I wrote this post during the summer, and saved it until now because we hadn’t announced to the world yet that we were trying to conceive.
Most women don’t feel implantation cramps, according to various sources on the internet. A select few know as soon as conception occurs, through some wondrous connection with their bodies.
We had been trying for less than a month. I knew we’d had sex around the right time—which is a miracle in itself, since we see each other only 2-3 times a month while we live and work four hours away from each other. I tracked my basal body temperatures—and wouldn’t you know it? About six days after ovulation my temperature dropped drastically, and then peaked way higher the next day. It stayed pretty elevated in the following days. And those damn implantation cramps told me what was going on, more than anything else.
We were pregnant. There was a fertilized egg in there. Our very first month of trying.
I started talking to my kid. Silly stuff. About how excited I was to meet them. About what a good dad their father was going to be. I couldn’t even take a pregnancy test yet, since I was scared it would be “too early” to accurately tell, but I was convinced I was pregnant. Sometimes you just feel it. Sometimes you pay enough attention to your body, and you know. It wasn’t just me, anymore. There were two of us, sharing this space.
I was four days late for my period when I started spotting. Just brown discharge—no big deal. Maybe it was late implantation spotting. Maybe my uterus was a little agitated with the hormones that were encouraging it to change. I wasn’t going to worry about it. Until it got worse. Until it turned bright red.
Cat-sitting for some friends on their honeymoon, I lay on an unfamiliar couch, feeling a band of tingling, churning pain across my lower abdomen, scared to move for fear that it would push that little bundle of cells straight out of me.
I’m writing this four days post-miscarriage (because chemical pregnancy is such a demoralizing term, as if you aren’t allowed to mourn the loss of your potential child just because you hadn’t heard a heartbeat yet). I don’t know what the following months will look like for us, but I’m a writer, and I share what I learn. So here’s what I learned from our chemical pregnancy–our miscarriage—and how I’ve dealt with it so far.
- There is only a handful of people I’m comfortable telling that we are trying to conceive (which is why this won’t be posted on the blog for a long time).
- Telling people your period is late also means having to tell them once you’ve lost the baby.
- My hubby had a hard time connecting with any of this. It wasn’t real to him, yet. That made it VERY DIFFICULT for him to express empathy toward me. I felt very alone.
- Internet strangers can be beautiful, wonderful people, who talk to you at three in the morning and message you the next day during errands to see how you’re doing.
- Facing the possibility of this happening again is ONLY worth it if my partner is in this with me 100%. I can’t go through that alone again. As someone who struggles with suicidal thoughts periodically, this past week has been a fucking rollercoaster. And if I ride it alone, next time I might just jump off.
What I’ve done to deal with it:
- Half of my meals the past three days have been paleo awesome-ness concoctions. The other half have been my favorite kinds of junk food. Balance and moderation are great, but sometimes you have to take care of yourself in different ways. Sometimes that means eggs in the morning and a bag of chips for dinner.
- Pushing your hubby to get past his emotional wall so that he can show you the empathy you need actually also forces you to push past your own emotional wall. It fucking hurts. It’s fucking necessary.
- Cat cuddles. My very first fur baby. He has been an infinite comfort.
- I got a tattoo. I’ve been planning it for seven years, and I finally got it done. It is beautiful, and SO, SO IMPORTANT. For a few days, I wasn’t just me anymore. There were two of us, and I was acutely aware of that. Now it’s abruptly just me, again. And I won’t get another chance, maybe for the rest of my life, to really focus on JUST ME. I’m bad at making myself a priority over others already, and it shows in my level of self-care (or lack thereof). This tattoo was JUST FOR ME. No one else wanted it. My hubby was respectful of the decision but would have been just as happy with me not getting it. It was a selfish, necessary decision. A beautiful, meaningful one. And the timing couldn’t have been better. Here is this tidal wave of emotion, of pain, that I had absolutely no control over. Here is this tattoo, this beautiful process of self-expression and a physical declaration of my spiritual path. And it was pain that I DID have control over. That I got to CHOOSE. Every bit of it was precious, and beautiful.
Coming away from this, I think I have a better appreciation for self-care. For doing things just for me. It’s real easy to focus on everyone else’s needs before my own. It’s what I’m wired for, what I was raised to do. But all that empathy and care comes at a cost to myself. One that I shouldn’t be comfortable paying all the time.
Moving forward, I think I’ll clean the house after work. Maybe go see Age of Ultron again on Friday morning. Write some more, to channel all these thoughts and emotions into an outlet that feels right. Cuddle the cat, and write to some friends I haven’t talked to in a while. Take care of myself, first and foremost.
The road ahead might be terrifying. I might not be fully equipped to deal with it. But I trust myself, and the God and Goddess. I trust that everything happens for a reason, and that the universe is full of intentions. I trust that I will wake up to face a new day tomorrow, which isn’t something I could have said with any confidence one night ago. Time keeps going on.
Update: We ended up pregnant again the very next month, and by the time this is posted we will be 24 weeks into the pregnancy. Everything looks good with the baby, though I’ve been brought very low with hyperemesis gravidarum (blog posts to follow).