8 Things I Wish Everyone Knew About My Chemical Pregnancy

A blue plus sign. Could it be?! How could I possibly be so blessed? I tell my husband and feel joy fill my heart. Two more blue plus signs and I am sure it is really true. I call the doctor and they tell me in two weeks I would hear my baby’s heartbeat.

Three days later my world would crash down. “Oh no. No, no, no!” I began to shake while cold tears streamed down my face and I wiped away bright red blood so reminiscent of periods that came so timely before. This is not normal, but what do I do? More blood and a difficult phone call with the nurse and I knew my baby was gone.

I spent hours crying on the couch in the dark as my husband tried to figure out how to comfort me. Days of more crying off and on at thoughts of what could have been and plans we’d only just made. The best three days of my life ended with the worst day I’ve ever had.

I suffered an early miscarriage, medically referred to as a chemical pregnancy. This means I lost my child when s/he was only detectable by biochemical tests (blood or urine) but not quite far along enough to show up on an ultrasound. I hate that term “chemical,” by the way. It makes my baby sound as fake as a dye job.  

It’s not easy to go through, especially when it is so taboo to talk about. I hope to shed a little light by sharing what I wish everyone knew about my chemical pregnancy.

 1.  I know it’s not my fault

Thanks for trying to help, but I did my research before I even tried to get pregnant. I knew that 20–25% of known pregnancies end in miscarriage. It’s estimated as many as 50–70% of first time pregnancies end in chemical pregnancy/early miscarriage. That is why I didn’t tell anyone I was pregnant. It doesn’t really make me feel better and it doesn’t mean I don’t feel guilty.

2.  I do feel guilty

I feel like I have done a disservice to my husband and failed our unborn child. I wonder if that pain in my ear was an infection that caused my body to lose focus. I wonder if I had exercised more or less I would have been better suited to carry a child. When I tell myself it’s not my fault, I feel guilty that I complained about feeling so tired. I feel guilty that I was able to get pregnant at all and that other women can’t. I feel guilty that I feel so unfeminine that sometimes I hardly want to kiss my husband.

3. There is no such thing as “kind of” pregnant

I was pregnant. I was early on, but I was growing a human life.  I firmly believe life begins at conception (and am not interested in if you agree or not) so my pain is very real. I do not consider myself “lucky” that it happened early on. Yes, my physical pain is less and my emotional pain is different, but I lost a child. I wasn’t able to bury my child. S/he was unceremoniously flushed like common waste, which may be the most painful feeling of all.

4.  I am angry

I did everything right and it was not in the divine plan that my baby would be born. I’m mad about that. I’m even more angry that some women smoke while pregnant, eat processed crap, and complain about every.single.sign that they are growing life and go on to have healthy babies. I’m angry some mothers are so selfish and entitled that they beat and emotionally abuse their miracle children.

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5. I know I’m young and healthy, but I’m still scared

I am nearly 24. I know I have at least 11 “good” fertile years left. I also know that chemical pregnancy can be a “good sign” because it means I can get pregnant. Even so, I will never jump for joy when I see that second line again. I will wait with bated breath. I won’t tell my husband in a cutesy way again. I will wait anxiously until I hear a heartbeat and then worry myself sick until my baby makes it to the second trimester. Even then, I may never relax. My innocence has been taken from me, forever.

6. I want to talk about it, on my terms.

My baby died and I want that life acknowledged, but I may not be ready all the time to talk about that trauma. Regardless, it is all I think about right now. If that makes you uncomfortable, I’m sorry. You wouldn’t act that way if my grandma died, though.

 7. I still love babies

I love babies and children of all ages. They give me a glimmer of hope for my future. They also break my heart. I wonder who my baby would have looked like, what we would have named it. What would his laugh have sounded like? Would she have had her daddy’s dimple? So, if I’m not ready to go to your baby shower or toddler’s birthday party, please forgive me and understand that I am still very happy for you.

 8. I am a mother

I have not raised a child, but I love one with every fiber of my being. I worked hard to conceive one and did everything by the book to try to keep him or her healthy. I do not know the strife of raising a child and worrying about teaching them well. I have lost a child, however, and know what it is like to wonder. My world changed with a second line and changed just as quickly with a bright red stain.  

Gretchen Sprinkle
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