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Category Archives: The waiting game

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
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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.

 

In the uterus, however briefly

Well, the “a little bit pregnant” saga continues. Yesterday, I went in for blood work, and got a call late morning with my updated HCG levels. 1200. That’s a 77% rise in 48 hours, which again is within normal limits. The overall number is generally lower than expected for being 5 weeks 3 days (my RE said she’d like to see numbers “2 or 3 times higher than that”).

Given this rise (and probably just the fact that it went over 1000), they wanted me to come in right away for an ultrasound to rule out an ectopic pregnancy. I ended up literally rushing over to their office immediately, because it was 11:15 and I had patients scheduled all afternoon (1-4:30). It’s such a hassle to cancel/reschedule patients, so I’m glad they were able to see me right away, but it also definitely got my blood pressure up for the whole situation.

They did an ultrasound – both abdominal and transvaginal. My RE was in the room for the ultrasound, which was good (no waiting around for results). They pretty immediately saw that there was a “small sac” in the uterus, and were able to confirm that it was not an ectopic pregnancy (thank goodness). And there was indeed a pregnancy to be seen in my uterus – right in the center. At 5 weeks 3 days, they saw a sac and a faint yolk, and mentioned a couple of times that it was small. At the end I asked the actual size of the sac, and the ultrasound tech said she thought around 3mm, though she didn’t have the numbers in front of her. (I’ve read that 5mm or greater would be “normal”)

Before we even started, my RE said that she wasn’t going to “do anything until nature decides what’s what.” I took that to mean she would recommend a chemical abortion or D&E unless it was a clearly nonviable pregnancy. At that point, she felt like it was likely not viable, but that I was “still in the ballgame.” So honestly, at this point, I was feeling about the same as I was previously. I knew that it wasn’t ectopic and really wasn’t worried about that, because I hadn’t had a single twinge of anything on one side or another that would indicate a possible ectopic. My RE also mentioned that she was worried it could have possibly implanted in my C-section scar and been just as bad, which was something I hadn’t considered at all.

My sense after leaving the ultrasound was that I’m still likely to be having a non-viable pregnancy, but that there’s a tiny chance it’ll pull through. The follow up plan was to return for another ultrasound in 2 weeks. My RE said that she could have me back in 1 week, but that we would possibly see a fetal pole and low heartbeat, and then return a week later to have no heartbeat, which she feels is probably more devastating. I think it’s weird that she shared that, but also tend to agree.

Within about 15 minutes of leaving the ultrasound, I felt a gush. I assumed it was the ultrasound goo, but after feeling 1 or 2 more gushes I hit the restroom as soon as I got back to work. Turns out I was bleeding – bright red blood and at a pretty good clip. I put a pad on and ate my lunch while feeling a couple more gushes. By the end of lunch, I had confided the whole sordid tale to 3 of my colleagues/friends. I went to the bathroom again and felt myself pass what felt like a large clot (my only comparison for this sensation was the clots I passed post-birth in the first handful of days). I came back into the office we were eating in and said, “I think it might have just happened?” Of course this is all happening at 10 minutes to 1, and my 1:00 patient (a new evaluation) was already in the waiting room. One of my colleagues was so wonderful and offered to take that patient for me as she had the early afternoon spot open for writing, and they all encouraged me to go home. I was able to quickly cancel the rest of my day and head home. I got home around 1:30 or so, and when I went to the bathroom again had the same “clot passing” feeling. Oddly, after that the bleeding totally stopped. I had minimal spotting for a couple of hours but only when I wiped. I think I probably bled for a total of 1.5-2 hours? And there was minimal mild cramping.

Soooo I am guessing that that was the miscarriage I’ve been kind of waiting to happen. To be honest, if it was, I’m pretty relieved that it means I won’t have to make a decision about a D&E or Methotrexate. I know that there’s always the chance that the bleeding (and even clots) were just the result of the ultrasound kind of “shaking loose” blood that was pooling somewhere up there. But given all of the information, I’m thinking that’s not too likely. I messaged my RE because there’s no way in hell I’m waiting 2 weeks to find out if that was “it,” and they put in orders for me to have blood work again tomorrow to see if my HCG starts to drop. After all of that, we’re still in a very “wait and see” place. I’ll be back tomorrow to report what happened to my HCG.

Slow climb

HCG came back 271.42 today. To recap:

  • Monday 3/19 – 127
  • Wednesday 3/21 – 199
  • Friday 3/23 – 271.42

Obviously not good doubling times, obviously most likely indicative of a miscarriage/non-viable pregnancy, but annoyingly still trending upwards. My RE ran some additional blood work as well, though I’m not even sure what – I think a complete blood count and liver function maybe? Anyway all of that came back normal. The plan is still to wait it out. More blood work Monday, ultrasound Thursday. Sigh.

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