I really thought I might be pregnant this month. Everything was in perfect order. When I lost my "May baby" I did the math and realized there was a good chance I could get pregnant again in January and have an October baby. I fell in love with that idea for many reasons:
- My mother's birthday is in October, and so was my great grandmother's. There is a family ring, an opal, October's birth stone, that was recently passed down to my mother when my great grandma passed away. Because my mom didn't have any children in October, the idea was that the ring would go to a grandchild born in October. So far there have been none. I loved the idea of that ring.
- My first pregnancy loss happened in January, and then a year later I had Mo in January. It was poetic in a way. My recent miscarriage was in October, so wouldn't it be poetic if I had a baby this October?
- There is a lot that goes on in our lives at different points of the year, and fitting a baby into and then indefinitely celebrating birthdays during those times would be difficult. After two losses and so many months of my life spent struggling to get pregnant, I could never be the the kind of person who is picky about when I get pregnant or have a baby. But an October baby was very appealing in the grand scheme of our lives.
- I will be out of town during my fertile period in February, which means if I didn't get pregnant in January, I'd have to wait two months to try again. In the life of someone who desperately wants another baby and who has already lost five months due to a miscarriage, that is unfathomable.
So there was a lot riding on getting pregnant this month. I religiously tested with ovulation predictors for a week and a half, waiting for prime time, and we timed everything just as we should. And let's just say there were ample opportunities for it to work. Then I spent 11 days in purgatory, waiting and wondering.
I researched the best tests for predicting early pregnancy, and devoured information on how soon I was likely to get a positive read if I was indeed pregnant. And then yesterday morning, 11 days past ovulation and 4 days before my expected period, I woke up at my sister's house, where I was spending part of the weekend to distract myself from the waiting, with a desperate need to just know already. It was before anyone else was awake, and I grabbed one of the First Response Early Result tests I had with me. According to those tests, they are 96% accurate 4 days before a period. Whatever the test said was likely to be the truth.
Two nights before, Thursday night, I couldn't sleep, so I grabbed a pen and paper and sketched a vision board. I drew my hopes: A pregnancy test with two lines and the date 1-24-15 written on it. A pregnant me. A baby and the word October. An opal ring. A stick figure family portrait of Mike, Mo, and myself with a baby in my arms.
As I waited for the test results, sitting on the floor in my sister's bathroom, I pictured that vision board. In my mind's eye I saw two lines on the test sitting next to me. I steadied my breathing as best I could for three minutes, and then I looked.
I know there's a chance it's not accurate, that it was just too early to test. That maybe I really am pregnant. But I don't dare to go there. That has not been my life - in my experience, I don't get the surprise happy ending when things look grim. I don't just mean that in a woe-is-me kind of way; I have a track record to prove it.
When I was trying to conceive the first time around, I had many missed periods. I'd go days thinking maybe this time I really am pregnant! And I never was. I was always not pregnant. It wasn't until we figured out I wasn't ovulating and I got on Clomid that I got pregnant.
With my first pregnancy, I started spotting very early. Every one told me, including the doctors and the internet, that it could very easily be nothing. This was totally normal and everything is probably fine. But it wasn't fine, it was an ectopic pregnancy.
With my most recent pregnancy, when I had that first ultrasound and the baby was measuring small and there was no heartbeat, I was told that it's probably nothing to worry about. Maybe it's just too early, maybe you're not quite as far along as you thought. I googled the crap out of my situation and found an abudance of happy endings. But I didn't get one for myself. I miscarried.
Yes, I had a very happy ending with Mo. But there was never a point where things didn't look good. I found out I was pregnant with my first test, I never had any spotting, ultrasounds were all good, she was always healthy and so was I.
I'm thankful for that happy ending, but my point is that when things are dismal, at least in the world of trying to conceive, they don't turn around for me. The bad news doesn't (surprise!) turn into good news.
I haven't completely given up hope because what are we without hope? But I'm not letting myself fantasize about a happy ending, and I'm not letting myself google other people's happy endings. I've already starting calculating the next opportunity we'll have to conceive, and when that baby might be born, and what that could mean for our lives.
Hope for the best, prepare for the worst. That's the best I can do.