Thursday, October 28, 2010

Panicking

I started cramping yesterday afternoon and into today. No bleeding, thank goodness. I have been trying to tell myself that it's ok, that cramping in early pregnancy is normal (although I don't remember it from other pregnancies). But still, it just hasn't felt right. It has felt that there is a problem.

All night I dreamed of miscarrying. Of dropping betas, of blood on toilet paper. I awoke exhausted. And still cramping, still scared.

This morning, my husband Will offered to order another hormone check and another beta.

I gladly accepted, although I was also chastising myself for checking on things again.

But then we got the results.

My hcg is 1,702, which means it is now doubling every 55 hours, a 97% two-day increase. Not thrilled with this, but I think since the level is (finally!) in the thousands now, that this number does not necessarily indicate a deal breaker.

What has me most concerned is the progesterone level. It's only 10.92, which is WAY too low now that I am on suppositories three times a day and injectible PIO every other day (nurse told me it should be at least 20). Estrogen is fine at 543.

I have a call and email in to the nurse in Colorado to see if I should/can up the progesterone. I'm guessing I'm either miscarrying or the low progesterone is causing me to cramp like I am.

I will update when I hear from them. Maybe since we now know the progesterone is dropping, we can do something to save this from disaster. But I am scared. I am afraid this pregnancy may be ending.

Mo

*******
Update: The Colorado nurse finally called. She suggested I add another suppository and said the level wasn't really that low until I reminded her that I am also on PIO every other day. Then she agreed that it's dangerously low. I am now going to be on 1cc PIO daily + 100 mg Endometrin 3xs a day. I tried to get a sense from her about the prognostic implications of the dropping progesterone and the slower to rise beta. She wasn't too helpful in that department, unfortunately. She just suggested we try to be positive, etc. and said she wasn't sure what these changes might mean. Tomorrow we have an ultrasound scheduled with our local RE's office. My NYC RE will do the scan himself so we will get a chance to talk to him - and a chance to see if there is a gestational sac in the uterus - and hopefully yolk sac. It's going to be a long night tonight. Thank you all so much for your reassurances and for your kind words. It means so much to us and it really helps to read your stories and "hear" your thoughts. Will said so too. So thank you. From the bottoms of our hearts.

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80 comments:

  1. I cramped like crazy for the first 14 weeks of pregnancy. I'm hoping that this is the situation for you. Holding you in my thoughts and prayers....

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  2. Oh my gosh, Mo. I'm so sorry that you are cramping. I'm hoping that everything is ok. I'm saying some extra prayers for you and Will. (((hugs)))

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  3. Cramping IS normal- I've had AF like cramps the entire week now. But they are scare-inducing. And every pregnancy is different , so its ok if you have not felt this in the previous ones.

    As the betas go higher, I've heard the doubling times do slow down a bit. I hope and pray everything is fine, you guys have been through so much, you are more than overdue your happily-ever-after.

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  4. I hope they can swoop in and get that progesterone UP! Thinking of you!

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  5. I know cramping in early PG is normal. Hoping that's all it is. Sending hugs and vibes your way. {{{}}}

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  6. I have never commented before - I usually just read your feed on Google Reader. But ... I had low progesterone when I was newly pregnant. Mine was low as 4! My doc started me on progesterone vaginal suppositories (gross!) 3x a day and the numbers rose slowly. I did that until 12 weeks ... and I delivered a healthy baby boy almost 3 months ago. So hang in there. All is not lost!

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  7. I've never been truly pregnant, so I can't offer any advice. However, don't start assuming things yet!!! I'm sure there are tons of low P4 success stories out there. And I think it's normal that your HCG level stops doubling at a certain point. Hoping everything is okay!!!

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  8. Delurking to let you know that I also cramped in early pregnancy- and it was fine. But I remember one cramp woke me up from sleep- I was convinced I was having ectopic pregnancy. The only successful pregnancy I had involved lots of cramping. I'm thinking of you. *hugs*

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  9. I cramped, too. A lot. I don't think it has to mean that something bad will happen! I will admit that it is scary, though.

    Sending hugs and love your way!

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  10. Hoping that you hear from the clinic quickly with a solution for the progesterone drop. If it helps at all, I started spotting at a few weeks into my pregnancy, and my progesterone level was 8.9. I started vaginal suppositories immediately and the spotting stopped right away. I've never used PIO, so I'm no help there.

