I met my husband almost five years ago, and we were good right from the start. We were married a year later, and we have never looked back. About a year ago we decided it was time to add to our family. We threw caution to the wind and, erm, enjoyed every moment of it. But slowly the excitement wore off. Month after month of negative pregnancy tests began to wear on us. The sex, which had once felt wonderful and exciting, began to seem
more like a chore. And still, no pink lines.
Still, we were able to keep our spirits up. There was always a reason why it was okay that it had not happened yet. We were able to take a trip abroad with family, that would have been complicated by being in my first trimester. (Though I did have the occasion to take an Italian pregnancy test while in Rome. It was negative, but at least I could enjoy all the great wine!)
After eight months of analyzing “symptoms” and praying and timed intercourse it happened. On the day before my period was due I took a test and saw the faintest of faint pink lines. Astounded I waited several hours and took another test, this time I used one of the expensive FRER tests. And there it was again! I showed my husband. “Does this mean we are pregnant?” he asked. “It means we are pregnant! Now all we have to do is pray that it sticks.”
The next day the lines were not any darker, and I began to worry. I googled all kinds of pictures of pregnancy tests and read forum after forum about the darkness of the lines. I signed up for one of those e-mail newsletters that tells you about your pregnancy each week. Finally, I called the birthing center where I receive my well woman care and made an appointment. I filled out the paperwork and submitted it. For the first time since I got my first positive test I felt a little bit pregnant.
The next morning I tested again. Negative. I tested twice more with two different brands. Nothing. I felt sick. That afternoon my period arrived and with it a wave of grief washed over me. I told my husband what had happened. He curled around me in the twilight-lit bedroom and together we cried. We cried for that tiny ball of cells that was ours for two days. We mourned the loss quietly, sharing our sadness with only a few close friends and family members.
“Chemical Pregnancy” is a stupid term. What it means is, you were pregnant but for so short a time that we can barely consider it a miscarriage. But that is what it is. A very early miscarriage. I try not to dwell on that loss, but it does hit me some days. It is especially hard on days like yesterday, when I learned via social media that one of my college friends is pregnant with her first, and it is due about the same time my baby would have been due. We completely avoided church on Mother’s Day, which at my church is a double-wammy: they combine Mother’s Day with a special baby dedication service. I am not pregnant. But I was, for two days.
Which brings me to today. We are coming up on a full year of trying to conceive. This journey, which I thought would be simpler, more direct, has taken an unexpected turn. Everywhere I look are pregnant women and new mothers. They say that 1 in 6 couples experiences trouble conceiving, but it is so easy to feel all alone.