As soon as I saw the word “pregnant” appear in the little window on the pregnancy test I took, I couldn’t help but fall in love a little. Sure, what was actually in my womb was merely a clump of cells not quite the size of a poppy seed, but what was in my mind was already a baby that I could hold and cuddle and care for. I knew that I was testing early, and I knew that I was being a bit presumptuous announcing the news to the world at such a precarious stage, but that didn’t stop me from hoping and dreaming about all the precious moments to come.
The same afternoon that I tested I began to have cramps. The cramps worried me, because I did not experience them with Emma. The next day I began to have some light spotting. I think I knew at that moment that this pregnancy was not meant to be. But I visited the doctor today, two days after the positive pregnancy test, and was told that I am no longer pregnant. I experienced what is known as a “chemical” pregnancy. That means that an egg was fertilized and I was technically pregnant for a moment, but the egg did not successfully implant. Doctors think that chemical pregnancies are actually quite common, though most women never know that they occur. If I hadn’t tested five days before my missed period, something the pregnancy test box claims is totally okay to do, then I wouldn’t have experienced this roller coaster of emotions. I will certainly be refraining from any more early testing in the future. The doctor is running a blood test to confirm that I am no longer pregnant. I will have those results on Monday, but I am pretty sure that I already know what they will be.
I’m trying hard not to feel crushed, but I kind of am. I’m not heartbroken over the clump of cells that are gone, but more over what might have been. That word, “pregnant,” had already become in my mind Emma’s sister. My daughter. My Annabelle. She was going to be born in early February. I know it’s kind of stupid, but I was already in love with her. It hurts that she’s already gone.
When I’m being positive about things, I tell myself that this wasn’t Annabelle. This was nothing, just a chemical reaction in my body, a blip on the radar that should have gone undetected. I will still have my Annabelle someday. This wasn’t meant to be her. But sitting here, alone for the first time since hearing the words from the doctor and with the emotions still so raw, I can’t help but take a moment to grieve over what almost was.
I do not regret sharing my experience. Just as I felt news of being pregnant was meant to be shared, so too is news of loss. I couldn’t imagine keeping it all in and having to bear this burden alone. And while I am not likely to test early ever again, I will almost assuredly make an immediate announcement the next time I see the word “pregnant” in a test window.
I will try to be positive, as it is not in my nature to wallow in self-pity. I will continue to put a brave face on and to be strong in the wake of what has happened. I will force myself to keep my emotions in check and to think logically about this situation, to admit that calling this a loss is a bit dramatic. I will get pregnant again. Things will work out. And in the meantime, I still have Emma. My sun and moon and stars and all that. I guess I’ll have to be satisfied for now.