I found out I was pregnant on a Sunday afternoon, by Wednesday night I was certain that I wasn’t anymore. For the last four months I have gone back and forth a million times about whether or not I should write about this experience. It’s nice to live in a world where being pregnant is just a cute baby announcement, ice cream and pickles, but that’s not real life. Behind every baby announcement there’s a story, and this is a little piece of mine.
After a day of being violently ill with what I assumed was food poisoning, I convinced my husband to go grab some pregnancy tests, “just in case”. I headed into the washroom and before I knew it the little pink plus sign appeared. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I came out of the washroom stunned, “I’m pregnant” I said, followed by an absurd amount of “Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god”s and one “what have we done?!” I was excited and happy… but with a strong dose of petrified in the mix.
My husband, who was quite simply ecstatic, calmed me down and we decided that instead of thinking about worst case scenarios we would assume everything was going to be ok. We looked up how far along I was online and found out our baby was the size of a sesame seed. “Sesame” – the perfect nickname for our new addition.
Over the next couple of days I was still quite ill and navigating my way through a mixture of emotions. Sometimes excited, sometimes scared, and sometimes mad that this little sesame seed was making me so sick. I cursed pregnancy and couldn’t imagine spending 9 months in that state. And then everything changed.
It was Wednesday afternoon and I was in a meeting at work, I started to feel really unwell. I went to the washroom and to spare you the details, let’s just say I had all the classic symptoms of a miscarriage. Trust me, I googled them all on my phone in a panic trying to convince myself it wasn’t happening. I went home heartbroken and surprised at how connected I already felt to Sesame. “We shouldn’t have nicknamed it” I sobbed to my husband, “why the fuck did we do that?”
Thursday morning I went to the doctor, “it happens all the time,” he said, “and at this stage, it definitely sounds like you’ve had a miscarriage.” I cried in his office and back in my car as I headed to get my blood work done. Even though I knew miscarriages were very common, I felt so alone. I was mad at myself for getting attached and feeling guilty about how upset I was, after all I had only known I was pregnant for four days.
I took the blood test on Thursday afternoon and found out on Friday that there was still human growth hormone in my blood. I would have to get another blood test and “act like I was pregnant” over the weekend just in case. I had zero hope, in my heart I had accepted the idea that this whole thing was over.
That weekend I thought a lot about my friends who had confided in me, telling me about their miscarriages over the years and I wondered if I was compassionate enough in my response, I doubted it now. I wondered if they too felt like they shouldn’t be sad because “it happens all the time”. I thought long and hard about these women, these strong amazing women who have become incredible mothers. And I thought about other women too, whom I haven’t met but were brave enough to share their stories. As I waited for my second test results, I felt like I had absorbed some strength from these ladies and I felt so appreciative that they had shared their stories with me.
On my way to work Monday morning, my doctor called me. “I have your test results, and I have some good news, the human growth hormone in your blood has more than doubled, it looks like you definitely have a viable pregnancy.” And once again I was stunned, only this time I felt a whole lot more grateful.