The paper cartoon turkeys and cornucopias taped up in the hallways only served to highlight the bleakness of the hospital walls they were meant to hide. "So, just the pregnancy test?" she said, looking at the dark, smudged paper that had been faxed over by my midwife. For a minute I didn't know what to say. I knew that hCG levels were what they checked via blood draw to see if someone was pregnant. But I was not pregnant. And the last thing I needed was to be reminded of that fact. I felt my face grow warm. "Yes," I said. "I'm not... Yes."
The last time I miscarried there had been no embryonic development, so the event itself was physically no big deal. Like a late period. This time I was further along, there had been development, and I ended up in the E.R. (where I promptly passed out) with severe cramps, heavy bleeding, and blood clots larger than a softball. It took me several weeks to fully recover, even though the miscarriage had been a natural one (that is to say, I did not require medical intervention) to that point. I was getting my hCG levels checked to make sure they were going down to 0, basically to rule out any retained tissue and a molar pregnancy. I was not pregnant. Not anymore.
My midwife tells me that my two back-to-back miscarriages could just be "bad luck". There might not be anything physically wrong with me and my ability to sustain a pregnancy. But it sure doesn't feel that way. I feel broken.
My grief comes in waves. My sadness for my loss and my gratitude for my relative health are strangely intertwined in my head and in my heart. I don't know where to go from here, honestly. Onward, to be sure. But with what in sight? I guess for now I will go about my days with cheerfulness taped up on the hallways of my heart in an effort to hide the bleakness.