    Most of all, I hope you get some reassurance and some peace of mind. I know those are hard to come by right now.

    Paula

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  11. Mo, my nurse told me that cramping without bleeding is actually a positive sign during early pregnancy. I'm praying that your little bean is just burrowing in a bit more.

    Hugs,
    T.

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  12. Hoping you get reassurance from your commenters AND your health care professionals shortly. Rooting for you and this hard-won pregnancy!

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  13. I hope you hear back soon. I had low progesterone early on in my only successful pg and I was terrified too. It is all terrifying I suppose. Take care.

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  14. Everything I have ever read was cramping with no bleeding is perfectly fine.

    Though if your progesterone is low I know that can lead to spotting.

    Point being, if you start spotting and also have cramping it is NOT the kiss of death.

    I can't imagine them not wanting you to do a dose every day now. Event if they don't get back to you I would start that.

    Breathe.

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  15. Keeping you in my thoughts. Cramping is so normal, but I understand why you are afraid. Stick little wonder baby, stick!

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  16. Hoping you receive feedback from the doctor quickly...you're in my thoughts today.

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  17. Mo:

    I am so sorry that you are going through this. Cramping is common, especially in early pregnancy and independently isn't necessarily a negative sign.

    I agree that the low progesterone is worrisome given what your last P4 levels were.

    They might increase your P4 injections to 1 1/2 or even split this amount over two doses.

    Maybe, now that your levels are 1,700 it is worth going in for an u/s tomorrow. The gestational sac can be visualized when levels are over 1,500 and, as importantly, your RE will be able to visualize the endometrium which can give clues as to what is going on.

    Do what you need to do for your sanity, try to breathe, and take it easy (drink 96 oz of water to keep the uterus profuse).

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  18. Oh, I hope everything is ok. It's so not fair that you have to fight for pregnancy in the first place and then have all of these twists and turns that make you feel uncertain. Thinking of you.

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  19. Not an infertile, but a recurrent miscarriage warrior.

    I had Progesterone levels of 14 and 10 during both my pregnanacies at 4 and 6 weeks respectively. After taking medication, I ended up with two healty pregnancies and 2 babies after years of miscarriages. Hang in there little baby! Your Mom is on top of things, hoping you will hear from CCRM soon!

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  20. I remember at the start of this second pregnancy, I found the cramping and aches much worse with the first, and apparently this is normal--just thought I'd throw that out there since you had been pregnant before.

    I also had cramping *and* bleeding with this pregnancy (turned out to be a haematoma) and I'm currently twenty-four weeks with nothing worse than partial placental previa to worry about.

    Fingers crossed that all is well for you.

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  21. I don't know much about the progesterone, but I do know that my beta took 68 hours to double at 5 weeks along and I know that when a beta is over 1200 it usually takes 72-96 hours to double, so you are well within the range!! I had LOTS of cramping at this point, too. I know this isn't a huge comfort, but I wanted to tell you anyway just in case it offers some small amount of relief. Praying hard.

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  22. Sending you lots of love and good luck. Sounds like you are doing everything you can to make sure this pregnancy sticks. It does seem like upping the progesterone would be a good idea. I have progesterone shots daily after my IVF. Can you have too much?

    I did have a lot of minor cramping, twinging, and tugging sensations during my first trimester. For what that is worth.

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  23. I cramped and bled during weeks 5&6, and scared myself silly the whole time, but it wasn't a problem. I hope you get some reassurance.

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  24. Try to consider you are in the very best hands. You have a team surrounding you to ensure every single step you take is the right one.

    There are no words to put you at ease. I am a little scared right along with you.

    Read what Anonymous said. Read it until you have memorized it. She gives you such a branch of hope.

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  25. How worrisome this must be! Even though, as people say, cramping is normal. Here's hoping you get all sorts of good indications soon!

