This is going to be a long one. It will also be TMI for some of you. You've been warned :)
I've now decided to spilt this in a few parts, as it is taking me too long to write:) This is part 1!
I wasn't sure that I wanted to go through pregnancy shortly after I gave birth to L. As he grew older, I found him to be so 'big-brotherly' to our cats and to little kids around him, that I ended up going from hesitant to decided: we were going to have another baby.
I was (and am) in an unstable financial situation, and I've been trying to get some kind of permanent job to add to our stability, but things weren't happening, they just weren't. The work I used to do before I had my son - no one was hiring me in that industry anymore, I mean, I was rejected for so many things: it's depressing. As for my new 'gig', the way things works in that company, by the time I could secure a permanent position I could be too old to make babies (seriously - we're talking 5-7 years). And to be honest, doing the kind of physical work that I do without any guarantee of getting paid if anything were to happen, that's just not ideal, and frankly somewhat financially irresponsible for our family. And S's situation was also uncertain at the time...
But then I realized - there won't be an ideal time, I don't want to wait to be pregnant when my body is too old (and risk complications), and I want my son to be close enough in age with his sibling. So in May/June, we decided to just go for it and start trying anyway.
At the end of July, I started feeling a bit strange. My belly was crazy bloated, and I was having crazy ovulation pains. But life was too crazy to stop and think about it, and I just pretended like nothing was wrong and thought it would pass. I knew I wasn't pregnant because I had had my period in June and July, just 'like normal'...
I started to Google what could be wrong with me - I had pain in the lower left abdomen. A common suggestion was 'ectopic pregnancy'. I didn't really know what that was, and I thought 'Meh I don't have that... I'll just see how things progress, give it a few days and it'll probably go away'.
I woke up still in pain on August 1st (4 days after wrapping up my usually regular cycle) and I was spotting. Sort of burgundy in color. With the bloating and pain that I had along with what I was reading on ectopic pregnancies, I knew right then I had to get checked by a doctor, stat.
I went to the 'emergency care' place close to our house (as opposed to the hospital) because I was still hoping this could just be a UTI or something else, and UTIs were on the list of what you could go to the 'emergency care' for. They checked my urine, and when the doctor came back she said 'you do not have a UTI, but you are pregnant.'
My heart fell. I just knew that if I was indeed pregnant, something was wrong. I wanted to have a UTI so bad - It would have been so much easier to deal with - I did not have time to deal with anything serious.
She continued: 'we're going to do ultrasounds to see whether the baby is in the right place, and some bloodwork as well - do you know how far along you are?'
We were actively trying, but with all the stress in my life at the time, I decided not to chart things and let nature do it's thing. I had trouble remembering when I had my last period - I just couldn't give them an answer. I did remember that at some point in July my breasts had been sore and I had briefly thought that I might be pregnant - but then I got my period at the end of July! ...
Basically, the 'baby' was either 4 day old cells or else it had been in there for longer than that without my knowing. So we guessed the 'age' based on my second last period, and on that first day of August, that would put me at around 6 weeks pregnant.
At that point I called my work and told them I could not come in today. And that tomorrow was uncertain as well. It was a Thursday.
Ultrasound #1: no baby seen in the uterus. Bloodwork: HCG levels at 766.
So I was sent straight to the hospital.