Saturday, January 03, 2009

Chemical Pregnancy

On December 14th I found out I was pregnant. On December 19th I had a miscarriage. The medical term is a "chemical pregnancy" because it was too early to be confirmed by ultrasound. I hate the term chemical pregnancy because it trivializes the loss and grief that I feel. It was not a "false positive" it was MY baby that I lost.

I thought that I would be over it by now. But, I find that I still break down too easily when I have too much time to think or when something sparks a memory.

The strangest feeling is that I would be completely willing to trade anything for a few more weeks of pregnancy even if it meant I would have inevitably lost the baby. I don't know if it is because a few more weeks would have made the baby real to more people or if I just want a few more time to enjoy being pregnant.

But mostly, I feel angry. I feel angry that after waiting 7 months to get pregnant that I only got 4 days to enjoy it. I feel angry at all the people who get pregnant easily and complain about pregnancy symptoms. I feel angry at the people who get pregnant who cannot take care of their babies or don't want them. I feel angry at my body for failing me.

I found this post in a group on Miscarriage - A letter from women to their friends and family by Elizabeth Soutter Schwarzer - and found some of it particularly relevant:

When women experience the loss of a child, one of the first things they discover they have in common is a list of things they wish no one had ever said to them. The lists tend to be remarkably similar. The comments are rarely malicious - just misguided attempts to soothe.
-Don't say, "It's God's Will." Even if we are members of the same congregation, unless you are a cleric and I am seeking your spiritual counseling, please don't presume to tell me what God wants for me. Besides, many terrible things are God's Will, that doesn't make them less terrible. -Don't say, "It was for the best - there was probably something wrong with your baby." The fact that something was wrong with the baby is what is making me so sad. My poor baby never had a chance. Please don't try to comfort me by pointing that out.
-Don't say, "You can always have another one." This baby was never disposable. If had been given the choice between loosing this child or stabbing my eye out with a fork, I would have said, "Where's the fork?" I would have died for this baby, just as you would die for your children.
-Don't say, "Thank God you lost the baby before you really loved it." I loved my son or daughter. Whether I lost the baby after two weeks of pregnancy or just after birth, I loved him or her.
-Don't say, "Isn't it time you got over this and moved on?" It's not something I enjoy, being grief-stricken. I wish it had never happened. But it did and it's a part of me forever. The grief will ease on its own timeline, not mine - or yours.
-Don't pretend it didn't happen and don't change the subject when I bring it up. If I say, "Before the baby died..." or "when I was pregnant..." don't get scared. If I'm talking about it, it means I want to. Let me. Pretending it didn't happen will only make me feel utterly alone.
- Don't say, "It's not your fault." It may not have been my fault, but it was my responsibility and I failed. The fact that I never stood a chance of succeeding only makes me feel worse. This tiny little being depended upon me to bring him safely into the world and I couldn't do it. I was supposed to care for him for a lifetime, but I couldn't even give him a childhood. I am so angry at my body you just can't imagine.
-Do say, "I am so sorry." That's enough. You don't need to be eloquent. Say it and mean it and it will matter.
-Do say, "You're going to be wonderful parents some day," or "You're wonderful parents and that baby was lucky to have you." We both need to hear that.
Above all, please remember that this is the worst thing that ever happened to me. The word "miscarriage" is small and easy. But my baby's death is monolithic and awful. It's going to take me a while to figure out how to live with it. Bear with me.

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Blogger La Dura said...

Hey there. I've had two chemical pregnancies in my last 4 cycles (5 months). I'm able to get pregnant on my own but my body seems not to sustain a pregnancy. I never go past 5 weeks. Therefore, its always labeled as "failed intra uterine pregnancy" aka chemical pregnancy. It's really rare to get 2 or more. 75% of women who experience this usually get pregnant on their next cycle. So there is much hope for you!!!