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  26. Another one delurking to say I had mild to medium period-type cramping till at least 5 or 6 weeks (ivf pregnancy) and I think longer. Have heard the same from many others, both ivf and naturally conceived. I think it just feels wrong because you associate that kind of cramping with bleeding and not being pregnant, when in fact it's a completely normal symptom of early pregnancy. I also had a deep sense of forbodeing and dread throughout most of the first 12 weeks and was totally convinced I had had a missed miscarriage, when in reality everything was absolutely fine and my daughter is now 10 months old! I think it's just a normal reaction to having been through the infertility and ivf mill for so long. It's just hard to believe that things might actually turn out ok for once, and feels dangerous to let yourself believe it too much. Hope they get the progesterone situation sorted for you, will be checking in and keeping everything crossed for you xx

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  27. I definitely had cramping in early pregnancy. Sending prayers and positive thoughts your way.

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  28. I was really crampy early on as well, was told it's completely normal as long as there's no blood. My cramping with my second IVF felt the same as with my first IVF (which ended in a miscarriage at 10w5days), so I was a complete mess. And it ended up being fine, Mo. Try not to worry yet (easy to say, eh??).

    My clinic's drug regimen called for PIO shots daily and a vaginal suppository bid. Maybe your clinic will have you step up the shots? Not pleasant, but my clinic also wanted my level above 20 and it was in the 70s. PIO is horrible, but it does the best job I've been told.

    Keep us posted!!

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  29. I had very bad cramping for about 2 days between 14-16dpo. I know you are further along but yours seemed to be a late implanter. I experienced the same thing with my first pregnancy from which I have a toddler now. At that time, I ended up in emergency room thinking that I either have tubal pregnancy or I am about to miscarry. This time around I knew that it is just the body's reaction to the pregnancy and it will pass. I am hoping for you, that everything is well with your little peanut.

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  30. i'm just a lurker and my pregnancies/miscarriage were an eon before all the wonder drugs and treatments available now so i'm no help to you there. i just wanted to let you know i'm holding the good thought for y'all (have been for quite a while) and i won't stop until you have that healthy baby in your arms. do what you have to for peace of mind - call doctors, ask for tests whatever you helps you make it through.
    hugs & happy thoughts from here

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  31. Just thinking of you and hoping for the best! Hang in there!!

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  32. I was 15 weeks yesterday and am still cramping. Hang in there!

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  33. praying for you and keeping fingers crossed... hang in there and do what it takes to make yourself feel secure, if possible. we're thinking of you.

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  34. Hey Mo, I just wanted to reiterate (as many people have commented before me) that cramping is normal and that your betas are still beautiful. It's totally normal for them to slow down a bit as they get higher, so don't let that freak you out, in and of itself. If things were already going badly, you'd see it in the numbers, in that they would NOT have doubled at all. So those numbers should be heartening. As for the progesterone, I don't know as much about that, but I do know mine was always a lot lower than it seemed it should be when I was pregnant and I was fine. I hope that is the case with you as well. Keep us posted!

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  35. You poor soul! If it's any comfort I too cramped a lot during the early stages of pregnancy - kept checking for blood. Once the HCG levels go past 1,200 they only double on average every 72-96 hours (and even under that, a doubling of up to 72 hours is normal) so your level is still totally fine. Over here in the UK, they don't check your progesterone levels, so I have NO idea how those went, though I was on double the usual amount. Good luck!

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  36. Oh Mo,
    hang in there sweetie, your Beta is great, and rising, and cramping is so damned common. You'll get the progesterone thing nailed down soon with some magical combination,

    I am so sorry for this scary shit
    scary sensations
    scary dreams
    scary history.

    I am simply holding hope for you love,

    xoxo
    Kate

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  37. I've got no advice or wisdom, but wanted to let you know that i'm thinking of you. All three of you.

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  38. I would have swore AF was coming with both of my successful pregancies. I'm not much help on the progesterone, but the fact you know it's dropping and can do something is huge I think! Sending tons of prayers your way for good news.

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  39. Hope you get some answers soon. Thinking of all three of you!

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  40. Hey Mo -

    Another reader de-lurking today! I'm currently 9w2d into my first pregnancy which we achieved through IVF. I've been cramping off and on since the transfer! They've run the gamut from mild to "oh dear God, is this the end?" but everything is still looking just fine. (I'm also taking 1cc of PIO every morning.) Just wanted to tell you to stay positive and think of these twinges as your uterus working to keep that baby's home a perfect place to be!

