It was the morning after the night before.
I had driven back to Paradise after my positive pregnancy test, completely in shock and also sort of numb. I honestly didn’t know what to think or how to feel.
Focusing on the road stretched out in front of me, I mentally calculated timeframes.
The month of May was when we transitioned away from condoms. We’d only had unprotected sex once in May, but it was the week before I’d started my period.
We’d had unprotected sex twice at the start of June and several times right before I got my period. Never in the middle of the month.
In July, James had taken on a month long construction labourer contract back in the city so we hadn’t seen much of each other and only had sex sparingly. Maybe a few times right before I got my period.
In August, we started in a good place emotionally and had sex basically every night for the first two weeks. Then the arguing escalated and we’d had sex maybe once more before calling quits on our relationship.
Had I conceived in August?
Had I conceived the very first month I’d had unprotected sex around the time a woman normally ovulated?
I mean…as far as every doctor had told me I didn’t even ovulate. And if I did miraculously ovulate, my tubes were too blocked for the egg to get through. And if the egg did get through a tube my endometriosis and high prolactin levels would kill off the embryo.
No pregnancy. No way. No how.
And yet…the little FRER stick tucked into my handbag said differently.
The first thing I did when I arrived back in Paradise was call to make an appointment with a local doctor. Thankfully, he said he could fit me in right when the clinic opened at 8.30am.
The clinic was next to a supermarket, so while I was waiting for 8.30am to roll around I went and bought a Clearblue Digital with a conception indicator. I figured it would give me a more accurate indication of what was actually going on, particularly as I’d used late evening urine with the original test.
Almost as soon as my urine hit the stick, the digital screen lit up with Pregnant: 3+.
Suddenly I began to question even my own timelines. Could I have conceived back in June or July and just continued to have menstrual bleeding? I’d definitely heard of it happening before.
Then I started making a mental list of all the non-pregnancy friendly things I’d done in the past month….
- I had ridden my bicycle to work every day.
- I’d guzzled green tea to try and lose some weight before summer arrived.
- I’d had some alcoholic beverages the week before. Me! Someone who hadn’t drunk alcohol in years even while unsuccessfully trying to conceive! And ironically I had consumed alcohol whilst pregnant.
- Ohhh I had taken Isaac to the theme park and ridden the rollercoaster all day. That couldn’t be good…
Finally the clinic opened and the doctor ushered me into his consultation room. I explained that I was unexpectedly pregnant, and gave a brief history of my infertility.
“Wait…” he started incredulously. “You asked a different doctor for the contraceptive pill and he’d told you not to bother? That is…super negligent. Really bad. I can’t believe it!”
It was the first time it had occurred to me how stupid that previous doctor had actually been. No one is ever one hundred percent guaranteed not to fall pregnant naturally unless they’re missing their womb, both tubes or ovaries. Sure my chances of not falling pregnant were 99.99% but that still wasn’t a guarantee.
The doctor ordered beta hcg blood work just to confirm I was actually pregnant. He put a rush on the test and told me he’d phone me in the afternoon.
Whilst having my blood drawn, I explained my situation to the phlebotomist. She was a young girl, maybe 23 or 24, with long blonde hair. She rocked back on her heels in shock.
“Get fucked!” she gasped. “No way! Get fucked! That’s amazing!”
Well…um…yep…that was definitely a concise way to sum up my situation.
I went home in a daze and sat in the kitchen waiting for my phone to ring. I felt like I had been transported back to the old days of waiting for the fertility clinic to call with embryo fertilization reports or hcg results.
“Why do you look so miserable?” asked James, coming into the kitchen to make himself lunch. “And why do you have medical tape on your arm like you’ve had a blood test?”
In that moment I instantly decided now was not the time to tell James what was happening. He had made it very clear right from the beginning that his son was enough for him and he didn’t want any more children. Not to mention the fact we’d broken up and he was currently looking for a new home to rent.
“I have the flu…” I muttered.
Thankfully he didn’t question me further, and chose to go back to watching television.
Finally the phone rang. It was the call I had been waiting for.
“Hi Sadie,” said the doctor. “Your hcg result was very positive. Your level is 5500. I’m going to suggest you’re at least 6 weeks along. But given your previous history, I need you to get an ultrasound as soon as possible so we can rule out an ectopic ok?”