I understand the elated feeling when you read "pregnant" on a pee stick or see two lines but only able to enjoy it for maybe a week if you are lucky. Reading your blog post helped me out. I don't feel so alone.

I don't know why my body rejected both pregnancies and I'm really hoping its not due to chromosomal issues with the embryo. I am praying that it will be something simple like low progesterone that I can fix with supplements.

My hubby was super elated and involved when I told him (both times). I hate seeing the disappointment in his face when I tell him the bad news. I think I'm going to have to NOT tell him when I find out I'm pregnant again :-)

Again, keep your spirits up. Your post let me feel "not so alone" in this venture. 2 chemical pregnancies is a rarity and the next time you get your BFP you have a better chance at carrying to full term :-)

10:41 AM  
Blogger Erin said...

I'm going through this too. I didn't get a positive test, but I've already had one baby and I recognized all the symptoms. I knew. I was putting off the test till a week after the missed period, since I was driving myself crazy testing too early and getting negatives. There was joy and anticipation and 5 days of no period.

Then pain and bleeding and no baby, and no definite proof that there ever was one, except that I am heartbroken. I feel like my baby slipped through my fingers without leaving a single tangible trace. How do you get closure on a thing like that?

I believe that God gives life at conception, so I will meet my child in heaven. I'm still so sad.

Anyway, your post made me feel less alone and made my grief seem OK. Your post is from 2009, so I guess you've healed as much as a mother ever will. But thank you for writing.

2:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know this is old but I found it and even if nobody reads this or responds that's ok as long as I can get this off my chest. I had a chemical pregnancy (4 1/2- 5 weeks)on our anniversary which makes it harder. and now 9 months later I can't help but think I should be holding a new born baby now had the miscarriage never happened. it hurts never knowing what could of been... and the past days I have felt really sad. I've talked to my husband but I don't think he fully understands since it wasn't his body. I would give anything to have kept that sweet baby. my husband and I continued to try for 8 months and nothing. I'm feeling hopeless and think it'll never happen for us

6:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Im so sorry :( I too just had a chemical pregnancy. I know the author suggests never to say it was God's will. I understand that hurts, it hurts me too. But it is true. God does know best and He loves our babies more than even we do. I went home from work over lunch and cried. I feel like Im missing my baby like one loses their purse.. Something I had with me, I can't find now. My Dr suggested taking baby aspirin (81mg) the days im ovulating to help the baby "stick". Did you go to the Dr when it happened? I deeply grieved for 2.5 days then had an appointment with my Dr. She said basically that the pregnancy never got going. We conceived, but she explained that it never fully implanted. I felt a lot of peace in that because I can see itas a miscarriage or find peace in knowing that God didn't even finish the other party necessary for a babyto grow. It was still a baby but in a way, kinda not too. Only God knows what happened in us. I think it is totally okay and fine to grieve that baby. Please talk to your doctor

1:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry my last message got cut off. Don't give up hope! I know it's easier to say than do but it can happen! If you haven't gone to the Dr's I plead with you too, even for your hearts sake. In the rare chance there ismore to it, she/he will be able to not waste more time or unneeded sadness. I know of someone who had multiple long term miscarriages, turns out, she just needed some extra hormone and now is having her 3rd baby!!

1:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've just had my first chemical pregnancy. We weren't trying; just got caught out. No-one warned me that I could get pregnant just before or after having my implant removed. On the Sunday I missed my period, by Monday I was starting to suspect the pregnancy, Wednesday I got a faint positive and Thursday morning it was gone. I was only 4 and a half weeks. It doesn't matter that I wasn't trying or I wasn't ready; that was my baby. I still loved it, still would do anything for it, still grieve it. My boyfriend is trying so hard to be there for me but he doesn't feel any grief. He is a bit sad but more so because he hates seeing me like this. I feel so alone in my grief but it helps to know there are so many other women who feel the same as me. All I want is to start thinking about TTC.

2:32 AM  

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