I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant with Twins & an IUD for 12 Weeks

by Anonymous

September 30, 2020

For months, I was sick. My usual 6 AM alarm turned into a struggle to climb out of bed. My morning eggs were repulsive. The subway to work was nauseating, the smell of my office was nauseating, everything was nauseating. Working full time and going to class for part-time graduate school became harder than I could bear. I forced my eyes open, desperately trying to stay awake until 10:05 PM. My pants were tight. My skin was breaking out. I clutched my breasts as I walked down the stairs down to the subway platform. They throbbed. Commuting 45-minutes home after 10 PM on a weeknight, only to wake up at 6 AM the next day was all my body could handle; yet, I still squeezed in an out-of-breath treadmill run in between work and school.

I had all the symptoms. I should have known. But I didn’t have insurance. I took two pregnancy tests weeks apart, only to return negative both times. I went to the OBGYN while I was home only a few weeks ago. She said the IUD I’ve had for years was fine. I probably had an ulcer. It must be stress. No, maybe it’s GI issues. The constant thoughts swirling through my head for 12 weeks — on top of a new job, starting graduate school, moving to a 6th-floor walk-up in New York City, and adjusting to my partner’s new work schedule: one month home; one month away.

There was something very wrong. I went to Urgent Care on a whim, certain I needed to be seen immediately. I went home with Tums. I booked the first appointment possible — the Monday following my 3-month probationary period at work. The day I could officially use my health insurance. The doctor took a lot of tests. I even had to poop into a cup and run it back to the office later in the day. She referred me to a GI doctor, and off I went. Hopeful for more news soon.

The next morning, I woke up and poured myself a cup of coffee as I normally do. A phone call from an unknown number came once at 8 AM. Then again. Oh no, I thought. It must be my doctor. Calling first thing in the morning. This couldn’t be good.

I checked my email saw that I had new test results. My heart pounded out of my chest as I feared what I would find. I opened the first test I saw, with a jumble of letters only a doctor would know. Negative. Ok, whew. We’re good there. Next one: hCG. What’s that? I see, me = 240,319 mIU/mL. Normal = 0. And a chart that listed weeks of pregnancy and average levels of hCG. I was in the 12-week range.

My brain spun out of control. I couldn’t stop staring at the phone. It’s 8 AM, my boyfriend just left the day before to go back to work in Michigan. I was all alone. I had to go to work. I had a class that night. I began to sob and sob. Sobbing that would last all day and well into the weeks to come.

I ended up talking to my doctor on the phone. She said I needed to book an emergency ultrasound as soon as possible. I went on ZocDoc and booked an appointment with the first doctor available. I walked into the doctor’s office, alone with bloodshot eyes, fearing the worst. The stranger sonographer invited me to the room as I undressed from the waist down — feeling more vulnerable by the second. She proceeded to tell me that I was indeed pregnant, but not with one, with two. I had twins! And what about the IUD? It was in my cervix. 1 in 1,000 IUDs fail and mine was one of them. She checked their heartbeats. I cried. She handed me a photo. At first, I didn’t know what I was going to do. I wanted to take it all in. I sat on crinkly paper without pants, alone, waiting for a stranger OBGYN to walk into the door to help me. I sobbed and sobbed.

The next few days were a blur. I went to the doctor on Monday. I found out on Tuesday. Wednesday, I cried in bed all day. On Thursday, my mom and my boyfriend flew to New York. I met with a Professor during Office Hours to say I was having surgery on Friday. I went to class after that, on Halloween night. I left early to dry heave in the bathroom. And on Friday, my mom, my boyfriend, and I got in an uber to go to a clinic in midtown. I passed out in the bathroom, and the months following were an emotional, physical, maxi-pad-filled roller coaster.

It was all surreal and happening too fast to even process any of it. But I knew one fact for sure — I was making the right choice. Period. I’ve tried to explain it, but there is no need. I made the right choice. And one year later, I still know it was the right choice. I’ve shared my story with those closest to me; each time, terrified by the response. As the months have passed, my inner desire to fight for what’s right, to use my story for good, and to normalize abortion has multiplied.

Let’s make the world safe for all to menstruate to have access to reproductive autonomy. Let’s make it normal to talk about abortion, a safe and effective procedure. And let’s establish universal healthcare, so people don’t have to go without health insurance as I did. As Supreme Court Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg said, “Real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time.” I am ready to fight, no matter what it takes, and sharing my story is the first step in that journey.


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