I stared at the two lines, and they stared back. I knew my period was late, but we’d only been trying for about a month. One line was a bit more faded than its friend, but it was definitely there. I showed the test to my husband, pointing to the back of the box which depicted an example that mirrored the test in his hand.
“I think you’re pregnant,” he said to me, running his fingers through his hair and placing his hands on his knees.
“I think I’m pregnant,” I whispered, slowly erupting into joyous laughter. We looked at each other, tears threatening to spill over. We held each other so tightly right outside the bathroom.
My leg bounces up and down as I wait for the nurse to return.
“The line was so faint I almost thought it was negative, but it’s true, you’re pregnant! Congrats!”
I let out a breath I hadn’t realized I’d been holding. I smiled the whole time as she began dictating an overwhelming whirlwind of information and paperwork about breastfeeding, and co-sleeping, and safe medications to take, while I just attempted to take it all in.
I listened to insurance information and got my blood drawn for labs, clutching all the new information to my chest while I practically ran to the car. I immediately called my husband, repeating to him what we already suspected.
The next week was blissful and all conversation revolved around the baby. How amazed we were that we got pregnant the first try, how the due date would fall right before he had to leave for another military training. We talked about what great parents we would be and the fears that we had. Each day I awaited the call from the high-risk clinic that I knew would be my home away from home for the next 10 months.
“We should probably wait to tell everyone until farther along, just in case something happens,” I said one night as we were having dinner. He agreed, and thus began another conversation of the different unique ways we could tell all our loved ones about the good news.
Little bandanas for the dogs that would tell my grandma, onesies for his sister and his parents, all announcing what we were itching to tell the world. I stopped drinking soda and was nearly out of my prenatal vitamins. I downloaded an app that would compare the baby’s growth to fruit, smiling at the thought of my little sesame seed inside me.
I complained about the bone crushing exhaustion and joked about how I was going to prep for the morning sickness, but I loved it all. I found myself touching my stomach all the time, although it looked nearly the same. I went in for more bloodwork, squeezing the most out of my lunch breaks to make it, but was always assured that everything looks fine. I thought nothing more about it.
I got the call at 4:30 on a Monday. I was 6 weeks along. I was sure it was the high-risk clinic finally scheduling their appointment.
It was a nurse.
“We got your bloodwork back, I’m afraid your levels have dropped.”
“What does that mean?” I knew what it meant.
“That normally indicates that you’ve had a miscarriage. I’m so very sorry.” There was no reason, or explanation. “Sometimes, it just doesn’t stick,” she cited. I looked out the window, where the rain had been pouring all day. I wondered if maybe the sky was crying with me, as if it was some sense of foreshadowing.
I walked to the bathroom, stripped out of my clothes, sat in the shower, and screamed.
I don’t remember getting dressed or telling my husband about the call. He came home immediately.
We held each other so tightly right outside the bathroom.
I told him to tell who he needed to, that it was his loss just as much as mine. He told his best friend, whose pregnant wife immediately texted me to ask how I was.
I didn’t answer. I still haven’t answered. What am I supposed to say to someone who is living the truth that I so desperately want to be my own? What would I tell her? Maybe I could talk about the decision I’m struggling with about which is worse, the never-ending cramps wracking my abdomen or the slowly crawling numbness that is slowly settling over my body? Or how I hold my bladder for as long as possible so I don’t have to go to the bathroom where I just close my eyes as tight as possible until I can flush it all away.
The high-risk clinic calls. The woman is pleasant, and her voice sounds kind.
“Hi, we were calling because we got a referral that you needed to set an appointment with one of our doctors?”
My voice cracks, and I sound anything but kind.
“I’m not pregnant anymore.”
She is apologetic. It’s not her fault. It’s not my fault. It’s not anyone’s fault they say.
“I had three before I got pregnant,” my aunt said when she brought by dinner.
“My mom had one before,” my husband says to me.
“I had one before you,” I’ll tell my kid one day when I tell them the story of how I was pregnant with them.
I take another test. I don’t know why, but I do. I look at the little faint line, next to its friend, and I cry. I cry over the nursery suggestions my Pinterest doesn’t know it shouldn’t show me, and all the social media announcements I suddenly can’t stop seeing. I cry over the onesies and the bandanas that came in the mail that I can’t use now. I cry when the red circles the drain in the shower knowing that it isn’t just blood. I look at the test and cry because I know that it’s a lie, but I desperately want it to be the truth.