It’s been a few weeks.
At some level, I didn’t know exactly what to say when my beta first became positive. Then when I did know something to say, that awful, awful fear of saying something and having it all go wrong kicked in. It became: wait until after the next test, the next result, make sure there’s actually something to say. And I don’t want to hurt or sadden those still waiting for their hopes and dreams.
But even though I’m still completely terrified of something going wrong, I’ve finally realized that saying it out loud won’t cause anything to change.
So, as they say, from the beginning: I started out by doing the exact thing I wasn’t supposed to do during the two week wait. I took a home pregnancy test much too early. After all, I knew so many people who had gotten BFPs before their betas were due.
It was negative.
I cried for hours.
Three days later, I headed in for a beta one day early. Both Arthur and I had the day off work, so I had asked if I could do the test that day. That way, if it was negative, as I fully expected it would be, I’d be able to sit with Arthur and have myself pulled together before work the next day.
Then the nurses – all three of them – from my RE’s office called because they all wanted to give me the good news: my beta was 30. It was one of the nicest gestures, and I appreciated it. Dr. D himself called to congratulate me. I was thrilled for about two hours, then realized the beta number seemed a bit low. I reminded myself it was a day early and tried to fight off the rising panic. I prayed, begging for a miracle, to continue this pregnancy.
46 hours later, the beta had risen to 73. I was a bit disappointed, as I’d hoped it would be higher. The nurses reminded me that it had more than doubled, there was a wide range of normal for HCG, and this was a good sign. My progesterone, however, sucked, so I got to start PIO shots and make an appointment for five days later to have the HCG and progesterone checked again.
I lived in a state of terror for those five days, convinced every time I visited the bathroom there would be blood.
HCG had risen to 1452 at the next beta. A doubling time of 28 hours.
That did make me feel a bit better. So an ultrasound was scheduled for two weeks later.
During that two weeks, I managed to convince myself that I for sure had a blighted ovum and that there wasn’t going to be anything on the ultrasound screen.
When we finally got to the ultrasound, I was theoretically 7 weeks along and a complete wreck. Dr. E, one of Dr. D’s partners, came in to do the ultrasound. The image finally flashed up onto the screen. All I could see was one dark, tiny sac. No baby. No heartbeat. I almost started to cry. Dr. E was directing the ultrasound tech to scan in a slightly different area. “There it is,” he said.
“But it’s empty,” I barely managed.
“There are two of them,” Dr. E told me. “This one has a fetal pole and a heartbeat.”
Let me tell you, it is one of the oddest things in the world to see both a beautiful flashing heartbeat and a tiny, empty dark spot all at once. The thing was, I was reasonably sure from my beta numbers that I had a singleton. I wasn’t at all expecting twins. But seeing that dark, silent spot made me weirdly sad. I think I expected the second embryo to have just…disappeared. I wasn’t prepared to see evidence that it had started to develop and then stopped.
But then the ultrasound tech turned the sound up on the machine. And there it was: a heartbeat. 135 beats a minute. And then I nearly wept with joy and thankfulness.
It was, without a doubt, one of the best moments I’ve ever had.
I’m still terrified of something happening. But all I can do now is keep hoping. Praying. Wishing. And waiting.