I recently wrote about my miscarriage of my natural pregnancy at age 47. This type of miscarriage is often called a chemical pregnancy. I find this term perplexing and the friends I know who have been through a chemical pregnancy are left confused. I had never had a chemical pregnancy before but it’s worth discussing here. This often leads to the question, was I really pregnant?
Pregnancy Begins at Conception
It’s interesting to see how Merriam-Webster has changed the definition of conception. The 2016 Dictionary states conception is the process of conceiving or being conceived. The 2016 Dictionary also defines to conceive is to become pregnant. Implantation is very separate from fertilization. Without fertilization, there would be no implantation. For the latest definition to state, “the process of becoming pregnant involving fertilization or implantation or both,” just shows their attempt to kowtow to society’s desire to abort babies. Change the definition of “pregnant” and it’s not a baby. This post isn’t about abortion though but the definition is relevant, especially when women are questioning if they were pregnant.
The National Library of Medicine defines fertilization as, “The sperm from a male meets and ovum from a female and forms a zygote; this is the point in which pregnancy begins…” I had to laugh at the sperm meets an ovum as if the two went out for coffee. So a chemical pregnancy loss is the loss of a baby. The answer to the question, “Was I pregnant,” is a resounding yes!
So What IS a Chemical Pregnancy?
A chemical pregnancy is a very early pregnancy loss. Most websites define this loss as occurring before the 5th week of pregnancy, after implantation has occurred. Something happens and the baby stops developing or is released from the endometrial lining. This latter issue could be due to the inability to adhere to the lining. This is why the hormone progesterone is very important. It helps to thicken the lining for implantation.
Many women have experienced a chemical pregnancy without even realizing it. Some are confused because they will take a pregnancy test that will be positive on one day and negative as early as the next day. Often they will be confused and think they just read the test wrong, that they weren’t pregnant at all. If this was your experience, this may cause pain but that’s not the intention of this post.
Experience of a Chemical Pregnancy Loss
During my prior pregnancy losses, there was significant cramping and bleeding. Those pregnancy losses were much farther along in gestation though. My chemical pregnancy loss was not nearly as painful. I was expecting black blood but that didn’t occur either. In reality, my period was very late (almost two weeks) and there were more clots. This is the typical experience from what I have read about chemical pregnancy loss.
For some women, they have no idea and it’s just a late period. They may be sad to learn later that they were indeed pregnant but initially, they may have no feelings. Some women may feel relief. Others are well aware they are pregnant, become confused at a negative test and then mourn the loss when their period comes. Not everyone involves their doctor in this process but sometimes blood tests do the confirmation for them. Emotionally, the loss was much different for me.
I found much comfort in my loss. There was no anxiety, no confusion, no worry. I attribute this to me giving every aspect of my life to God. Instead of worry, I chose to pray. If I became anxious, I went to my home altar and literally handed God the gift of anxiety. I said the words, “God, I do not want to be anxious anymore. I lay this anxiety at the foot of your cross to do with as you wish.” Then I walked away.
The Eternal Perspective
It is also very helpful to view suffering and loss from the eternal perspective. We are just pilgrims on earth. The hope is that we will be happy with God forever in heaven. If we accept God and follow His commandments, there is a great chance we will receive heaven. We need to be baptized though. An unbaptized soul cannot be assured of heaven. Therefore, what is the fate of the soul of my baby who died in my womb?
In my book, Donum Dignitatis: The Catholic’s Guide to Miscarriage, there is a chapter on Limbo. As Catholic’s, we are not bound to believe in this theory. The Catholic Church has not officially stated the doctrine on this. Catholic’s can believe what God has always taught. Unbaptized souls of babies are entrusted to the mercy of God. When I think about God and that we are all His, and owned by Him, none of this is about me. God has a creation and a design for his creations for how they will worship Him.
What if I am not Catholic?
Suffering is a part of life and it’s much easier to endure when there is a purpose for that suffering. I cannot imagine suffering without God. God doesn’t cause the suffering, God allows it. This is usually for His Glory. The platitude, “everything happens for a reason,” is quite true. We will likely never know the reason. You don’t have to be Catholic and you don’t have to believe anything above. God is real. Heaven and Hell are real. The eternal perspective helps to give me a better understanding of my life because the goal is to worship God.
If you suspect you are having a chemical pregnancy or maybe you have had more than one, please talk with a pro-life doctor. Many doctors will just tell you to keep trying and tell you to come back in 6 months to a year. A pro-life doctor will likely use NaPro Technology to help you discover potential causes and correct them.