As of yesterday at about 10am, I have closure.
I woke my boyfriend and we showered and dressed for the day at 9am. At 9:45 we headed for the OB/GYN.
As we drove there I asked him for confirmation that I wasn’t crazy. I didn’t feel sad. I was a little nervous and of course I was hoping to go in there and see that little flicker that says that I’m pregnant, but after my waning symptoms and my high hCG but no clear ultrasound I was not optimistic. Eric assured me that it was perfectly fine. I had taken the appropriate time to think things through and I knew not to get my hopes up. I was being a reasonable and level headed person.
Toni, the ultrasound tech, was the same woman who had done my last one. She vaguely remembered my face and asked me to go into the last room on the right and undress from the waist down. My information was already all up on the screen, including my LMP and “Due Date” as though that meant anything anymore. Despite not expecting anything, I took in every image I was seeing on the screen, hoping to see something. Still nothing. No surprise there.
Toni was much kinder this time. Before she started she asked if I had had any bleeding or cramps I told her no, but that my symptoms were starting to fade and that I wasn’t expecting any changes. It was all over in less than 10 minutes. Probably much less than that, although when you’re staring at a screen straining to see a baby that doesn’t exist you don’t have much sense of time. Toni began printing off different angles to show the doctor and as she was doing so she said that she did not see any change from last time and that there was clearly no fetal pole. She asked about my blood tests, I told her that my levels were 43,000 on Thursday, but that I had yet to hear back about my second test (I ended up getting them drawn Tuesday morning. Both myself and my doctors all forgot that Monday was a holiday). She told me to dress and she would give me my papers to head upstairs to see the doctor. As I left her downstairs office, she said that she was unsure what the next step would be, but that she might see me again next week to check for any progress. She wished me good luck and I was on my way.
Upstairs, the receptionist took my papers and sent me to the bathroom for a urine sample. There were no other women in the waiting room at the time. I was grateful. I waited for maybe 6 minutes and then was called back to see the nurse. She was an unpleasant woman, she seemed grumpy, but maybe she was just having a bad day. As I sat down to have my blood pressure read, she went into the office across from me to use the computer, she kept glancing at me. Her stare seemed icy but maybe I’m imagining things. After she sent me into the office, it was only a few moments before Dr. Allen arrived to speak to me. In the time that we were waiting, I discussed with Eric one last time what our options were and confirmed that he was on board for waiting to see if things would happen on their own.
Dr. Allen was a tall, thin woman with a kind face. She was not overly formal. She introduced herself and the very next thing out of her mouth was “So, things don’t look good.” She apologized, but not in a pitiful way, and explained what we were seeing on the ultrasounds (a whole lotta nothin’). She went over our options again and explained that she rarely likes to give out the vaginal suppository as she’s seen a lot of women try it and have horrible experiences, but that if I did want it she was willing to prescribe it. After explaining everything she asked what we thought we’d like to do. I explained that we’d had about a week to think about it and discuss things and we’d like to see if we can do this on our own and then if nothing happens, revisit our options. She seemed to very much like this idea and she said that it was a wise choice. We’re supposed to call her if anything happens. If nothing changes in two weeks, we’re supposed to call and schedule an ultrasound (just to make sure) and to think about medical management.
As we left, Dr. Allen told the receptionist the basics and she said to me “Okay, Nicole, you’re all set and we have you scheduled for an annual exam in December.” Then she looked at me with this pitiful face and said “Good luck” and “Call us if you have any questions at all.” That was the worst part of the whole visit. We had known about this for almost a week. It was too late to pity us. But she didn’t know that. I wanted to be sad, but I just wasn’t. When we got home, I had coffee. The first time in a month. I didn’t feel like I had to avoid it anymore. There is no one counting on me to shelter and care for them for the next 9 months. It’s kind of freeing, but I know that, until this is officially over with, I won’t be able to go back to normal. There’s still this feeling like I’m pregnant and need to be on my best behavior. Eric made me toast when we got home, I had not eaten enough and I felt sick. I broke down, just a little. I think realizing that what I ate no longer had any impact on anyone but myself was the thing that made this a little scary, as strange as it sounds. He held me for a couple minutes and then I was better.
As of now, we’ve actually been feeling so much better. We’re very excited to wait. As much as we wanted this child, we now have the chance to plan better for our next one. I’m going to be heading to cosmetology school in a couple months like I’ve always wanted. Sometime within the next couple years, after I find a job in the field, Eric will be returning to college to get his degree. I’m looking for at least a part time job that I can do while I’m at cosmetology school. We’re planning on, while living with my mother, saving at least half of his income and all of mine (if/when I find some) so that we can save for a house and hopefully a better car. We’re really optimistic. It’s great to have a second chance.
As for all the baby stuff that people have been slowly giving to me, I just found out today that my good friends (married young adults who have educations and careers!) may be pregnant, so if that’s the case, this baby stuff will not sit in a box for the next few years. It’s bittersweet, and I’m sure my grief is probably not entirely over with, but I’m feeling very good about this, in spite of all our hopes and dreams.