Chemical Pregnancy Turned Blessing

When we found out, I wasn’t really being serious about taking a test.  It was 4 days before my missed period, but I wanted to see if there was even a slight chance.  This was my first full cycle after we lost our baby in late August, ending in a D&C on September 3rd.  

It was a digital test, I walked away from it to start coffee or something, then came back a few minutes later.  When I walked back into the bathroom, Josh was in there and I said, “oh, it must be negative”… because he didn’t say anything. He didn’t know what I was talking about because he hadn’t seen the test. 

I picked it up off the counter sitting right next to Josh and it read, “Pregnant”.  I sat down on the edge of the bathtub holding the test.  I was feeling stunned and overwhelmed.  It was October 16th.  Just over a month before. I was having my D&C.  I had already been through most of a first trimester, and now I’d be starting all over again.  I cried because I was happy and hopeful, but I was also scared and like I said, very overwhelmed. 

I honestly thought, even though I had a period since my D&C that the hormones from my earlier pregnancy might still be hanging around.  So, I called my midwife to ask and she said after a D&C hormones go back down to zero and If I got a positive test, I was most likely pregnant.  That day, we scheduled an appointment for an 8 week ultrasound.  

Every day after that for 4 more days, I continued to take pregnancy tests.  A mix of digital and line tests.  After getting 5 positive tests, I was feeling more and more confident I was actually pregnant.  Then, I missed my period and that made it feel even more real, although I was still very hesitant everything would work out.  

The day after my missed period, I had a scheduled zoom call with a high school biology class to talk about farming. I was set to talk to a morning and an afternoon session.  Hank was home with my that day so it was a struggle to get through the first class without interruptions.  I had no more than gotten off the zoom call when I felt something and ran to the bathroom… I was bleeding.  It wasn’t just a little blood either.  It was what you would expect from the start of a heavy period.  I called my doctor, told him I had 5 positive tests the previous days, and he had me rush in for bloodwork.  

It was harvest time, so I had to drop Hank off with Josh in the field because nobody is allowed with you at the doctor’s office due to Covid.  When I got to the field my father-in-law was there in a truck, and I couldn’t help but break down in tears.  He was the first adult person I had seen since this started and he kind of got the brunt of my emotions, but without question he scooped up Hank and sent me on my way. 

At the doctors, they took me back to get my blood and sent me home.  I didn’t see a doctor or anything, there wasn’t anything they could tell me until they got the results of my bloodwork, and they said I’d get a call the next day.  The next day came, and I didn’t hear from the doctor, so I called at about 3pm only to find their hours are weird due to Covid and they were already closed. 

The next day I called again, this time in the morning.  I spoke with the doctor and he told me the news.  I was indeed pregnant, but it’s what they call a “chemical pregnancy” where the sperm met the egg and fertilized it, but the baby never implanted.  

After what I went through in August/early September, I didn’t know how to feel.  It didn’t feel as difficult as the first one.  I hated to compare, but I didn’t feel the grief I felt before.  With our March baby I had a connection, saw a heartbeat, carried it for several weeks before losing it.  I hadn’t seen a heartbeat with this baby, the connection wasn’t as strong, but I was still considering it a loss and it still hurt. 

What I learned is this is something that’s even more common to go through than the loss I experienced in August.  Our close friends and family go through “chemical pregnancies” often and decide not to share because they don’t know what to say… and back when our parents were having babies, they wouldn’t have even known they were pregnant because the tests weren’t as good as they are now.

But here’s the real truth of everything… once you get just ONE positive test, you start dreaming about that child.  It happens instantly.  You wonder who they’ll be, what their personality will be like, and how your family will change.  You calculate out their due date, June 26th, and when you find out you’re never going to meet them in this lifetime it’s hard.  

I decided to write about this as I was going through it.  I was planning to share this loss too.  I wanted to help people realize it’s okay to talk about this stuff… even if you don’t quite know how to grieve it yourself.  And it IS significant. 

At the time I had written that I asked God what I’m supposed to be learning from all of this.  I sat for this first time in silence just waiting to hear what He had to say.  This might seem woo woo to some of you, but I clearly heard this from God: “Patience, I have good plans for you”  And I sobbed… because I know He does.  

I bled fairly heavy for two days and the bleeding stopped abruptly.  I was confused because my normal periods last longer, but they usually weren’t that heavy.  After a few days, I was still feeling signs of pregnancy… sore breasts, being the main one at that time.  I decided to take another pregnancy test to see, and it came back positive instantly, it was a line test.  I called my doctor to see how long the hormones stick around and he made it seem like it was normal I was still getting positive tests and having symptoms.  He asked me to come in the next week to make sure my levels had gone back down to zero. 

I continued to take line tests up to my blood test date, because I like to drive myself crazy.  Every test I took, the positive line kept getting stronger.  I had my blood draw and waited impatiently for the call from the doctor.  He called and told me my levels had risen, to the point where he said, “You proved me wrong, it looks like you could be having a healthy pregnancy”.  I was stunned once again… How could I bleed that much and still have a healthy baby? 

I waited impatiently again for my 8 week appointment, where I had to go alone to the ultrasound.  I was so nervous driving to the appointment knowing there was only two ways it could go.  And with previous experience, knowing my body didn’t exactly do what it should in the event of a lost baby, I wasn’t confident.  To my surprise, at that appointment the ultrasound tech found a healthy baby at the right size for 8 weeks, with a strong beating heart.  I teared up immediately on the table. 

The bleeding was from implantation… which I hadn’t experienced with Hank, and it was most definitely alarming.  My midwife asked how I was feeling at that appointment, and I still didn’t feel like I could really celebrate. I was still so nervous.  I was definitely feeling better, but not great. 

4 weeks later I had my 12 week appointment.  This is the appointment where my confidence was restored.  I could see a definite baby, with a heartbeat and watched his/her little hands and legs moving around.  It was what I needed to see to feel like this was real and actually happening…. We have received a miracle from God.