Today I’m going to drop some knowledge on you…
According to Women’s Health a chemical pregnancy is a pregnancy that ends very early in the first trimester. It happens when there is successful egg fertilization, but then the egg does not successfully implant in the uterus. There can be a variety of causes, but its basically because its a bad egg and wasn’t developing correctly.
Most people have heard of women experiencing miscarriages or having a stillborn, but many haven’t heard of a chemical pregnancy; I know I hadn’t. That is, until I had one.
When you’re on a mission to make a baby you get to know your calendar very well. You know what days you’re most fertile, you know what days you should expect your period, so that if it doesn’t come you can go take a test. Or you can be obsessive like me, and know what day you can take an early pregnancy test and expect a somewhat accurate result.
I bought 3 brands of test: a crappy CVS brand, EPT and Clear Blue Digital. I started with with the EPT; two pink line and we’d be in business. The control line was there and the signifying second line was extremely faint, but I could see it (if I held it under proper lighting). Okay then, let’s move on to the CVS; you need to see two crossing blue lines… eh, again the second line was extremely faint, but visible. This is where the awesome digital test comes in. There is no guessing, it straight up says “pregnant” or “not pregnant”. Why I waited until last to do this one, I don’t know, but either way my little pee stick said “pregnant”. We were in business.
My symptoms that very day were incredibly strong; the smell of coffee made me nauseous, my skin was breaking out in abnormal ways, I could even tell that my armpits smelled different. Two days later though, I didn’t feel any symptoms. Nothing had happened, I just didn’t have that same constant feeling of nausea or boob soreness.
The next morning I woke up and decided to take another round of tests, because I’m neurotic. After I’m done doing my stick peeing thing, I see that there is blood… quite a bit of it. I go back to the sticks 3 minutes later and they all read the same as a few days earlier. Needless to say I was confused, concerned and scheduling a doctors appointment.
If you’ve been pregnant, you know the procedure of early pregnancy at the doctors office. If you haven’t, it includes having blood drawn, peeing in cups and a very phallic instrument that gets up close and personal with your uterus. Not really my idea of a good time, especially when all of those things came to determine that I was no longer pregnant.
I’m not going to lie, I’m pretty sad. It was extremely disappointing, emotionally draining and it physically hurt. I am however happy that this happened early. I cannot wrap my head around the amount of pain, sadness, heartbreak, anger, and confusion women that lose pregnancies further along go through. I would have been 5 weeks and I feel all those things, but on a very small scale because I had only known I was pregnant for a few days. If I had waited a few days to take the test, I would have gotten what I thought was my period and never been any the wiser. In fact, many women can have chemical pregnancies and never know because of that very reason.
I really do believe that things happen for a reason, and that there is something to be learned in our experiences, good and bad. I’ve had many friends experience a pregnancy loss, and I could never really relate. Now I have a new empathy for what they have may have felt, and I hope I can be a better friend now for it.
Early pregnancy is a really lonely time for a woman. You’re told the risk of miscarriage is increased until 12 weeks, so you keep your exciting news to yourself because you don’t want to have to go back and tell people if something goes bad. You wait your days and weeks until you can share, coming up with excuses for why you can’t drink, or why you just vomited for no apparent reason. Hopefully all goes well and you can start telling everyone the exciting news… but what happens if it doesn’t go well? You still need to tell someone, to talk about it. It can be your best friend, it can be your mom, it can be a counselor. I’m someone that feels better by talking to people about what I’m feeling (sometimes even if they don’t ask), so I’m not going to keep this to myself (obviously, I’m writing a blog post about it).
This is something that happens to a lot of women, and it’s something that can leave an emotional scar. If you’ve lost a pregnancy, find someone you trust to help you through it. If you know someone that has lost a pregnancy, give them a hug and be sensitive to their feelings about the situation. I’ve been very fortunate to have some good friends to talk through this experience with me, and I’m able to come to terms with it knowing that it was for the best the pregnancy didn’t continue.
Now for us, it’s back to the calendar-counting, baby-making drawing board.