My period was due Thursday. By Friday evening, I still didn't have any spotting, and began to wonder... could it be?
Saturday morning (3rd day late), I was at my NaPro Dr's office and asked her to run a blood test. My home pregnancy test was negative. All day long I expected to see some brown staining, which I always get before my period starts. For a couple of days I had felt mild cramping low in my pelvis, lasting only a few seconds each time, and then they stopped. My breasts were no longer tender like they normally are up until the night before AF. I was "going" to the bathroom like clockwork (and am usually a bit constipated up until the day she shows), and my skin was clearer than ever (while I tend to get the "warning" pimple right before my period).
I also knew exactly when I ovulated, and I knew THAT I ovulated and didn't form a cyst, because on day 15 of my cycle, I, yes, wanded myself and saw a very obvious corpus luteum on the left ovary (where I had seen a mature follicle two days earlier).
All signs, except the most obvious one on the home pregnancy test, were pointing to Pregnant.
Saturday night I prayed to every Saint I've ever prayed to, and then some. I touched my prayer cards to St Gianna and St Gerard, and asked them to please step up the prayers for me now more than ever. I put on the healing oil of Archangel Raphael (my Patron Saint 2010, the Saint of healing, and whose oil my grandmother had amongst her belongings and then I received when she passed away). I told St Therese that I was still waiting for her to send me a sign (a red rose) in response to my last Novena, and I pleaded with my Grandmother (named Rose) to keep praying as hard as she could on my behalf. I even prayed to little Andrew, the 3 year old boy martyred recently in Baghdad while at Mass, and asked him to pray that life was in my womb. I pulled out all the stops. I think the reason I prayed so hard was because I knew what the implications would be if I wasn't pregnant. I knew it was too late to not let myself "go there," because my post-Peak (luteal) phases are like clockwork, and even though I had tried a new compounded form of progesterone this cycle, I had taken the last pill Monday night. I have NEVER gone past P+15 before. Never. Not on progesterone injections, not on hCG, not on prometrium. Never. If tomorrow my period didn't arrive, it would be P+18. I knew what that meant.
Sunday morning I woke up and still there was no sign of AF. At this point, I told DH I was near positive I was pregnant, and that my body just wasn't producing enough hCG in the urine. (I'd read several stories online of women whose home pregnancy tests weren't positive until the 5th or 6th week, and some even later than that.) Of course, the whole time I was thinking and saying these things, I was looking at it from a purely scientific standpoint: the facts all pointed to one thing and one thing only. I was pregnant. But any time I tried to wrap my mind around the emotional fact that I could be pregnant,... well,... I just couldn't think about it. It scared me near to death.
As DH and I got ready for Mass, we talked about how next Christmas, we would have a baby. It brought us to tears. We would be able to tell my family this Christmas Eve, just like I had always dreamed!! I told him, "Maybe we shouldn't get our hopes up until we get that final confirmation from the blood test," but then I quickly changed my mind and said, "You know what? If I'm not pregnant, at least we can enjoy these few days of pretending we are, because we may never get this opportunity again." And so, I let myself go there. I was pregnant.
Mass was beautiful. The readings were ironically apropos, addressing the fact that God sends "signs" on His time, and the homily spoke of the fact that signs are not given to strengthen our faith but rather to show us that our faith is already strong. We should not rely on signs but accept them as they come. I smiled at DH, because we knew God was telling us we didn't NEED the "positive" sign of the home pregnancy test to inform us of what we already knew in our hearts. We were pregnant.
As I went up to receive, I almost couldn't handle the enormousness of it all. I was talking inwardly to my child, saying, "You just came from God, and now He is going to be with you again as we join Him in Holy Communion." It was unbearable, the joy in my heart... I almost burst.
After Mass, DH drove me to the Dr's office for a quick ultrasound I had to perform on a patient who was getting the NaPro follicle series done. We arrived early, and for some silly reason, I decided to start a fight with DH. It wasn't a huge fight, but enough to make us both upset. I went in to do the ultrasound, and DH drove down the road to Dunkin' Donuts to get a hot tea.
When I came out of the appointment, DH was waiting for me in the parking lot, and when I opened the passenger's door, there in my seat was a long-stemmed red rose. He told me it was because we had fought, and he was sorry (even though it was my fault!), and I kissed and thanked him.
Three minutes down the road I burst into tears. A red rose!! St. Therese! My grandmother!
DH looked at me worriedly. "What is it??!"
"Honey," I looked up at him through my tears. "We're pregnant."
I told him about my prayers, and he got goosebumps. The remainder of the day was all at once nothing special, and yet perhaps the best day of my life.
This morning I awoke bright and early to go to the lab for follow-up bloodwork. Convinced now more than ever, P+19 and NO BLEEDING, this. was. really. happening. To. ME! While I was handing in my insurance card at the lab, I saw my phone ringing. It was the Dr. I had to let it go to voicemail, but as soon as I got in the room to get my blood drawn, I checked the message quickly before the tech came in.
"TCIE, I wish I was calling with better news. Your blood work from Saturday was negative for hCG. Your progesterone was 6 and your estradiol was 32. Usually patients will not get their period until the progesterone has dropped below 3. I suppose the compounded progesterone worked really well for you... I'm sorry. I'll see you later today."
What happened next is a blur. I know I got my blood taken, but who did it, in what arm, and what I may have said, if anything, I have no idea. When I got back into my car I called DH, and had to then hear him burst into tears. My husband. My life. Broken. It sent me over the edge.
I have no idea how I got home, but I did, and I crawled into bed, with DH by my side.
I remember him saying, "Why did this have to happen NOW? We were happy with the house about to come through..."
At that, I felt a hot tear drop from my lower eyelid and run down my cheek to my pillow. I'm not sure if DH saw it or not, but as if in response to the tear, he mumbled to himself, "Oh, who am I kidding. I don't give a sh*t about the house..."
For a couple of hours I fell back asleep. And when I woke up to go in to work at the Dr's office, I was greeted by my period.
I haven't yet made sense of this. Usually I would wait to post about the details of something horrible happening, until I could at least make a little bit of sense of it. The only thing I can think is that this year, this CRAP-FILLED year (excuse my french), did not want to be outdone, so it sent one more huge zinger our way to make sure we have absolutely NO fond memories of 2010.
I know that negative pregnancy tests, and getting your period are nothing new for the infertile gal. It happens all the time. But I was prepared for this Christmas to be once again a childless one (within or outside the womb). I was prepared. What I was not prepared for was this - this - I don't even know what to call it. Just pure cruelty. Really, I can't think of anything more cruel to happen to an infertile couple who CAN'T ADOPT. And to see my husband so affected by it? I'm about ready to lose it. No. Wait. I already have.
I have no strength left in me. My head is pounding. I don't know what to do with myself.
Please pray for my husband. Without him and his strength, I can't go on.