We tried with medicated IUIs in November and December with no success. In January, near the end of my TWW, I started spotting and was expecting my period to start any day. The spotting stopped, and my period didn’t come. So I took a test, and there they were, those two little pink lines telling us that we were pregnant. I called the RE’s office the following Monday. They had me go to the lab for a betaHCG (beta) blood test.
The nurse called that afternoon, and I could hear in her voice immediately that it wasn’t great news. My beta came back at 26. By that point in pregnancy (around 15 days post ovulation), they like to see a value of 100 or higher. She told me that I could’ve just implanted late, and we’d have to see how quickly my numbers doubled to know more. So, two days later I went back for another blood test. This time, my result was 65. That still wasn’t the 100 they were hoping for, but my numbers more than doubled in the 48 hour window, and the nurse was much more upbeat when she called. The call ended with a “Congratulations!”.
Still, I felt like something was wrong. My wife kept reassuring me that it was just my normal worrying nature. We were scheduled for a first ultrasound at 7 weeks to see the heartbeat for the first time. Unfortunately, my gut feeling was right. We wouldn’t make it that far.
During my sixth week of pregnancy, I started having cramps. I kept hearing that cramping in the first trimester was normal, but I knew deep down that this was not normal. It couldn’t be. This was as bad if not worse than my period cramps. Every time I went to the bathroom, I expected blood. Then, one afternoon during the last week of January, the cramps were so bad that I had to go to the ER. We had Little Man in tow, because we didn’t have anyone to leave him with on such short notice. With it being flu season, he and Mommy waited in the car until I got a private room in the ER. Then, we were informed that during flu season, children aren’t allowed in the ER at all unless they are the patient. So, everything that follows we went through with nothing but text messages between us.
In the ER, they did another beta and an ultrasound. The tech doing the ultrasound and the radiologist who reviewed it could not visualize anything in the uterus. During the ultrasound, the tech had warned me that it might just be too early to see anything, but I knew that this was the end. Back in the ER, my beta results were back. In over a week, my beta had less than doubled or had doubled and had already started to drop. I was given IV pain meds and admitted for observation. Not only was this pregnancy not viable, but also they were worried it was ectopic.
My wife called a friend to keep Little Man so that she could be with me during transfer and until I got settled in my room. As they transferred me from the ER to my hospital room, I began to bleed. Even though I knew it was coming, the sight of blood was what finally reduced me to a sobbing heap… After a couple of hours, Mommy left to pick up Little Man, and they went home for the night. Being separated was so hard, and being there in the hospital alone wasn’t easy, but I knew that I wanted Little Man to be at home in his own bed for the night.
The next 36 hours or so are a complete blur. I was allowed no food and even worse, no water in case emergency surgery was necessary. Every 4 hours, my blood was drawn to make sure my hemoglobin levels were stable and that I wasn’t bleeding internally. The OBs on call determined that my severe pain was from a complex (meaning blood or fluid filled) ovarian cyst. After 24+ hours of my hemoglobin levels being stable, I was released with instructions for follow-up betas and an office visit with the OBs that had been on call during my stay. I went home and I cried and slept and cried some more.
The next couple weeks were filled with the ever constant reminder that I was losing the pregnancy, the bleeding. I dreaded going to the bathroom, because it meant looking at all that blood. I was off work for the rest of the week until we got my pain under control. Then, I had to go back to work and pretend like my heart wasn’t breaking. None of these people even knew that we were TTC, let alone that I had been pregnant the last time they’d seen me. Even though I’d felt like something was wrong all along, and even though we’d never even gotten to the point of seeing our bean on an ultrasound, we still felt this loss and still needed to grieve. I had let myself imagine a 2013 Christmas with two little ones in the house. I had started to think about all the things that would be our last as a family of three. Now, that was no longer going to be our reality.
I bled for weeks. It stopped the day of my follow-up with the OB. I had another beta level drawn at that appointment. My levels had returned to pre-pregnancy numbers. This meant that my body was ready to TTC again once my period returned. Because my beta numbers had dropped all the way without intervention, and my pain had ended, the doctor finally said conclusively that the pregnancy was not ectopic.
That’s all I can write for now. I’ll continue in future posts.