Saturday, March 13, 2010


I'm not pregnant. And, before you all think I am NUTS, we werent trying to cycle (however, because we dont believe in birth control, we are open to life if it happens).

Why did I take a pregnancy test, you ask? Ah... Quite the long story...

I saw Dr. B. for my annual in mid-February. At that time, I still hadnt menstruated, which isnt uncommon, since I go years between menses. We talked about the ramifications of not cycling, which include a much higher risk of cancer and early hysterectomy. He advised either monthly birth control pills, which we werent okay with (even if they werent for the express intent of preventing pregnancy), or progesterone therapy. Since I was unable to induce a period using Prometrium with Dr. Lee, Dr. Bailey wrote a prescription for Provera. Quarterly, I was prescribed a ten day dose, with menstruation due within 5-7 days of stopping the pills. In order to make sure I wasnt pregnant before hand, I was to take a test before starting the pills. So, March 1st, I took a test and then popped a tiny pill. And, yesterday, on the 12th, I got my first monthly in a very long time that wasn't miscarriage or missed cycle induced, in FOUR years.


And it hurts. I mean, like the winds that are blowing down trees outside, doubling me over in the kitchen cramping, hurt. People do this monthly? This blows... Glad he says I can do it once a quarter and that is enough to lower my risk of endometrial cancer into normal rages! (Okay, so it's not "labor" bad, but it was enough to make me take 2 Advil and skip morning yoga, which sucked...)

But I digress... The point of this post wasnt to share the TMI of my menstrual cycle... It was that BFN.

Over the years, I've taken a variety of pregnancy tests. Some you hold in your pee, others you drop a dot on, some tell you "NOT PREGNANT" (just so you can be extra sure), others have the single line. I scored negatives on pregnant cycles and then, a year ago, had those beautiful two lines on (God only knows how many) tests to indicate Bobby and Maya. And suddenly, I was excreting hCG and all was well... Those negative tests, however, broke my heart every single time. I would hope and hope and hope... And then crash. One little line- and one nonexistent one- could destroy me like nothing else. They were a sign that I was broken... That I was infertile.

All I wanted was two lines... That elusive BFP. I cried at every BFN, brokenhearted that, even though I "thought" I was pregnant (after all, why would I run the risk of the test otherwise), only to be told, emphatically with the digitals, that I wasnt. That I was a failure. That the one thing I wanted more than anything in the world, I couldnt have.

Sitting in the bathroom, waiting for this test to run, I pondered the "what if" of two lines. Oh my goodness, I thought, how would I manage bedrest with two little ones! But it was a happy daydream, a thought of what a miracle it would be if I were, and then... one line. And I shrugged, tossed the test in the garbage, and went to change out laundry before taking my morning pills.

And it hit me.

This was the first negative that didnt break my heart. Hell, it didnt even break my stride! I wasnt pregnant- the first time since we started seeing Dr Lee in 2007 that I havent been pregnant within 6 months of being pregnant- and I was okay with that. I wasnt going to cry. My heart wasnt hurting. I was okay.

I often think that having living children hasnt changed me from the mother I was when I was an orphaned parent only. But that experience told me that it has. I am different. I dont feel my family is complete; I know I never will. There will always be faces missing from family pictures. But there will be other faces, too... Faces that arent in today's pictures, but may be in tomorrow's. And that will be okay. It will be our life. And I am different. Peter is different. We, as a family, are different. And, for the first time in a long time, I felt like that was okay.

I walked down the hallway towards our bedroom and stopped to look at the pictures. There was Nicholas, holding his hands; Sophia, wide smile on her face; Alexander, cuddling up to his blanket; Maya, sucking her fingers; and Bobby, giving the camera a "who's holding my sister if you're holding that contraption???" look. Then, there were paintings of Peter and I, together, so young, smiling... Our family. Ours... Mine and his, his and mine. Perfect, the way God meant for it to be.

And I wasnt pregnant.

And that was okay.

I looked in on him as I picked up my pill bottle from next to the bed. He was curled up to the warm spot I had left behind, hand reaching for the head that had dotted the pillow, where now a small indention was all that was left behind.

And I wasnt going to wake him up to tell him I was pregnant.

And that was okay.

I walked into the nursery, where I peeked over the edge of the crib to watch sleeping babies breathe softly. And, as I gazed down, Bobby first, and then Maya, opened their beautiful eyes and smiled up at me, lovingly...

And all was right with the world, and my heart wasnt breaking.

And it was good. All good.

A week ago, I got together with a blog friend. We had a great time. We hung out at the house for a bit, and had lunch at my favorite, semi-local coffee shop. She is now on hospital bedrest, so please pop over and over her some warm fuzzies. She's almost 20 weeks and they really want to keep the quads in for 7+ weeks. While your sending those fuzzies, say a prayer too. Your prayers kept us pregnant for 16 weeks on bedrest (7 of which were in the hospital) and got our twins safely here and home. I know you can do it again!!!


Sunny said...

What a beautiful realization! I imagine that each of our children change us, as we learn the unique things they have to teach us.

one-hit_wonder said...

Indeed, a lovely realization. This IF thing leaves us never knowing what to expect psychologically, eh? In my case, for instance, I teared up a little after reading this because I know I'll never wake up my DH with an excited "I'm pregnant!" Instead, I got a stern "Don't tell me that." Ah, well. The prize is sleeping in my arms (and yours are in your arms, too) and that's what is important.

Anonymous said...

Ugh, Provera. I'm sorry about that. It is an evil, evil drug. But may I offer some unsolicited advice? I found that the longer I waited between cycles, the more they hurt and the more I bled. Quarterly just wasn't enough for me. I hope they won't be as bad for you in the future!

K said...

Beautiful reflection Michele. It was lovely to read.

Also, I second what manapan said, when I have longer times between periods when I get it, it hurts so much more.

Anonymous said...

My doc has always told me that the PCOS can cause the terrible cramping as I suffer from that. :( I am sorry you had to experiance that.

What a wonderful realization you experianced. Praying for you should you and hubby decide to have more beautiful babies one day.

Catherine W said...

' - the first time since we started seeing Dr Lee in 2007 that I havent been pregnant within 6 months of being pregnant -'

Obviously I must have known this from the dates of your children's births but, oh my, it really hit me to read it.

Glad that BFN didn't break your stride and I hope that the tips from some of the ladies above can help with the cramping. Sounds horrible :(

I do love those 'everything's right with the world' moments.

Anonymous said...

Ya know i honestly wonder if i'll get pregnant after this baby is born ( and he is still a dream away for me). So I get what you are saying.

The Swann's said...

Such a beautiful post. I cannot imagine seeing a BFN and not crying so I'm sure it'll hit me once this baby is born just the same.