First, I wanted to say a huge, huge thank you to everyone who has sent me encouragement, left comments, etc. I appreciate it more than I can say. Seriously. I wish there was some word or way to truly convey the depths of how much that has meant to me. Thank you.
I have the beta results from the IVF cycle back, and just wanted to say – if you’re not in the space, don’t go there. I get it. I’ve been there. Certainly, the last thing I want to do is cause anyone more pain. It is so hard to be struggling through all of this at any stage of treatment or even beyond, and I wanted to give fair warning before getting into the results.
Monday morning 6 days post day 5 transfer, I finally couldn’t help myself: I pulled out one of my cheap pregnancy tests and took it. It was negative. I sighed. On the one hand, I now knew the HCG trigger shot was out of my system. On the other, I had really hoped it would turn up positive. I reminded myself that on neither pregnancy was my HCG particularly high and my own mother had had almost no pregnancy symptoms with either of her successful pregnancies, suggesting perhaps this was the normal for my body. It was still disheartening.
Tuesday morning, there was bleeding. I cried. And when I say I cried, I mean completely hysterical sobbing for hours. The sobbing wouldn’t stop. Even when I was finally feeling more okay with the situation, I continued to cry. I cried through trying to read. I cried through putting on a TV program. I literally couldn’t stop crying. Finally, by the time Arthur arrived home, the bleeding had stopped entirely and I had finally managed to calm myself to sniffling with occasional rounds of sobbing that were more like 10-15 minutes in duration instead of hours. Later that evening, a light bulb suddenly went on in my brain.
The only time I ever cry like that is when I have HCG in my system. I’ve done it after a couple of my trigger shots. I’ve done it when I was pregnant the first time. I did it when I found out my pregnancy was ectopic, but there was still HCG in my system.
So Wednesday morning found me dipping another cheap pregnancy test strip in the cup, crossing my fingers. I fully expected the result to be negative. I tossed it on the bathroom counter when a line didn’t appear right away, showered, and stepped out. Glanced at the strip. Did a classic double take.
“Arthur,” I said weakly, “I need you to take a look at this. I think I may finally have started seeing things that aren’t there, but I think there’s a very faint second line here.”
Arthur came over to inspect the test. “I see it too,” he said.
I decided I needed a better pregnancy test, so I hurried out to the store to buy the ultimate pregnancy test: the First Response Early Response. That evening, I tore in the door, barely said hello to Arthur, ripped the foil wrapping off the test, and did my thing. I stared at it as the test window saturated. Lo and behold, before the test had even reached the 3 minute mark, I could see the line beginning to appear. Still fairly faint, but no mistake: pregnant.
The thing is, as much as I know there are so many people who simply long to see a positive pregnancy test at all, I also know that for me, I’ve had two pregnancies that didn’t result in a live baby. As excited as I was to see the test results come up, I knew what had happened before. I took a deep breath. There was nothing to do but wait.
There was a tiny, tiny bit of spotting on Thursday. I gritted my teeth and finally couldn’t resist the urge to consult Google. In this case, that turned out to be a good thing. I had forgotten that the Endometrin I’m on for progesterone support can – and often does – cause spotting. The spotting was one and done, and I let out the breath I was holding just a little.
Friday was the first beta. I was 10dp5dt, and I let the nurse know as she was drawing my blood that I had a positive home pregnancy test, the line was getting darker, and that I was hoping it would be good news. She was excited for me, but I was nervous. A positive home test was a decent sign, but those things are pretty sensitive and it didn’t mean that my beta number would be high.
Dr. E called with good news. My beta came back at 63.4. For me, that’s a huge number. My beta with my first pregnancy (one day earlier, but still) was only 30. The beta with the ectopic on 10dp5dt was only 22. He wasn’t extremely concerned about the spotting because of the Endometrin, but told me to keep an eye out for anything further.
I’m trying to live in the present and just be in the emotions I’m at in that moment. Sometimes that works, sometimes it takes something akin to mental jujitsu, and other days I can’t manage it. “It’s a good day,” I kept telling myself. And it was. I was very excited and happy, but the shadow of what has happened both other times I have had a positive beta kept sneaking in.
By Saturday night, I was completely freaked out.
I reminded myself that there was nothing I could do – beyond what I already am doing – to change the outcome. I reminded myself that no matter how excited I do/don’t get about the whole thing, it will still hurt just as much if it goes wrong. I reminded myself that I would live through this, no matter what the outcome.
By Sunday morning, however, I’ll admit I was still pretty nervous as I drove to the RE’s office. I prayed out loud most of the way, wishing, hoping, and begging that my HCG be rising appropriately and somehow we might still be in the running for a miracle.
Today’s beta, 12dp5dt, came back at 204!
We are grateful. We are hopeful. We also know we have a long road still ahead of us. But today, it is a good day.
Ultrasound is set for October 13. It is the first time I haven’t had to schedule a third beta after getting the results from beta #2.