I agreed. Of course I agreed. I was both scared and excited.
But I was also so confused. Was this actually going to happen? Was I actually going to have a baby? With a man I didn’t love? Where was my husband? Why couldn’t this have happened a year ago?
I remembered back to the hundreds – or maybe even thousands – of times that I’d prayed and wished and begged to have a baby. Maybe this was my own fault. Maybe I hadn’t been specific enough.
Do you remember that Brendan Fraser movie Bedazzled where the devil (played by Liz Hurley) grants him three wishes in exchange for his soul? And he wishes to be rich and powerful, with his girl crush Frances O’Connor as his wife? The devil grants his wish and makes Frances O’Connor his wife, except it turns out she hates him and is cheating on him? Because whilst making the wish he didn’t ask for her to love him only to be married to him.
Do you get what I’m trying to say here? Maybe instead of just wishing for a baby I needed to wish for a baby with my husband. This whole thing was happening in such a messed up way because I hadn’t been careful enough in my wishing.
Two agonising days later, it was finally time to get my scan done at the clinic.
Once again, I explained my history to the sonographer and told her that I’d probably had hundreds of pelvic ultrasounds so I would know what I was looking at. She seemed quite stunned by that.
After I got undressed and sat up on the table, she placed the ultrasound wand on my pelvis, pressing down onto my overfull bladder.
My eyes were keenly glued to the screen across the room. Looking…waiting…
She moved the wand left and right, digging further into my bladder.
Blank. The screen was blank.
“There’s no gestational sac.” I said matter-of-factly.
I’d been pregnant several times before and knew this drill too well. Pregnancies didn’t go well for me. This was the expected outcome. I was in comfortable territory. I knew the deal. I could cope with this. Right. Okay. I was going to be 29 years old with 5 pregnancy losses under my belt. Fine.
“We’d better get you to empty your bladder and do an internal scan.” the sonographer said. “With levels at 5500 two days ago and the uterus empty, we need to check your tubes immediately.”
As soon as the internal scan began, a small sac popped up on the screen smack bang in the middle of my uterus.
“You see that?” the sonographer asked.
“Yeah I see it.” I nodded. “I don’t see a yolk sac or a fetal pole though.”
“No.” she agreed. “The sac is very small and it looks like it’s empty.”
She called a doctor into the room, who confirmed her diagnosis.
“I’m really sorry.” he said. “My best guess is that this is a blighted ovum. With your levels as high as they are, we really should see something bigger than this. My advice is to go home and wait to miscarry.”
“Okay.” I said calmly. “And what if I don’t start bleeding?”
“If you haven’t started bleeding within a week, I’ll need to schedule you an emergency appointment to see one of the best obstetricians at the private hospital.” said the doctor. “He deals with complicated cases like yours. You will probably need a d&c.”
That night, I was sitting in the living room watching tv with James when his phone rang.
It was his sister, Sharon. She and I were friends, and it was in fact at her Halloween party where I’d met James in 2014.
“Hey James put me onto speaker phone!” I heard her shout down the phone.
As soon as he complied with her request and placed the phone on the coffee table between us, she started shrieking excitedly.
“Guess what James! Guess what Sadie!” she screamed. “We’re having a baby! We’re pregnant! I’m going to be a mummy!”
My heart dropped into my stomach. It was the jolt of emotion that I badly needed to knock me out of my numb stupor.
Sharon’s child would have been my child’s cousin. They would have been the same age. Grown up together. Been best friends. Sharon and I would have gone through our pregnancies together.
As soon as she hung up, the flood gates opened. I just cried and cried and cried.
James, assuming I was upset because I am infertile, came and sat beside me and quietly hugged me. He kept telling me over and over that it was all right to be sad about the fact Sharon was pregnant and I couldn’t have kids. He kept telling me it wasn’t my fault.
I just couldn’t tell him the truth.
That I was mourning for another lost dream. Another hope dashed. Another failure. Another chance at happiness.
All I had to do now was make it through the next week.
At the end of a week I would have a more clear understanding of my future.
By that time, I’d either have miscarried already or I would be on my way to see the obstetrician who could give me some real answers.
Little did I know, it would be the longest week of my life…
To be continued! Hoorayyyyyy……