this time on a First Response test and it immediately came up: Pregnant.
Oh. My. Word.
I stared at it. I had never ever in my life seen two lines show up on a pregnancy test before. In the six years we’ve been trying – never had another little line appeared. I looked at the stick, then looked up in the mirror. I put my face in my hands as the tears came hot and fast. I said, “Thank you… Thank you… Thank you….” over and over again. I could not stop the tears from coming. I was so unbelievably happy. I just couldn’t believe it. I ran into the bedroom to wake James up for the second time.
I said, “Were you really able to fall back asleep after that??” (hint: he wasn’t) “I may have taken another test…. LOOK!” And then I started to cry again… this time in James’ arms. Tears of complete and utter joy. Tears of gratefulness. Tears built up from years of hoping for this result.
We went about our day like normal. We got ready for work and photographed a beautiful wedding… except this time we had the best secret in the world. We were going to be parents. We were pregnant. We’d share glances throughout the day and smile at each other from across the room. On the way home that night James insisted on buying another set of pregnancy tests to make sure we weren’t crazy. So I peed on another stick Saturday night. This time it was digital and it read the words right to me: PREGNANT.
We just couldn’t believe it. We were floating on air.
Sunday morning I took another test… I just wanted to make sure, and to see it written out again.
And there it was a moment later – again: PREGNANT.
All these tests couldn’t be wrong! I couldn’t contain the news. We were so excited… it actually worked!! All we had gone through – all these years of trying – all the shots, appointments, ultrasounds, and countless prayers- had come to this. I called my parents first. I couldn’t wait to tell them. I was so happy I teared up when I shared the news with my mom. I shared with my siblings, and waited until our blood work on Monday to share with more of my close friends.
I was anxious for the blood work … I really wanted the confirmation from the doctor to know we weren’t just making this up. And we got that confirmation. My nurse called – SO HAPPY to share the news with us!! She told me we were pregnant and that it had worked! All my hormone levels were great and that I just needed to come back in on Wednesday to confirm everything was continuing as it should be.
I can’t tell you how happy we were. I ordered the Mayo Clinic book on pregnancy. I started a hidden Pinterest board for a future nursery. I let myself dream about what this baby might look like… something I hadn’t allowed myself to do in years. I shared the news with our closest friends. They were just as happy for us as we were! I urged everyone to just keep praying that the baby was strong and healthy. I knew it was early still – but I just had a feeling this was it.
Then today came – my follow-up blood work on Wednesday morning. I was walking on air as I came into the fertility center. This was the first time I had ever walked through those doors knowing I was pregnant. I was in and out in no time and had a productive day of work when I got home. James and I planned to record the video sharing the news this evening, but wanted to wait until the call came through before doing so. I got in the shower and had James keep an eye on my phone – we didn’t want to miss the call. I had just gotten out of the shower… hair sopping wet, with a towel around my torso when it rang. He joked that he should answer it, as I grabbed the phone. We were laughing and carefree.
Then she said in the saddest, drawn out tone… “Ohhhhhhh…. Christyyyyy… I’m sooo sorrrryyyy to be calling you with bad news….”
I hated that line. I’d heard that line before. It was the same exact words in the same exact tone she had said to me three times before when our IUI’s didn’t work. But this time, I didn’t understand why she would use that tone?? We were pregnant! Why was she talking like that?? And then it hit me.
The news I was afraid might be coming. The longer the day had drawn on without a phone call back from the clinic, the more I let doubts creep in my mind. I was nervous, but confident things would be okay. I just wanted to get the call to ease my nerves and tell myself I was just being crazy.
Unfortunately, I got the opposite. The call confirmed all my worst fears.
We were losing this baby I had already loved so much. This baby I had made promises to for weeks and weeks, and talked to out loud (like a crazy person) when I was on my walks with Chloe. I had told it that I loved it more times than I could recall. I had promised to take the best care of it, and told it all about what an awesome daddy it was going to have. I would talk and laugh and look like a total lunatic out on my walks, but I didn’t care. All I cared about was this baby knowing how much I loved it already. I wanted it to be sure it should come into this world and join us, because we wanted it so badly and loved it so. Unfortunately, all the promises and all the prayers in the world can’t necessarily make your hopes and dreams come true.
I’ll never understand why we won’t get to meet our baby. I still can’t fully wrap my mind around how much my heart is breaking over this itty bitty little part of James and I that we will never get to meet… The grief is real, and I find myself making bargains with God. I keep thinking if I just don’t drink alcohol or caffeine still… or make more promises… that my period won’t come. That this baby will be a miracle and will stick it out. That maybe if I make enough bargains the result could be different. Maybe I can save this baby that is still inside of me. Maybe we can meet it someday.
I know none of this is rational. But man I wish it was true. I’m dreading seeing that blood… because it means I will have to say goodbye. I don’t know how I can just function like life is normal, when I know sometime in the next few days or weeks I will miscarry naturally and this baby will be gone, along with all the hopes and dreams we had placed on it.
I know our journey is not over. I know we still have two embryos waiting for us. I know that. But right now I just can’t see past this one. I know in time I will, but for now I just need to allow myself to feel this, to grieve, to acknowledge…. and then we will do as we always do… we will take each other’s hand and walk forward – one step at a time – together.