“Is he an only child?” My vet asked me this morning, blond curls wisping around her young face, eyes bright and cheery.
I watched her poke and prod my sweet black lab, Moose, as he wagged his tail.
Tomorrow it’s my turn to go to the doctor. I have my first visit with a reproductive endocrinologist, entering a shiny, expensive, needle-filled world. Tomorrow I will get poked and prodded. I am so apprehensive – I’ve mentally prepared myself to be strong, and steely, and ready to fight for myself. And, yet. And yet I so badly want them to tell me everything is fine, I’m so healthy, my body is perfect, and that my baby is right around the corner.
So this is where my blog starts. I married my superhero husband in a fairytale wedding in New Orleans, in 2014. I’ve been obsessed with this man since the day I met him, on Valentine’s Day 2009, at an 80s costume party after one too many vodka sodas. I followed him from New York to California, and waited as patiently as I could until he finally popped the question on my 30th birthday. We bought a solid, stuccoed three bedroom home on a park with views of the bright blue Pacific ocean. We rescued Moose, the happy black lab. Our careers soared, we were in love, and the sun shone only for us.
On our one-year anniversary, as we had planned, I stopped birth control. A month later I got my first period, right on time, and I turned 32. I started using OPKs and, holy smokes, I got my BFP! I couldn’t believe how easy it all was. I remember so clearly, I had taken a digital the day my period was due (it was too early on in this journey for me to know about FRERs) and it was negative. But the next day there was still no period, and I had an extra test in my purse, so around 5 pm I peed on the stick in the bathroom at my office. I stuck the test in my pocket and walked back to my desk. I peeked at it 3 minutes later, and my heart nearly stopped. “Pregnant,” it said. I flew out of the office, mind racing, hands trembling.
I went to the mall and bought some tiny little baby socks, and put them in a gift box with my positive test. When my husband got home I said “Surprise!” He opened the box and just gawked at it, stunned. And then he hugged me and kissed me, and we laughed in nervous wonder.
A few days later we made adorable photos holding signs that said “Baby on board!” and sent them to our relatives, calling them and asking them to open their email as we “needed their opinions on something.” Everyone was overjoyed. I was humming around my house all weekend, skipping, euphoric. My husband cheerily piled extra food on my plate and gave me two kisses instead of one each time he left.
“We are so lucky,” I remember saying.
On Sunday evening, lying in bed, I felt a sharp cramp in my belly. I instantly knew something was wrong. I went to the bathroom. There was blood. Just a spot, dark brown. Looking back, I’m surprised I understood so quickly what was happening. I just knew.
I barely slept at all, and by morning I was nauseous, dizzy, and cramping horribly. I called my OBGyn and they said to come in for my first ever blood draw. These would become very familiar to me.
My first beta: 160. For 4 weeks + 5 days, that wasn’t terrible, but it was low.
2 days later my beta was 128. I was miscarrying.
The miscarriage was awful. It dragged on, seemingly forever. They gave me misoprostol to speed it up, which did nothing. We went to Napa for the weekend, for a change of scenery, and I just remember sobbing hysterically as my husband brought me breakfast in bed, took me to a nice restaurant, and hugged me tightly, helplessly. Finally, at 5 weeks + 4 days, I got my period. It was the heaviest, most intense period I’d ever had.
I mourned, but I was still hopeful. It was a fluke, my OBgyn said, bad luck. Just try again.
The next three cycles in a row I would repeat almost the same experience – BFPs followed by cramping and my period. I just can’t seem to make it to the 5 week mark.
For me, it’s not a “two week wait” – instead, it’s three weeks. I have yet to keep a baby that long.
This morning, sitting in that cold, tiled room, looking into my vet’s bright eyes, I forced the words out:
“Yes,” I sputtered. “He is my only child.”
And I choked back the itchy feeling of angels in my throat.