The first time we sat in the radiology waiting room, we were filled with hope. Maybe a little apprehension, but mostly excited anticipation. The second time, a week later, we knew were there to confirm the bad news we suspected.
Three pregnancies so far. Only one baby. I'm indescribably thankful for my Mo right now. As broken hearted as I feel, it is nothing compared to the last time a pregnancy failed. I look at her and I know she's all I need. If she is all there ever is, it's enough. She, of course, is blissfully ignorant. And thank god. We had started to talk about a baby brother or sister. We mentioned a few times that she was going to be a big sister. But at 20 months, that is essentially meaningless. And so is the fact that it has now all changed. We don't have to try to explain it to her, and that is one of the silver linings to this situation.
In late spring, when Mike found a job to end his temporary unemployment, we stopped preventing a pregnancy. We had decided if I got pregnant in the next six months, that would make for a good age gap between Mo and her younger sibling. We knew it likely wouldn't happen right away - it took us over a year, some Clomid, and one ectopic pregnancy before we conceived and had a healthy pregnancy last time. But we had also heard that a lot of people, even when they struggle greatly with their pregnancy, have a very easy time of it the second time around. We were hoepful.
At the end of August, we got a positive test. We were not casual about conceiving. After a month of "not preventing" we got serious. I learned last time that timing is everything, so I used ovulation predictors and kept track of everything. That it took us only a few months is a) a great blessing, and b) not entirely by luck.
I took a test two days before my missed period because I suspected I might be pregnant. I had been having some abdominal pressure I recognized from my pregnancy with Mo. I took two tests, the cheap kind you buy on Amazon. Both had a faint line, but I wasn't convinced. It was early morning, but I drove immediately to Walgreens and bought a Clear Blue early detection kit. Within a couple minutes, it popped up "Pregnant," and I cheered.
It was very early. I was only four weeks. I told my immediate family because we tell each other everything. We also told a few people in Mike's family, and a couple friends. I asked my doctor for an ultrasound because my first pregnancy was ectopic. I wanted to be sure everything was in the right place. She had me wait until I was 7 weeks to be sure there would be something to see, so when I was 7 weeks 2 days pregnant, Mike and I went to see our baby. Right before we went in, I whispered to Mike, "I'm nervous." I know how often these things don't go well, so I was nervous, but mostly hopeful.
The tech told me before doing anything that she may not see much with an abdominal ultrasound, and she didn't. So she did a vaginal scan. She pulled the monitor where we couldn't see it, and she looked around for a very long time. She said very little, but I had an overwhelming sense that something was not right. Mike rubbed my arm the whole time - I think he sensed it too.
Eventually, she said, very casually, "Sorry it's taking so long. The baby is so small I can't see it well. Only 2.2 millimeters!" I knew that meant bad news. I had just read on my Babycenter app that the baby was the size of a blueberry. A blueberry is bigger than 2.2 millimeters. I said, "That's smaller than expected right?" and she simply said, "It doesn't line up with the data you gave us."
Meaning maybe I conceived later than I thought. Maybe I had the date of my last mentrual cycle wrong. But I didn't. I kept track of it all, I wasn't wrong. The tech can't really say anything, so I didn't ask anymore questions. I took the photos she printed (while saying, "Congratulations!") and we left.
Mike had to stop in the restroom on the way out, so I stood in the hall holding my purse, my coat, two water bottles and my ultrasound photos. And I cried. I couldn't stop the tears. Nobody had to tell me anything. I knew what was going on and I knew it wouldn't end well. I cried big ugly tears, and I had no free hands to wipe them away.
When Mike came out we walked quietly to the car. We had driven separately, so we sat in his car for awhile and decided what to do next. I knew I couldn't go back to work, but I didn't want to go home and face his mom (who was watching Mo) either. I couldn't talk about it yet. So he went home and I sat in my car for half an hour crying. Heaving, sobbing, painful crying.
I wanted this pregnancy to be different. My pregnancy with Mo was so wracked with worry and guilt. I had been through a lot, I knew so many people struggling with conception, and half way through my pregnancy my best friend delivered her baby far too early and lost him a few days later. Every day I worried about what could happen. Every day I felt guilty for having a healthy pregnancy. I wanted this time to be different. I knew bad things could happen, but I didn't want to focus on that. I wanted to be able to talk about being pregnant without following it up with, "As long as things work out."
I know it's irrational, but I feel like I jinxed this pregnancy by not worrying enough. If I do get pregnant again, I'm going to worry the crap out of it.
The day after the ultrasound, I had a blood test, and another one three days later. My hcg levels rose, but not nearly enough. That means something is developing, but it's not a healthy pregnancy. I had another ultrasound last week Thursday, a week after the first. I knew I wouldn't see anything promising, but I was ready for confirmation of what I knew. Instead, the scan was inconclusive. There was no heartbeat (though she did see some "heart movement" that turned out to be a blood vessel outside the uterus), and the baby was now two weeks too small. But the radiologist wouldn't say for sure, suspecting that maybe I had my dates wrong.
My dates aren't wrong.
But hoping for some closure, I did another blood test the next day. Surely my hcg levels would have dropped and we can decide what to do next. Except they didn't. They rose. But only very slightly. My doctor wanted another ultrasound, but I said no, not yet. I couldn't go through that again. So instead this past Tuesday I had another blood test, and my hcg levels rose again. Again though, barely. Finally my GP admitted defeat. She suggested another ultrasound, but I asked to see an OB. I just want someone to tell me what is inevitable. So Friday I have an ultrasound at the OB's office, and I'll see the doctor right away.
I don't believe this is a viable pregnany. There is no baby at the end of this, yet they can't conclusively say I'm miscarrying yet. But how long can this drag on? Do I have to wait until my body takes care of it? That could be weeks yet. At some point can they say it's not good, even if my levels are rising slowly? I don't know, but I need to be able to move on.