The Story of my Pregnancy (Part 2)

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A looong time ago I shared the story of my first pregnancy which ended in miscarriage (click here to read) and I said that I would be following the post up in a week or two. Then life happened and “a week or two” turned into, ummm, four months.
Hey, life has been one wild ride!
Anyhoo, these recollections are more for my own personal journaling and memory-recording purposes than anything, so bear with me as I take a meander through memory lane. If you are a guy who gets squeamish when a girl talks about icky girl things, then you might want to skip this post. 😉

Determined To Try Again

After coming home from the hospital when we lost Baby Freeman, I went through wave after wave of passionate impulses. I HAD TO get back into martial arts. Stat. I even went so far as to drive by the dojo I intended to enroll in, even though I knew they were closed, and just sit in the parking lot and dream. But then, a few days after that, I became obsessed with the thought of trying to conceive again. The first time was an “accident”, this next time would be intentional. I was on a mission.
I dove into the world of TTC (trying to conceive) and became a regular on all the pregnancy forums – and by regular, I mean I spent every waking minute with my nose in my phone. In addition to educating myself on conception and healthy pregnancies, I was also trying to play Interned detective and figure out why I lost my first pregnancy. Was it something I did? Was my body somehow lacking? Was it hormones? The stress of my wedding, honeymoon and family drama? I learned everything I possibly could about ovulation, hormones, luteal phases, HCG and so on and so on and so on.

My New Plan

While I was arming myself with new knowledge and building the foundation for a successful pregnancy, I let my impatience and passion get the better of me. My plan was to wait three months to let my body heal itself, start eating healthy and get back into regularly working out, start taking prenatals and herbal hormonal regulators, and then start trying to conceive using the Shettles method of gender selection to maximize our chances of having a boy. I had it all figured out.
Only, I got impatient. Really impatient.
I understood that it was important to wait for a few menstrual cycles to pass before I tried again. If my body didn’t flush everything out the first time, then a healthy conceived human trying to implant on the walls of my womb would not get a good “hold” with implantation and wouldn’t be able to get the nutrients it needed to survive and thrive. These pregnancies are termed “chemical pregnancies”. A woman can have a chemical pregnancy and never even know it, unless she was testing early using an early detection pregnancy test.
What tends to happen with chemical pregnancies, is that a woman will take an early test, get a faint positive, and then approaching her expected period, the positive slowly begins to fade as the baby stops producing the hormone that tells the woman’s body she is pregnant. As the baby loses nutrition and stops growing, the woman’s body stops thinking it’s pregnant, and her period starts on time, or a few days delayed. Chances of chemical pregnancies are higher after miscarriage. The bleeding from my miscarriage was exceptionally little from what I had read on the forums, so I was sure the next period would be a doozy. All in all, intentionally trying to conceive now would be extremely irresponsible.
But I was so impatient!!
Why wait three months? Why not wait two? Or just one? Or what the heck.. why even wait one cycle? What if my body was already healed? I mean, I was back to feeling normal. At my last blood draw my HCG levels were almost zeroed out. I took a few pregnancy tests and they were all negative. So who was to say my body wasn’t ready for another baby? I kept reading story after story of women who successfully conceived immediately after a miscarriage. (After digging for them and intentionally seeking them out, of course.) So why couldn’t I do the same? And this time, it would be a sticker, or a “sticky bean” as everyone was calling the successful pregnancies on the forums.
So against my better judgment – and that of my husbands as well – we decided to try again.
I started using OPKs and taking my basal body temperature to chart my ovulation. And sure enough, I ovulated on the normal day in my normal cycle (I’ve always been extremely regular in my cycles). Wasn’t this a sign that my body was ready for a baby?! We followed the Shettles method for a boy, and then it was just time to join the Two Week Wait forums till I could start torturing myself taking pregnancy tests.
Fast forward two weeks, and there it was – my BFP, or Big Fat Positive! Even though it was a faint line on an early detection test, I was so excited, I told my family and closest friends right away.
Being cautious for a chemical pregnancy, I stocked up on extra pregnancy tests to take periodically over the next week, leading up to my expected period. But I wasn’t too worried. I felt like I was doing things “right” this time. I was on prenatals, I was eating right, I was in control – what could go wrong?

The Chemical Pregnancy

Jonathan and I had plans to go out of town to attend the North American premiere of Rurouni Kenshin at the Japanese Film Festival EigaFest in Hollywood on the weekend that I was set to have my menstrual cycle. Passing that milestone would mark the success or failure of this pregnancy in my mind. I hadn’t been taking the extra pregnancy tests like I’d planned to. I told myself it was because I was confident, but secretly, I was scared to death. I was regretting that I put this tiny developing human being in such a dangerous, precarious and unhealthy environment as my unhealed womb currently was.
The thought that this tiny babies’ survival hinged on my guessing that my body was healed enough to support its continued growth made me feel guilt, shame and a sense of uncontrollable dread. I put my desire for a baby above that same babies well-being.
The day before my expected period, I tested again to find that the line was just as faint – if not fainter – than it had been days before. Not a great sign. In a healthy pregnancy, the HCG doubles every 24-48 hours, meaning the line should be getting steadily darker every day. The following day, the day of my expected period, I tested again to find that the line had vanished completely. Just hours later, my menstrual cycle arrived.
While a chemical pregnancy is a miscarriage, and undeniably the loss of a human life, many people don’t like to count them as such. I see, “It was just a chemical pregnancy” on the forums a lot, as though it being “just” a chemical pregnancy somehow negates the loss. But a two week conceived human being is just as precious, just as valuable and just as worthy of mourning as a two month conceived human being or a two year conceived human being.
I mourned the loss of our second pregnancy as I did the first – only this time I carried a legitimate sense of guilt. My first loss was and remains a mystery. But this one? My heavy cycle that was clearly a continuation of my previous miscarriage informed me that in my impatience, I had intentionally brought a human being into the world that I knew my body wasn’t ready to support. My impatience and my rashness were partially – if not wholly – to blame.
I learned my lesson, and my impatient zeal for a baby NOW was effectively extinguished. So much so, that I changed tack entirely and decided – we don’t need a baby right now. That’s the last thing we need. What we need now is a dramatic life change. Instead of working on our bodies to support a baby, we need to work on our living situation, our home and our finances.
What we needed was for me to join the Navy…

I’ll update in a week or two (really this time!) on how we found out we were getting baby Tessa!

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Gingi is a photographer, cosplayer, amateur chef, crazy cat lady, anime otaku, bookworm, generic geek, world traveler, conservative Christian, homeschooler, devoted military wife and stay at home new mother of two little girls.

Gingi blogs about anything and everything that is relevant to being a supermom, stay at home wife, homeschooler and geek girl! You can contact her at gingifreeman@gmail.com or via the contact form on her website at www.domesticgeekgirl.com

Gingi Freeman

Gingi is a photographer, cosplayer, amateur chef, crazy cat lady, anime otaku, bookworm, generic geek, world traveler, conservative Christian, homeschooler, devoted military wife and stay at home new mother of two little girls. Gingi blogs about anything and everything that is relevant to being a supermom, stay at home wife, homeschooler and geek girl! You can contact her at gingifreeman@gmail.com or via the contact form on her website at www.domesticgeekgirl.com

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