If you have struggled with fertility or pregnancy loss I want to tell you this might be a hard read for you and if you aren't in the emotional space to read this it is OK.
On March 10 I had my first IUI attempt. It was a fiasco because of a funeral and timing, I had to give myself a trigger shot at 3:30 am. I don't deal well with seeing things under the skin, especially at 3 in the morning. After that the waiting starts. First you wait for a blood test to see if your progesterone levels are ok, they were. Then you wait two weeks to take a home pregnancy test. This isn't my first rodeo with the two week wait, I have six months of medicated cycles under my belt. It seems like all you do with fertility treatments is wait. In the meantime, last Saturday 8 days post IUI, I started cramping and thought game over my next cycle is starting. Then Sunday I was fine, then Monday cramping and stomach issues. Then the cramping continued all week. It could be just a normal part of implantation, it could be a cycle starting. You know I googled, implantation cramping, post IUI complications, ectopic pregnancy, chemical pregnancy. By Wednesday I was so uncomfortable I asked the doctor's office if this is normal, they said just wait it out until Friday.
Thursday morning I still felt awful but tested a day early, much to my surprise there was a shadow of a line. I thought I was seeing things so I had Paul confirm it by asking him what he saw and not mentioning what I thought I saw. He saw it too and shared the strange look on his face. What we didn't know was if this was early pregnancy or remnants of my trigger shot which is the pregnancy hormone. I was also using a super inexpensive test because I had to test mid cycle last round because of the medication I needed to take and I knew I wasn't pregnant then. So Thursday night I tested again and there was a shadowy but sure positive.
At this point I was all sorts of frustrated, I told Paul I would be birthing a shadow in December. So we stocked up on tests to see what the heck would happen next. Friday morning I test again, as directed I get a faint positive. I call the office and get all the congratulations and orders for a blood test. I was really eager to get the blood test results because I wasn't confident in my shadow lines, even the one I didn't have to squint to see. What is a clear positive for other people is am I hallucinating for me. We have been at this for seven years, it gives you a certain jadedness about the whole thing.
I had the blood work done and didn't hear back yesterday. I went to an overnight with my daughter and was checking my email every so often because I knew I would get an email when the results hit my chart. It didn't come until almost midnight but I was asleep. I saw it at 5am, not my HCG level but my progesterone level. It was too low, I knew that instantly. I didn't have the HCG level and that would make all the difference, progesterone can be supplemented, HCG not so much. At five am I lay on a church gym floor surrounded by girl scouts praying that maybe the baby if there was one that it would stick.
At 8am I got a call from the doctor's office and I could tell it wasn't good news. My HCG level is also low, the pregnancy isn't viable. I am pregnant but it is a chemical pregnancy. It is a super early miscarriage, very common and usually undetected. I knew this already because I suspect I have had a few of these over the years, although I never tested to confirm. The cause is unknown, suspicion is that after fertilization and implantation there is a chromosomal abnormality that causes the early miscarriage. I wasn't surprised by this call I wasn't sure all along what all this meant and I suspected something was off.
Here is the kicker, I should start a cycle soon, or get a negative pregnancy test. I tested today because my positive should turn to a negative and then the next round starts. I got a clear and firm positive today when expecting a negative.
I am pregnant, it isn't viable, so I am waiting for my body to start the process of ending the pregnancy. This kind of waiting is it's own special hell. Grief and hormones are a special mixture of I don't even know what to call this. All I can tell you is I am exhausted and disappointed and sad. I wish I had the kind of job where I could call in sick. Chances are I will be preaching through my loss in the morning which is an added level of suck.
Today I am grateful for the people walking the path with me. For insurance that let me explore this option. For the people who at some point fought to have our denomination cover these sorts of procedures.