December 2, 2013

Today was a big one. Pregnancy test day. Beta day. The day I had been waiting for, basically since the end of August.

A big, big day.

I woke up at 5:15am, long before my alarm sounded. Peanut had woken which meant we all had to get up too. My husband rolled out of bed (despite my urgings to leave her be until 6am) to snuggle with her, and prepared a sippy cup of warm milk (which is how we start her off every morning).

I laid awake until 5:45am and then stepped into the shower, already struggling to keep my nerves at bay. I got ready quickly and decided to get breakfast on the way to the hospital, where I was headed for my blood draw. I was out the door by 6:45am, made a quick stop at the bagel shop, and arrived at the sprawling hospital complex around 7:10am. I was shaky with nervous energy and quickly walked to the women’s clinic to get my lab orders.

At the lab, my least favorite phlebotomist was on duty. Ugh. Louise had a history of being unable to find my veins with a butcher knife. She once spent a full minute digging around inside my arm with the needle, trying to hit the vein. I was not a fan of Louise. But luckily, they didn’t pair me with her. I got a young fella, John, who I warned about my “rolly” veins after explaining that Louise had twice left me with giant bruises.

John missed on the first try, but it didn’t hurt a bit. We were done in no time. “What color of bandage do you want?” he asked.

“Purple! It’s my favorite,” I explained. He laughed as he wrapped my left elbow in dark purple vet wrap.

John patted my arm and sent me on my way. “Good luck!”

It was 7:19am. I had hours to wait until the phone call would come with the results. I left the clinic and drove to work, just a few minutes away.

I was the first to arrive at a very dark office. I unlocked the doors and turned on the lights, then sat down to sift through my inbox and distract myself. One coworker stopped by to say hello; Allie knew how important today was, but she graciously didn’t pry. She knew I was nervous already.

At 8:22am, my Gmail pinged. One new message. It was short and sweet:

“You have a new message on your digital medical record. Login to MyChart to view this message.” 

My heart started pounding. In the past, I’d always gotten a phone call before the results came through MyChart. Not this time.

I logged in with shaking hands, clicked the new message.

“You have one new test result. Click here to view the list of test results.”

I clicked. Right there at the top was one new test result: HCG QUANT

I clicked again. The message was a jumble of numbers and words. I saw the ranges for normal pregnancy listed: FOUR WEEKS: 10-750. I already knew what we needed the number to be. I frantically scanned the message for the actual test result. And then I saw it.

betadec22013

367.

Relief flooded over me, and I put my head in my hands and burst into tears.

(I don’t know why I reacted the way I did. Honestly, it surprised me. I thought nothing could shock me in this process, since it was my second time through.)

I’d felt very un-pregnant the past few days, and was terrified that it would be negative. But it wasn’t negative. It was most definitely positive.

I sniffed and stood up from my chair. Now to share the good news. I walked out the door of my office, tears still streaming down my face, and saw Allie standing at a file cabinet in the hall. She looked up at my tear-streaked face, and her face crumpled.

“Oh, my God…” she said, her arms enveloping me in a hug.

I shook my head to correct her. “It’s positive, it’s positive!” I was sobbing and laughing simultaneously. I didn’t even know that was possible.

(I love happy crying.)

Allie squealed and jumped up and down, and I laugh/cried into her shoulder. At that moment, a startled co-worker came out of her office to investigate. I’m sure we made for quite an interesting raucous, Allie squealing and me alternately sobbing and laughing.

“Come on, let’s get out of the hallway!” She ushered me back into my office and closed the door where more hugs and squeals immediately took place.

I showed her my 367 beta report and dried my teary face. We exited a few minutes later where a few coworkers who’d overheard the celebration were ready to congratulate me with hugs. Then they immediately ordered me to call my husband.

I didn’t call him first. I know that seems weird. But I knew Allie and the girls at work would be as overjoyed as I was. My husband’s glee would be, well… not as gleeful. He’s excited, in some way, but not quite as emotionally invested in this as I am. He was my next call, and reacted just as expected. Subdued, but happy.

My next call was my Awesome Neighbor, who had very recently moved away. She was over the moon. Next, a message to my therapist’s voicemail (she asked if I would give her a call with the results since our next appointment wasn’t for a week and a half; I was happy to oblige, but disappointed I wouldn’t get to see her reaction!). I texted Risa, my friend who was also going through IVF and getting her pregnancy test results today as well. She wasn’t signed up for MyChart so she didn’t have her beta yet, despite having gotten her blood draw 10 minutes before me. I wanted to shout from the rooftops.

367. Holy crap. 

A little context: my beta with Peanut was just 13 at this stage. THIRTEEN. And Squeak is 367! He really is a rock star.

I pulled up Betabase; I couldn’t help myself. This time, instead of being in the small tail, I was smack in the middle of the bell curve. (View my Peanut betabase curve here.)

Screen Shot 2013-12-02 at 9.53.40 PM

This was my third embryo transfer — the first, a fresh transfer, had failed. I got that news by phone and it sucked. The second wasn’t bad news, but neither was it good. I’d gotten bad news and not-good news. The only one I hadn’t experienced was a solid, definitive YOU BET YER ASS YOU’RE PREGNANT, SISTER!

I was hoping for it this time, and by gosh, that’s what happened.

The nurse finally called at 11am with a debrief and next steps. I go back for another beta in two days. If the beta is doubling properly, I’ll have my first ultrasound on December 23, where we’ll get to see little Squeak’s heart beating (ahhhh!!!!). If it’s a little iffy, we’ll do the ultrasound on the 13th. 

There’s a lot that could go wrong between now and January 25th, when I hit 12 weeks and miscarriage risk drops to 2%. Here’s hoping the good news, which started with our rockstar embryo back on transfer day and continued with today’s beta, just keeps coming.

 

Why stop now? Keep reading, friend.

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  • Resolutions for Year TwoAugust 20, 2013 Resolutions for Year Two 365 days of being a parent have taught me much. I have a few ideas of things I'll do differently in Peanut's Year #2.
  • Clinging to HopeDecember 11, 2013 Clinging to Hope A great deal of blood, clumps of tissue, cramping... sounds like a textbook miscarriage. Not in every case. And not in my case either, it seems.
  • Putting the cart before the horseOctober 5, 2013 Putting the cart before the horse It's human nature to fantasize about the future, especially if you want something badly and are trying to achieve it. I can't stop dreaming about something that's still very far away.
  • A lesson in statisticsNovember 14, 2013 A lesson in statistics I've made it over the first hurdle in this process -- my pre-transfer ultrasound. Now my mind is swimming with statistics, and I'm terrified about making it through the next steps.