What is a chemical pregnancy? Is it a false positive on a pregnancy test? Is it an almost pregnancy? Is there even a baby in a chemical pregnancy?
You have been trying to get pregnant. And then, a positive pregnancy test! It is an amazing, life-changing moment. It feels like things will never be the same in the best of ways.
You begin to imagine the little person who will come from this pregnancy. You start thinking about how you will make the announcement. You go to a pregnancy tracking website to calculate your due date. You wonder if you will need pink or blue baby clothes. In your mind, in your heart, in your body, you are now and forever a mom.
Until . . . until a few days later. When all of your hopes and dreams are washed away with the blood as though it were nothing more than a period. To an outsider, it would appear that your monthly cycle was simply a few days tardy. In fact, some people may even insinuate that that is exactly what happened. But somewhere deep in your heart, you know that you became a mama.
What is a chemical pregnancy? Is it a real pregnancy? Are you allowed to grieve the loss of a chemical pregnancy? Is it even a real loss or just a perceived loss?
The fact that the pregnancy ends only days or hours after you discover you are with child seems to inherently imply that grieving is unnecessary or perhaps even unacceptable. You may feel pressured into believing that you should move on and try again as though nothing ever happened to disrupt your trying-to-conceive journey. You may want to hide the fact that you were ever even pregnant. After all, you are not completely sure yourself whether you were actually pregnant or not.
And yet, you know. You know your heart grew in an instant to make room for more love. And you know a piece of your newly enlarged heart has been ripped away, never to be replaced. You know that a new little soul touched yours and left a permanent imprint. You know that Heaven gained something precious that you lost. You know you will forever love someone the rest of the world never knew existed.
What is a chemical pregnancy? It is a life. A life that is quickly and quietly carried to Heaven from a mama’s womb. It is a baby. A baby that will not be known to many but will be loved by a mama’s heart forever. It is a loss. A loss so significant that a mama’s soul will grieve with or without permission from her mind.
What is a chemical pregnancy? It is the cold, unempathetic medical term given to a woman when her baby dies within a certain time frame. It is, plain and simple, a pregnancy with a tragic ending and an inadequate definition.
The ending of a pregnancy that lasted only a few short days can be as traumatic as a pregnancy that ends later in gestation. Whether you miscarry 10 hours or 10 weeks after getting a positive pregnancy test, you lost your irreplaceable baby just the same. Our society is just beginning to acknowledge miscarriage as a death, which ought to be grieved. But it still fails to recognize the value of every life, no matter how small.
Even some women who have had chemical miscarriages themselves often minimize the importance of the little human who did not survive. As though it is expected for those who miscarry early to lay aside their need to grieve so that they might not offend the grief of those who miscarry later on.
I have miscarried four times in my motherhood journey. My first was a missed miscarriage at 10 weeks. The next one was a complete molar pregnancy which was discovered and surgically removed at 16 weeks. The last two were chemical pregnancies, ending before I could make it to 5 weeks.
And can I tell you something? My chemical pregnancies were traumatic. It does not matter how far along I was. It does not matter how microscopic my babies were. It does not matter that the physical recovery was relatively easy. I lost my children on those painful days. And it hurt. It hurt every bit as much as the miscarriages that happened further along.
What is a chemical pregnancy? It is when a mama loses her child so quickly, she doesn’t even have an ultrasound picture to look at while she tries to process her sorrow. It is when a woman feels something missing from her aching heart, from her very body, while the world tries to convince her she has lost nothing.
It is when a baby leaves this world before anyone knows he came. Except a mama. A mama knows. A mama can feel when a piece of her heart is living in Heaven.