August 19th is the Day of Hope in the baby loss community, and that includes tiny babies lost in miscarriage. I learned about this in last week’s pregnancy loss support group meeting. The co-facilitator brought craft supplies for us to each make a prayer flag in remembrance of our lost babies. The idea is that today, these prayer flags will be flown all over the world. I wasn’t sure what I was going to make, but I experimented as I went along and, as usual, found inspiration in Jizo. Here he is on the beach, against a starry sky, dressed in a traditional red bonnet, holding a ball of glittering gold, and with a starfish at his feet:
Hope. Today I am not sure whether it’s a help or a hindrance.
After a sleepless night filled with rushes of adrenaline and nightmares about P-SIL being pregnant again, I stuck the thermometer in my mouth, bleary-eyed. This morning’s temperature was going to tell me if I can expect AF tomorrow.
This is the 5th cycle I’ve charted. Not counting this cycle and the one where I was pregnant, the other three cycles have shown a drop in temperature the day before my period. That day-before temp has been a pretty consistent 97.9x (twice 97.90 and once 97.92) and two-tenths of a degree above my coverline. So, I’d promised myself that if I got a temperature above 98.0 this morning, I would also do a pregnancy test.
Are you fucking kidding me, Universe? That’s 97.99, and four-tenths of a degree above my coverline. But given the borderline data, I went and peed on a stick anyway. Negative. And I am crushed.
As I broke down and wept quietly so as not to wake DH, I noticed my nipples felt like they were on fire. I’ve been up for more than eight hours and my nipples are still hot and tingly. I’m still thirsty all. the. time. I’m still hungry all. the. time. Even though I refused to drink anything this morning except to take my cocktail of stupid prenatal vitamins, I still need to pee all. the. time. And I still have this sodding headache I’ve had for 4 days. These symptoms persist in spite of my hopes being dashed. I cannot believe that they’re simply psychosomatic.
My therapist gently pointed out that I’m not out until AF shows. She also said that my tears today have a different quality than usual. To her I seemed more emotional than usual.
Fertility Friend says 76.8% of positive pregnancy tests are reported before 13dpo — which means that 23.2% of pregnant women will not test positive today. There I go, hoping again — until I remind myself that this morning’s temp was the second consecutive drop.
The only thing I can conclude is that this is an early loss. A chemical pregnancy whose HCG was below the threshold of testing. The only reason I decided to test was so I’d know if this was a chemical pregnancy, but with stats like those it seems like that was a waste of money. I’m never buying a pregnancy test again, unless my period is late.
I won’t be able to say definitively that I’m out this month until AF shows tomorrow. In the meantime, I cling to hope and simultaneously push it away. DH is disappointed too, but says he still has hope. Just as well.
Hope. Can’t live with it, can’t live without it.