I sat in the stall, looking down at the toilet paper. Trying to take deep breaths and rationalize that many women spot during pregnancy. I flushed, washed my hands and returned to my partner. We finished our evening at the museum party we were excited to attend as part of my 26th birthday celebration, and we eagerly looked at the pregnancy exhibit curious about the stages we would be about to experience for ourselves after three years of trying. It felt surreal to finally be a part of this process instead of only getting through the two-week-wait (2WW) to just see a stream of red and then repeat the process all over again.
At the conclusion of the party, we biked home in the pouring rain partially having a blast and the other half wished we would have looked at the forecast before we left.
Two days pass and the spotting doesn’t seem to get worse so I pardon it as a pregnancy side-effect. Then it hit, cramps. Now those fears I pushed to the back of my thoughts flooded into my consciousness. I remembered the advice I got to avoid taking numerous negative pregnancy test, spotting AND cramps is never a good sign, and in the past it helped me to recognize my body’s signs that I wasn’t pregnant. But that advice that once mentally prepared me to move on and begin working towards the next month now shatter my soul as I immediately drive to the store to get a resupply of pregnancy tests. I had been using Clearblue digital estimator pregnancy tests. Now if my pregnancy was progressing as normal the digital estimator should estimate me at 3+ weeks, because a week and a half ago, I took a test (pictured above) and it estimated me to be at 2-3 weeks along, so you know, logic. However, my worst fear was confirmed when my hCG levels weren’t estimated to be progressing, my test continued to say 2-3 weeks.
Since I recently turned 26, my insurance was phasing out, and my new insurance picked up at the beginning of the next month, which was a week away. I called my mom to double check that my insurance was still active (I had been asking when my coverage ended every month that calendar year, and the answer from my parents was, “we will get back to you about that”), they also never sent me my own insurance card, so I wasn’t exactly sure who to call or which doctors were “in network” anyways. Needless to say, I was looking forward to finally being off their plan and their healthcare control. She rattled off the numbers to me, and I called the insurance company and was promptly informed that my insurance ended on my birthday (three days ago), and did not continue through the end of the month.
The next day, the cramps were more manageable than the day before but now it was the day… the day I passed the embryo tissue. I knew it was going to happen eventually but I didn’t know if I would see anything detectable. However, since we had just gone to see the pregnancy exhibit at the museum a few days ago, I readily saw the tissue that looked eerily similar to the embryos on display at the museum. I sat there in shock, slowly processing what I was looking at. What do I do with this? It felt awful to flush it down the toilet…
Literally flushing my dreams down the drain…
But any other option felt equally, if not more, painful to think about. So down it went. I returned to bed in shock, grateful that I was wearing Danny’s sweatpants, snuggled close to my sleeping husband and cried those giant, ugly, crocodile tears that wouldn’t stop.
Now that my non-existent due date is this week, I can’t help but think of the differences that would be happening in our life. It feels like a cruel joke, an alternate reality, a timeline that was never fulfilled.