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Monthly Archives: June 2018

50/50

Well, my RE gave us a 50/50 chance of this being a viable pregnancy. I am fairly certain those odds were totally made up, so there’s that.

Having done this initial ultrasound now twice before, I kind of knew what to look for. We were in with the ultrasound tech (who I’ve had for almost all of my ultrasounds since we started fertility treatments in 2014) first, and then saw my RE. Right off the bat I was relieved because I could tell that the sac was in the uterus. They also saw a yolk sac, but no fetal pole yet. My RE said that the sac size and structures look like a normal pregnancy at about “5 and a half weeks.” According to my calculations, I thought I was 6 weeks today, though my RE had me at 5 weeks 6 days. There was no heartbeat (which I guess makes sense with no fetal pole).

My RE said that it’s possible that the embryo took a couple of days before implanting, which would account for the lower HCG numbers as well as today’s ultrasound results. Or, this is another nonviable embryo. She said they want to have me back in 11-14 days and if at that point there is no heartbeat or it’s fallen even further behind, we’ll stop meds and assumedly talk about ending the pregnancy.

I’m trying to stay hopeful. It seems totally feasible that the frozen embryo just took it’s time implanting. It’s going to be a very long 2 weeks. I’m scheduled to go back for another ultrasound on July 5.

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Beta 6

Who gets 6 betas?!?!

Well, today was my 6th. And … drumroll … my hcg is 1914. Per all of the internet beta calculators, that’s a 38 hour doubling time. Which is very much faster than 65 hours or whatever my last one was. I know I’m not out of the woods (are you ever out of the woods? Do you ever get the “out of the woods” feeling after infertility and miscarriage?), but that number is really reassuring. I guess I’ll see if it means anything tomorrow morning bright and early at my first ultrasound. Tomorrow I’ll be exactly 6 weeks. Fingers crossed …

After tomorrow’s ultrasound we are piling in the car to go to NYC. I’m excited to see Mary Page Marlowe and mostly excited to see Tatiana Maslany (any other Orphan Black super fans out there??) and hopefully get to meet her at the stage door. Ahh! I hope we head into that car ride with good news.

Here’s a beta hcg recap (for the very last time I truly hope):

  • 11dp5dt (16dpo) – 78
  • 13dp5dt (18dpo) – 134
  • 15dp5dt (5 weeks/20dpo) – 239
  • 17dp5dt (5 weeks 2 days) – 471
  • 19dp5dt (5 weeks 4 days) – 800
  • 21dp5dt (5 weeks 6 days) – 1914

Beta 5

Another very quick update just for numbers. I had blood drawn today not only for my HCG but also other labs (not even sure what the other labs are, but the nurse had said just to make sure I’m doing okay otherwise – I think there was a complete blood count in there?). Per the nurse’s report today, my “other labs” numbers are all normal. My HCG still had an appropriate rise but is still lower than they would typically see at this stage. Why is that even a thing? If the HCG has been within the normal range (albeit low) from the start, and has risen within an appropriate time period, why is the number looking so abnormal? Anyway my HCG was 800 today. I’m supposedly 5 weeks 4 days pregnant at this point. Last cycle, the pregnancy I miscarried, my HCG was 1200 at 5 weeks 3 days, which was the day I miscarried. Even then I knew that THAT number was much lower than they wanted to see. This most recent test gives me a doubling rate of 62 hours, so it slowed down a bit again.

I’m wishing there was a little more clarity here. This is a bummer of a place to be in. They’re having me come back for another blood draw on Thursday morning. I believe the reason for that is that they like to test your HCG until it is at 1000. I have an ultrasound scheduled for first thing Friday morning. Whatever happens, we are going to see Tatiana Maslany in a show off Broadway on Friday night and I’m really pumped about that. We’re bringing Riley with us into the city and got a hotel suite for the night. My cousin is going to hang with Riley and put her down (hence the suite – she’ll be able to stay up and read or watch TV or whatever while Riley sleeps in the other room) while we have dinner and go to the show. I’m looking forward to it.

Anyway, here’s a recap for anyone keeping track at home.

  • 11dp5dt (16dpo) – 78
  • 13dp5dt (18dpo) – 134
  • 15dp5dt (5 weeks) – 239
  • 17dp5dt (5 weeks 2 days) – 471
  • 19dp5dt (5 weeks 4 days) – 800

Betas 3 and 4

I haven’t had much time to write. Thursday night we ended up in the ER (then admitted) because Riley had some trouble breathing (breathing fast, neck and sternum retracting, grunting on the exhale, a little wheezing) in the setting of a virus. She’s doing much better and we were discharged after less than 24 hours, which is awesome. But we’ve been a little under water over here.

Anyway, quick update re my ever perplexing betas.

Recap/update:

  • 11dp5dt (16dpo) – 78
  • 13dp5dt (18dpo) – 134
  • 15dp5dt (20dpo) – 239
  • 17dp5dt (22dpo) – 471

Those doubling times are slowish, but all technically within normal limits (less than 72 hrs), and have increased slightly each time (went from 61.5 hrs to 57.5 hrs to 50 hrs). That said, they’re all totally lower than what is normally expected.

Today, my nurse said that everything is still within normal but that they’re a little concerned about the lower numbers. The plan is for another blood test Tuesday, then ultrasound on Thursday or Friday.

My only “symptoms” thus far are sore boobs (obvi because progesterone to the max) and a decreased appetite. The appetite thing is significant enough to feel like a real symptom. I’ll keep updating here as the week progresses. For now, I’m going to play Mr. Potato Head with my kid. Happy Sunday πŸ™‚

Beta #2

My HCG today is 134. That’s a doubling time of 61 hours. Not exactly what I was hoping for but also not out of the game. I feel like I’m playing a borderline game over here … I’ve read a couple of studies that basically stated that 74 is the cut off for what you would want to see at 11 days past a frozen embryo transfer. Mine was 78. Also I know they are looking for the number to double every 31-72 hours but I also know that most people would see those numbers at least double in 48 hours. The nurses have reported my numbers in a positive way each time – saying it’s a good number or a good rise. Today when I probed further, she said it was okay and we’re just going to keep an eye on it. I guess it feels like just a slightly more fragile pregnancy.

