Wednesday, August 29, 2012


A few days ago, I tested positive for pregnancy. It was a faint line, but definitely there on the stick. My first positive in over two years! Worried that it was an evaporation line and not an honest positive, I took another test a few hours later. And that one was positive, too, showing up within just a minute or two, right in the time limit! And the next test a bit later in the day, positive! It wasn't just an evaporation line. These were the real deal! The hormone hCG is generally supposed to double every 24 hours, therefore making the test lines get darker. I couldn't wait to test again the next day to see my line get darker.

But it wasn't. 

The next day, my test still showed positive, but the line was so faint I could hardly see it. Definitely much lighter than any of the three tests I took the previous day. The second test of the day, even fainter. Day three, completely negative. There are two explanations for this.

First, a chemical pregnancy is a fancy name for a really early miscarriage. Now, because tests are so sensitive, women can test before their period and get a pretty accurate result. And if women are trying to get pregnant, of course they will test early, like I did. But many pregnancies end in miscarriage. A chemical pregnancy is one that ends in miscarriage 5 weeks or earlier- before a gestational sac would have been big enough to be detectable on an ultrasound. The doctors just rely on detecting the chemicals to determine pregnancy. Many of these miscarriages are just about the same time or a few days later than a period would be, so many of these women wouldn't have even known that they were pregnant if they hadn't tested. In these cases, either the egg doesn't quite implant right, or it did implant, but no embryo started to grow and the mother's body figured it out pretty quickly and shed the empty sac immediately.

Sometimes false positives can happen. Usually, one gets false positives because of improper testing, or it was an expired test, or she had fertility treatment that included injecting hCG. I know those are not the case for me because I followed directions exactly, the tests were brand new, and I am not on medication that would turn a test positive. But sometimes it's possible for a test to turn positive even if the woman is not pregnant. These are very rare.

We can never know what actually happened with me since I didn't do an hCG blood test at the doctor's office, which would have been able to tell me how much of the pregnancy hormone was in my blood, if there was any at all. John likes to think that I had gotten false positives because he feels it's less sad. I like to think that I was pregnant and the baby didn't grow, so I had a chemical. That gives me hope knowing that the sperm can meet the egg, which was my number one worry. I'm actually relieved and celebrating the fact that there isn't a big road block preventing the sperm from reaching their destination.

I am a bit surprised at how well I am handling it. I'm disappointed, let down, and a bit sad, but not super depressed. I just had a feeling when I saw the positive test for the first time that this wasn't going to work. So when I saw the lines get slowly lighter, eventually turning back to negative until my (for lack of a better word) period started, it was just a confirmation that my impression was correct. I think it was God preparing me for what was going to happen.

I also don't even know if there was a baby at all. In miscarriages this early, a lot of times there is just an empty sac with no embryo. It's not as sad to me to lose an empty gestational sac, so that is how I have to think about this.

It was also easier because it was so early on. If I had gone on for a few weeks thinking I was pregnant, it would have been much harder. I would have let myself start to get excited, and probably would have started telling my close friends and family. I'm glad that it ended so early, at 4.5 weeks. Not long enough to really consider myself as being pregnant.

It might have also helped that I have gone through something like this before, and saw how I survived and that everything has turned out to be okay. Different, deviated from the plan, but okay. The world didn't fall apart, the sun still rises every morning, and other good things in my life continued to happen. I guess I can say I have officially accepted my disease. Whether that's out of inner peace or just plain defeat, I don't know. But it helps me to survive.

Well, 24th try, here we come.


Sean and Jennie said...

You are such a brave person! I'm so impressed you listened to the Spirit to know the positives weren't what they appeared, I can only imagine myself getting really really excited then being that much more disappointed when a period came. That is good news that at least something went rights and you know that the sperm is reaching the target. I am so sorry for another loss though! 24 is a good number, hopefully this one will be it=)
Also, thank you for all you are teaching me about different fertility things. I didn't know what a chemical pregnancy was and I also enjoyed your post on OPK's!

Jules said...

I give your attitude two thumbs up. I think accepting things is one of the hardest parts of any trial, but I think it's also one of the most important things to learn from them (in my experience anyway). But whatever the cause of this hiccup (for lack of a better word), sorry about it! Hopefully you have better luck with 24. :)

Kristi said...

Love you guys, hang in there!!! 24th here you come. Maybe you guys can watch a season or two of 24 and eat a giant cake in the shape of "24" in a fort made of 2 by 4's... :) I'm learning a lot from you- about pregnancy, fertility, and most of all about faith. You guys are awesome. Keep it up.