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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 🙂

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678 …

Well, the uncertainty continues. I’m trying to get used to the anxious/everything-is-up-in-the-air feeling that pretty much permanently resides in my brain.

To recap: I got (very) positive home pregnancy tests on Friday 3/16 and Saturday 3/17. I started spotting on Saturday, and light-medium flow on Sunday. The bleeding was red and by Monday was very heavy. I had 2 days of heavy flow, then another light/medium day, and then 2 more days of spotting. Overall, it felt like a “normal” period to me (my periods have been super heavy since they returned after having Riley), but with a couple of extra days of spotting. I’ve had no cramping or pain, but the bleeding was red, heavy, and clot-y (sorry for the TMI but also this whole blog is TMI so …). I had a bit of spotting on Saturday and nothing on Sunday or today.

Blood HCG levels have been low and rising, though slowly.

  • Monday 3/19 – 127
  • Wednesday 3/21 – 199
  • Friday 3/23 – 271.42
  • Monday 3/26 – 678

This most recent rise was closer to normal – I think that’s a 52 hour doubling time. BUT, the numbers are still too low to be able to see anything on an ultrasound. And obviously the overall picture continues to be abnormal. So, I get to go back in for blood work again on Wednesday. They’ll check my HCG but also look at other things (they did not tell me what the other things were, just that I don’t have to fast). And I am now scheduled for an ultrasound on Friday morning (3/30). That was originally supposed to be on Thursday, but my doctor is apparently on IVF/surgical duty that day so can’t be in for the ultrasound. Even though I want answers sooner, Friday is better for me all around because I work on Thursday but am off on Friday.

I asked the nurse what the possible paths at this juncture are. She said:

  • If they don’t see/can’t find a pregnancy in the uterus, they’ll likely recommend a Methotrexate injection (chemical abortion)
  • If they can confirm an ectopic pregnancy, they’ll recommend Methotrexate as well
  • If they can see a pregnancy in the uterus but can confirm that it is abnormal/not viable, we’ll discuss options including a D&E
  • If they can see a pregnancy in the uterus and it could be normal, we’ll do more waiting and seeing

I also asked whether a normal pregnancy progression is a possibility here. She said “never say never” and that she has seen it happen. She gave it maybe a 10% chance (this is just a nurse totally guessing here, not based on any evidence or data … kind of thought it was weird that she put a number on it but also 10% was higher than I expected so I’ll take it).

Sigh. So that’s the continued state of my uterus. I’d love to hear from anyone who has had slow rising HCG (and/or full-on bleeding in early pregnancy), regardless of what the result was. I don’t really have anyone in my life who has experienced this (to my knowledge), and I try not to google too much …

I’ll catch y’all back here again on Wednesday I suppose!

Beta #2

I woke up early and trudged into the lab to wait in line with the old people this morning again for HCG beta #2. A nurse just called with my results and the number is … (drumroll) … 622.

Beta #1 was 306
Beta #2 is 622

That’s a doubling time (according to the internet) of 46.9 hours.

My initial reaction was that it seemed a little slow, but most places I’ve looked online (ugh, get off Google, Katie) say that under 1200, betas typically double every 31-72 hours. So I guess it’s good!

One more test on Friday and then I get a whole week “off” before my ultrasound/RE appointment on 3/21.

Beta is in

My first beta is officially in: 306. I actually can’t remember if she said 306 or 307 but obviously that’s neither here nor there.

Our nurse (Tracy) called with the news and said that the numbers were “really good,” though when I’ve looked it up it looks solidly average/a tad below average because I’m technically 12dp5dt today, which makes me around 17dpo.

Regardless, I’m totally nitpicking and I am trying to let it sink in that I’m pregnant. 306 is a solidly pregnant HCG level.

They didn’t check my progesterone and I asked why not/if they were going to. My nurse said she’d ask my RE but that they usually don’t test progesterone until the first visit with the doc, which is going to be between 6 and 7 weeks. I’m wondering if I should push to have my progesterone drawn on Wednesday when I go back for a repeat HCG beta. She said that when they test progesterone that they’d “just be seeing what they’ve prescribed,” but my concern would be that it’s not all absorbing? I don’t know, obviously it’s not my specialty to know these things, but if I was on PIO before and my numbers came in a little low I guess it just makes sense to me that they would repeat the test after upping the dose. Plus I know that women with PCOS can have low progesterone which leads to an increase in miscarriages. I logically know that the fact that I’m on a relatively high dose of progesterone via injection should cover me there. So I guess I’m not really anxious about it, just confused about when they choose to check levels and why.

The office just called and scheduled my first ultrasound and consult with the RE for 3/21, at which point I believe I will be 6 weeks 3 days (by my calculations/given the date of transfer – obviously that could be off if it implanted late or something). That early should I expect to be able to see a heartbeat?

I realized I have no idea what to expect moving forward – how often I will get ultrasounds with the RE, when they will likely “graduate” me to my OB, whether I’m considered high risk because of IVF, what type of testing to expect … So many changes. And right when I was getting into the swing of things with the TTC process…

Obviously I’m happy to roll with these particular changes. I’m excited to see what comes even though I’m currently in full-on denial/self preservation mode. I’m trying really hard to let that go (which is so much harder than I thought it would be) and just be excited that I’m pregnant. I’m trying to remind myself that being pessimistic now will not make it any easier down the line if something happens. As I’m sure most of you know/can guess, transitioning from infertility to pregnancy is really difficult. After so many negatives, so many calls telling me that I’m not pregnant, it’s just kind of hard to believe. I mourn a little for the loss of what would likely have been total innocence/excitement had I gotten pregnant without going through everything we’ve been through. But that is not my story and was never my journey.

Anyway, that was a long post to just say that my beta came back and is 306ish at 12dp5dt.

 

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