My Angel

We kept our decision a secret, hoping to surprise our families with happy news.  We had two months with no success, but we were still very optimistic.  In August, we had planned a surprise party for my uncle (more like a big brother), and my  family was coming up for it (my immediate family had moved to Tennessee).  "Oh, how perfect," I thought.  "They will all be here and we can tell them the good news in person."  Because I was so very regular, I would know the results of our third attempt (I would either get my period or do a pregnancy test) exactly the day of the party: August 14, 1999.

On the morning of the party, ole Aunt Flo arrived much to my disappointment.  It was a little light, but the last month was as well.  The last month I had done a pregnancy test just to make sure, and it was negative.  I understandably dismissed the lightness to just another strange month just like the previous month had been.  It lasted about 5 days, and so I didn't think much of it.  I tried to be optimistic about trying again the next month.  With short cycles, that time comes quickly so I didn't have much time to stay disappointed.

On August 23, which was a Monday, I got stuck working a bit late.  I also had school that evening, so I called my husband and asked him to meet me at Pepe's for a quick dinner.  On the way to Pepe's from work, I suddenly got a horrendous cramp in my abdomen that was so bad it made me flinch.  Then it didn't subside, but began to worsen.  I noted that it felt like a period cramp intensified a thousand times, and thought how strange it was given that I just had one.

The minute I got into Pepe's, I went to the restroom to see what was going on.   Sure enough, it looked like another period had started.  Thinking this was very odd, I immediately called my doctor's office to ask what they thought.  I spoke with a nurse and explained my situation.  She thought that since it had been relatively soon since I'd gone off the pill, that perhaps it was just an out of place period and nothing to worry about.  When I asked about the extreme pain, she indicated that with my history of painful menstruation that it didn't seem all that odd, especially considering the last two months had been light and cramp free.  I chalked it up to "revenge" as well, so I loaded up on my Advil and tried to go on.  Our 3rd anniversary was the next day, Tuesday, and instead of a special night of "trying," we settled for dinner and a movie instead.  With each day, the pain worsened and by Wednesday evening, it was unbearable.  Not only was the pain horrible, but the flow was abundant, more so than any period had ever been.  It should have triggered me to think something was wrong earlier, but I had faith in the medical advice and probably didn't want to think it could be the unthinkable.  Wednesday evening I spent in a hot bathtub trying to alleviate the pain.  Thursday and Friday came with no improvement in symptoms and also added some: extreme bloating, and pain if you so much as touched my abdomen.  Finally on Friday afternoon, I decided I better see a doctor.  By now I was convinced it must be something else and not related to baby-making in any way.  Saturday morning was the earliest appointment, and off my husband and I went.

I will never ever forget the moment when the doctor came in the room with the news.  I have relived it over and over in my mind.  When I described my symptoms and confirmed that we had been trying to have a baby, of course a pregnancy test was in order.  The doctor was gone for a long time, and when he finally came back, that's when everything changed.  He said, "We ran the test twice because we wanted to be sure.  The pregnancy test was positive."  With that I immediately burst into tears, one part of me in complete shock and the other almost somehow knowing that's what it was going to be.  The doctor was very kind and handed me a tissue, asking me if this came as a surprise.  I said that it would have been the best news of my life if I hadn't been having these problems.  I already knew it was too late.  I already knew there was no hope, not after all that pain.  But I still had to wait all weekend for the confirmation.  There had to be two quantitative Hcg counts to confirm that the numbers were decreasing.  He made me an appointment for that Monday with the OB/GYN.  A part of me still had hope even though logically I knew it was bad.  I had to stay on 100% bedrest and just lay there and think.  All I could think was how much I did not want to lose my baby.  Monday evening confirmed the bad news.  Two blood tests changed my life forever.  Since Wednesday was the very worst day, I consider that the official date.  So my recognition of my first baby is:

^i^ My Angel, August 25, 1999

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