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Waiting for a Pink Line: A Story of Hope and Loss

I took the first test 3 days ago, 4 days after my missed period. I waited that long because after a year of trying I had
been there before – 4 days late. So you missed your period by a few days, so what? Maybe your cycle is just off. That’s
probably a cramp you feel, it’ll be any day now. Look, a premature pimple, it’s definitely coming. So this time I refused to let 1-3 days late slow me down. I flew to NYC on day 1, and I indulged in things I wanted to indulge in. I had a Diet Coke with lunch on day 2, and toasted with champagne at my cousins wedding on day 3.

Because I’m sure I’m not pregnant… I never am.

And while I put up a strong front on the outside for those first 3 days, on the inside I am melting. Please PLEASE let me be pregnant. If I don’t think about it too much, and act like I’m not, maybe this time I really will be. So on Sunday morning, the 4th day, at the airport waiting to fly home, when I had 3 hours to myself with nobody to talk to and nothing to do, I decided I couldn’t wait anymore and made use of the ‘just in case’ pregnancy test I had packed in my bag before I left on Thursday morning. I stood in the tiny stall for 3 minutes listening to passengers being paged. It was positive. Very faintly positive.  The faint line scares me. That is what happened ‘last time’. Last time that faint line meant my higher than average hormones still weren’t high enough.

So last time, 5 hours after I rejoiced with a faintly positive test in my hand, I quickly lost hope. Hope is the worst thing you can have when you aren’t actually pregnant. Hope is what makes your heart skip a beat and hope is what
downloads pregnancy apps on your phone. Hope is what you feel when you’re craving that donut – it’s because I’m
pregnant not because I’m just hungry. Last time hope is what put my ‘due date’ on my calendar and marked the 20
week halfway point too – that’s when we would find out if it was a boy or a girl. How would we ever pick a name if it’s a boy? We had so much trouble naming Drew…

Last time, three days after that first blood test, the lab results from a second blood test confirmed what I had been
told. I should not plan on having a baby in the Spring.  What had made me miscarry? Was it ‘just because’? Or did whatever is going on inside me cause my baby to leave me?  And thank goodness I only had 5 hours to get used to the idea before I squashed it. I didn’t feel too devastated – it was only 5 hours. I can do this. I push on.

I delete the due date and the 20 week mark on my calendar – my heart breaks.

So now I’m alone at the airport with a faint line on my pregnancy test. It’s faint because I didn’t use my first morning
pee, right? You’re supposed to use your morning pee, it has a higher concentration of HCG since it’s not as diluted,
right? I’ll try again tomorrow morning first thing. In the meantime, DO NOT think you’re pregnant. Don’t look up the due date. Don’t wonder if it’s a boy or a girl. Don’t worry about how Drew will react when we bring his baby brother home. Don’t start planning when will be a good time to move him to a big-boy bed so you can use the crib for the baby.

Just don’t do it… don’t do it… don’t do it… I’m due June 8. Another summer baby!

I come home and I can’t take it anymore. I am bursting at the seams to tell my husband the kind of good news in
person… I might be pregnant. I show him the picture of the test that I left discarded in the airport bathroom. Is that a
line?, he asks squinting. Yes, technically. I might be pregnant. He informs me that he is going to hold off on getting
excited until we have more ‘concrete evidence’…disappointment. I know that he is protecting himself too – but I am
dying to celebrate. We did everything we were supposed to do. I got rid of the polyp and we ‘tried’ way more times
than I ever wanted to in a 7 day period, and now we are pregnant! I get down on the floor and start cleaning the
playroom that looks like it hasn’t been cleaned since I left 2 days ago. He gets down to help me, which he never
does. It’s because I’m pregnant, isn’t it. Maybe this will turn a new leaf… maybe he will be more helpful because now
that I’m pregnant he will feel bad if I do too much… I’ll keep an eye on this. This is already awesome.

The next morning I take a pregnancy test first thing. I prepare for the worst but hope for the best. The line shows
up! This time it’s darker than yesterday, so that’s good. But it still isn’t as dark as it was in November of 2014. I was
definitely pregnant then. So then, I’m not definitely pregnant now? My chest was sore this weekend, but now it’s
not. And am I cramping? Bad signs? I’m not sure… is that pregnancy hunger? Or hunger-hunger? Who knows. The
morning marches on.

I try not to be too distracted at work. Every time I pee I hold my breath fearful that the paper in my hand will tell me I’m not pregnant. It doesn’t happen. I don’t realize how much this is weighing on me until I get up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night that night – and after I climb back into bed I shed a few involuntary tears. Last time I knew I wasn’t pregnant by now. This time maybe I am? Maybe it’s OK to be hopeful? I download the apps, and check out how big my baby is at 4 weeks and 4 days. He’s a poppy seed. I remember to sleep on my left side since it’s better than the right. I do some math, I will be 27 weeks pregnant at my next cousins wedding in March. How exciting, what will I wear?

The next day is another day of the bathroom game at work. I hold it as long as I can so that just in case I’m not pregnant I can hold off knowing for a little bit longer. Is that a cramp? What is up with that zit? I google lots of things. “Faint lines on pregnancy tests” – it says I’m pregnant. Other symptoms? “Peeing a lot and hunger”? Check and check…maybe I can continue to be optimistic… maybe.

The next morning is this morning, October 4. I take another pregnancy test because your hormone levels are supposed to double every few days. So my line should be darker now… right? This is the sign I need so I can relax. I pee on the stick and I wait. Where is the line? Hello? Line? My heart sinks. There it is, but it’s lighter than ever. It’s been three minutes, I shouldn’t watch it anymore because if it gets darker that could just be what’s called an ‘evaporation line’, and that would give me what I am now assuming is false hope. I’m heart broken, what did I do wrong? Was it the diet coke? The champagne at the wedding? So those were cramps? I knew it.

I call my doctor even though I know she won’t be in for another hour because I want mine to be the first message she
listens too today. Can I PLEASE come in for a blood test? My brain and heart are tired, and if my hormone levels are low again I just want to know. But if they are OK then I would appreciate knowing that too. I wait all morning to hear
back. Every second feels like an hour. Finally I get the call – she wants me to wait a week and then give her an
update. ‘Lots of times women have positive pregnancy tests but don’t end up being pregnant so you might not be, wait a week and let us know if your period starts. And stop taking at home tests’… gee, thanks. Ok… so… until then I will just keep living this way. Scared to go to the bathroom. Completely distracted. Wondering if my next baby is growing inside of me or if it’s already gone. And I will continue to try to squash my hope. I’ve had hope now for 3 days, that’s way too much hope. I’m afraid I will be more devastated this time. I don’t know why I feel this way, I called it from the beginning. My husband doesn’t want to talk about it at all, when I try he gives me a nod but that’s about it. Still protecting himself, I get it. I feel alone in these thoughts, so I write them here.

Editors Note: Three days after sharing her story with us, our guest blogger miscarried.  She shares this story with us to let other women know they aren’t alone.

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