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What a Positive Pregnancy Test Won't Tell You

I've had three positive pregnancy tests in my life. The first one was a strong pink line on the pregnancy test that ended in painful cramping and heavy bleeding not long after my second beta. It was the hardest thing I've ever had to go through—giving up the baby that first made me a mom. The second was after a transfer of two embryos. A faint pink line on the pregnancy test later resulted in a beta of less than one. It was this test that convinced my doctor to run an RPL panel, which stood for Repeat Pregnancy Loss and meant a slew of expensive blood work that resulted in the diagnosis of the gene mutation, MTHFR.

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The third positive pregnancy test came five months after the loss of the two embryos. Seeing the pink lines grow darker and darker became an addiction. Lining them up, comparing them to other tests found on the Internet, analyzing them with others who have been down the infertility road became the fail-safe for this third pregnancy: If the lines were darkening, it meant the embryo was still there and growing.

Seeing that pink line was proof that there was a baby in there, alive and doubling cells at a rapid rate. The first one I had felt like a guarantee. That I was really going to have a baby. I went out and bought some gender-neutral outfits. I prepared to tell my husband. When the second beta came back, and the bleeding started, my head was spinning. I don't understand, I cried to the universe. This was supposed to happen for me!

The next time I got a faint positive, I was a little more cautious. But my heart wouldn't stop wondering, Maybe this will be twins. Maybe we'll have to buy two cribs.

A positive test is an assurance that you are indeed pregnant. What it doesn't promise is anything after that.

This March, when I managed to get my hands to stop shaking enough to take a test, and I watched the line come, that promise of a baby came right back. This time it may have actually worked! Maybe I really will have a baby by the end of the year!

A positive test is an assurance that you are indeed pregnant. What it doesn't promise is anything after that. Wouldn't it be nice though? For a positive test to reveal more than just a pregnancy? Something like:

Congratulations! You're going to have a baby. You're going to give birth at 39 weeks to a healthy baby boy. So don't worry. Everything is going to be OK.

or ...

You're pregnant right now. You're going to eventually have an ultrasound where a heartbeat will be confirmed. But tread lightly, because at eight weeks you're going to miscarry. It's no fault of your own, but you are going to feel like you are to blame, so try not to get too attached. Start looking for books and blogs about grief now, and look for a good support group.

or ...

I don't want to have to tell you this, but though you are pregnant, and will give birth, you will have to come home to an empty nursery. You're going to feel like the world is ending, so love your baby all you can while she is still in you. Take pictures of your belly and keep those ultrasounds so you will always have those memories.

RELATED: How to Enjoy Pregnancy As an Infertile Woman

The thing is, we all want that guarantee of a happy healthy baby born in nine months. We want to run out and buy cute clothes and attend our showers and write a birth plan. Seeing that positive test gives us the hope that everything will be OK. That first test, I believed it. This positive test I got in March makes me want to believe it so bad.

I'm still holding on to that hope.

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