Pardon the TMI (too much information), but I’m going to get personal here, and also a bit introspective. If this makes you uncomfortable, feel free to move on to the next post. 🙂
This past cycle was the second time since I’ve been married that I went 31 days — it’s usually 29 days, give or take a day; once it was 27 days. I was a virgin when I got married, so I never really paid too much attention to how regular I was, and never worried if I seemed to be late. So I can’t remember if I ever had any very long cycles like this before then. The first time I had a long cycle was several months before my first son was conceived. Of course, I wondered if I was pregnant, as I did this cycle.
When I was actually pregnant (on accident — miscounted my days in using “natural family planning” — don’t like taking fake hormones), I realized very early on my mistake, so was thinking for at least two weeks that I might be pregnant, then every other hour trying to convince myself that although I had some very early pregnancy signs and symptoms, that it was all in my head because I knew there was such a strong possibility that I was pregnant, and I was just making myself think that — kind of “pregnancy hypochondria” or something. When I was pregnant with Keith in those very early stages, I felt different from how I did these other two times. I “felt pregnant” that one time, and didn’t “feel pregnant” the other two times when I was late. However, when I was pregnant with my other son, I didn’t “feel pregnant” then — my early-pregnancy symptoms were so totally different from what they were with Keith that I wondered if I was pregnant at all. I chalked up the difference to the fact that I was still nursing Keith. But I don’t know if that had anything to do with it.
But still I wonder — was it a “chemical pregnancy” — the pregnancies that scientists say happen so frequently and are passed off as normal periods? There is no way to know for sure, so I’m not going to dwell on it — I’m using this post as the way of “getting it out of my system.” From what I’ve read, doctors took blood from several sexually-active women at various points throughout their cycle, and discovered that in many of them, there was a rise in hCG (the pregnancy hormone) but not enough to sustain a pregnancy and her period started, usually on time. (I’m assuming they must have also taken blood from women who were not sexually active, as a control, but can’t remember now). Had the woman not been part of the research project, no one would have known that conception had occurred. Other research has indicated that at least half of the zygotes that are conceived but don’t survive have some sort of genetic problem which keeps them from developing normally.
With the advent of very early pregnancy tests available over the counter, more and more women are finding out that they have had a chemical pregnancy, when the extremely sensitive test indicates X level of hCG, and then several days later their periods start anyway. If the scientists are accurate in their conclusions, and there is a high level of conception without pregnancy, then that would be enough to keep me from taking one such test, and make myself wait until my period started. As nerve-wracking as it would be to wait those several days longer than necessary, somehow I think it would be better than getting a positive and then starting my period. Because then I would know. I would know I had conceived, and ought to have been pregnant.
Even though I was not planning on becoming pregnant, and am not sorry that I am not pregnant, and am not planning on getting pregnant any time soon, part of me is sad at the thought that I might have conceived this time or the other time. (Part of that is my belief that conception is when a new life begins, so I picture that I might have two children that I’ll never know.) So I can only imagine what I would feel like if I knew that I had conceived, yet did not bear a child. Yet I know that thousands of women go through this every month — they know that they have many fertilized eggs implanted into their uterus, yet most don’t have a baby — either the zygotes don’t implant, or they have a miscarriage or some other problem.
Well, now that I’m thoroughly down and introspective, I think I’ll stop writing and just “let it go.” Sorry if this post got you down too. I try to “think positive” but sometimes I’ve just got to be “real” instead.