Overall, my initial emotion when I got the phone call today was relief. I’m still in the game, the numbers aren’t trending downward (which I feared), and they are still “in normal limits.” I go back again on Friday, and I’m guessing they’ll keep having me come back every other day until I get to at least 1,000 so they can schedule an ultrasound.

I’m still hopeful and also still nervous – my anxiety of low-ish/lower than expected numbers is all mixed in with my anxiety about my last pregnancy and everything we went through with the miscarriage and weird betas. I’m still pregnant and still having a hard time being excited about it. That said, despite all of the mitigating circumstances, I am pretty sure I felt the exact same way the first time around during my perfectly normal pregnancy with Riley. I’ll just be here biting my fingernails until Friday. Here’s hoping for some better news πŸ™‚

Beta HCG #1

I just got the phone call with my first hcg level for this pregnancy. The number is 78. I KNOW that that number indicates pregnancy, and I hate that my heart sank a little when I heard it. I am trying to not be such an anxious ball of human – whatever happens is going to happen – but my first beta with the pregnancy that is now my living child was 306. To be fair, I do think it was a day later (12dp5dt as opposed to today, which is 11dp5dt). I’m also comparing this to my most recent cycle/pregnancy that resulted in a miscarriage. At 12dp5dt, my beta was 127. You guys, I honestly know I need to quit it with the comparing. Why am I even doing that?!

Positive signs: I have not had any cramping or bleeding. I also have totally been noticing early pregnancy symptoms, which is probably weird/maybe I’m just seeing what I want to see … but my appetite is way down, I have zero desire to be anywhere near red meat, and I’ve been falling asleep much earlier than usual. I know it’s a little early to be feeling those things, but I felt them with this most recent pregnancy this early as well. Maybe it’s just how my body reacts to hcg? Possible negative signs: The number is a little low (but maybe it’s not and that’s just my perception – I’m not a doctor). Also, the progesterone support could be maintaining a pregnancy that may not have continued naturally in a different world where I didn’t do IVF.

So, for the next day and a half I will be twiddling my thumbs and trying not to be an anxious ball of human. I appreciate any good vibes y’all have to spare. And any stories from the trenches with similar beta hcg numbers! Happy Monday.

 

Cautious optimism

I’m definitely an awful blogger. Here’s a bulleted list of all of the things I should have blogged about between my previous post and now:

  • I went in every few days to test my estrogen levels leading up to transfer. At some point, they increased me from 4mg of estrogen per day (2 pills in the morning by mouth, 2 in the evening vaginally) up to 8mg per day (3 in the morning by mouth, 3 in the evening by mouth, 2 in the evening vaginally). That seemed to do the trick as my numbers didn’t raise any red flags.
  • I started on 1cc of progesterone in oil on the very first day (Friday May 25), then up to 2cc every night since then. I was visiting my family in Ohio that weekend without my wife, so my mom had to give me the shots, which was a little weird. Definitely not a bonding moment we’ve shared before. She was a champ about it though.
  • My progesterone level was tested on my transfer day (May 31), and was apparently fine. So that’s good.
  • Overall meds have been stable since the 25th: estrogen in the morning, Metformin, estrogen (vaginal), estrogen (oral), low dose Aspirin, and progesterone in oil (2cc) in the evening.
  • They transferred a 4BB embryo (frozen) on May 31st. I think the transfer overall went well. I wish the embryo was graded a little higher but I know that 4BB is totally acceptable. I’m an all-A’s kind of gal, so a B in any form has me worried lol.
  • Over the past 4-5 days or so, I’ve had increasing issues with the progesterone shots. I feel like the progesterone in ethyl oleate has been much more difficult for me overall – my injection sites have been much sorer the next day than I recall from when I did progesterone in sesame oil back in 2015. But also in the last few days, my left ass cheek has gotten a raised, swollen area that is like the size of my whole hand. I went to see one of the nurses in my RE’s office today – they’re having me stop the shots on the left side, and do tie right every other day. I’m doing 2x/day crinone on the off days (ugh). Also they sent me to Urgent Care to see if it’s cellulitis. The Urgent Care doctor basically said she can’t be sure if it is cellulitis vs. a local inflammatory response, so she put me on antibiotics. Cue the worry.

And … drumroll … the big news is that I took a home pregnancy test this morning and it was positive. I took it because I wanted to know if the hullabaloo about the progesterone injection site was worth it. I’m 7dp5dt, so essentially 12 dpo. I knew that it would probably be positive if it was going to be positive. My blood test isn’t until Monday, but I’m glad I took that test this morning. It means that the Urgent Care doc knew to prescribe me a safe for pregnancy antibiotic (it is Class B, but I think that’s the best I can hope for as far as antibiotics go). I’m on a shortened course of cephalexin. Has anyone taken it in early pregnancy? Can you help calm my nerves about it? I know that antibiotics are better than a full blown infection, but I’d much rather have neither if we’re being honest.

I kind of can’t believe I’m pregnant and kind of also have been expecting it all along. Now that I had the experience of a miscarriage, this part feels very different. I’ve always been anxious (and was certainly anxious for the whole first pregnancy), but that anxiety feels more real now, and more like fear. So here we are – back at the start. Fingers crossed that this one stays sticky. Also I’d appreciate good thoughts about my maybe cellulitis. Happy Pride y’all.

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