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  41. Since you are doing the suppositories your progesterone level is higher in your uterus. Hang in there, your increasing beta numbers are great. I hope you hear from the ccrm soon with some reassurance. Lynne

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  42. I can't help you with the whole cramping situation.... I just hope that you stop feeling cramps :). On the P4 situation, I have to tell you that I was on 1cc PIO daily until my 10th week with my first one and then 1cc/day plus vaginal suppository for my second one. Just do it every day and I am sure everything will go fine....

    Good luck and I'm constantly thinking about you :)

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  43. It isn't over until it's over.
    Hoping for some peaceful moments for you tonight and wonderful news tomorrow! Come on, little one!

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  44. So sorry. I wish I had an inspiring story to share, but all I have to offer are my prayers and good vibes being sent your way.

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  45. Hope the increased PIO is just the ticket and tomorrow brings total reassurance that things are great right now.

    I am so sorry Mo, I hope you are able to sleep, the morning comes soon and reassurance is immediate at your doc's tomorrow.

    thinking of you NON STOP
    xo
    Kate

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  46. Oh Mo,
    Ok, you already know that cramping isn't necessarily a bad sign, and betas will slow down once they're where they're at now. But I know that knowing doesn't make this kind of waiting-to-see any easier. Glad you're going in, and I hope you get an obvious yolk sac & all the reassurance in the world.

    I'll be checking in throughout the day tomorrow, hoping for reassuring news, but wishing the need for reassurance wasn't there. I'm in Ohio, but have my phone with me. Call please if you want to talk. I'm thinking of you & Will and wish I were there to distract you til tomorrow's results.

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  47. I was on PIO EVERY night and progesterone suppositories 3x a day!!! Surprised you weren't just as an extra precaution...Good luck! Hoping for good news tomorrow :)

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  48. Whatever the non-religious equivalent of praying is, I am doing that for you... thinking positive thoughts, and wishing like mad that the cramping & low progesterone mean nothing. I hope you get some sleep tonight, and a reassuring u/s tomorrow.

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  49. Thinking of you....and praying for you! I hope everything turns out fine. I know what it feels like to be so nervous and scared. I remember feeling that way when I was pregnant with my son. He was my 4th pregnancy and the only one that has worked out. I remember being crampy and constantly checking to see if I was bleeding. Hang in there and try to be positive!

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  50. I found this: "Between 1,200 and 6,000 mIU/ml serum, the hCG usually takes 72-96 hours to double." I think your betas are rising very nicely!
    I am very hopeful for you!! Good luck tomorrow!

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  51. I hope the night goes by quickly and you are able to sleep without nightmares. Isn't is bad enough the universe made us infertile without our subconscious getting involved in the torture?

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  52. Awwwww sweet internet friend, I am sooooooo sorry you are dealing with these crazy numbers right now. Fingers crossed for you my dear. Kisses to you and Will. xoxoxoxo

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  53. I cramped during the first trimesters of both my pregnancies. Hopefully it just means your embryo is getting good and burrowed in. Waiting with baited breath with you.

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  54. just one more crampy voice chiming it. i was crampy as heck for a couple of weeks, starting about where you are now. (and then, when that cleared up, i started bleeding. but, a couple of months later, i'm getting kicked pretty regularly.)

    thinking of you, and glad you're getting on top of the progesterone situation.

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  55. Delurking to tell you that I had very low progesterone, too. My initial levels were always low, and stayed there. As in less than 10--even with supplements--low. Cramped like CRAZY the first trimester with both of my IVF/ICSI babies (who are now seven and one). I miscarried once, but that was the only pregnancy where I didn't cramp and/or bleed. Go figure. It was also the pregnancy with the highest progesterone level. Still haven't made sense of that!
    Anyway, I wish you the very best. I genuinely hope you get your take home baby..you surely deserve it.

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  56. I cramped like crazy. For awhile they thought it was ectopic because I was cramping so much. That pregnancy resulted in my now 17 year old who is looking at colleges. But I remember the fear.

    Praying and sending good vibes your way.

    Hugs,
    Jacky

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  57. Focus on keeping your mind and spirit calm. Remember how much you want this baby. Channel all the love you have in you to this baby. Don't forget the mind/body connection. It may sound a bit flaky given how everyone always focuses on numbers and the science but there is a life in you that is connected to you and to Will. Don't underestimate that connection. Thinking positive thoughts....

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  58. Adding to the chorus....
    Cramping absolutely normal.
    My fourth pregnancy's betas were very similar. From an IUI, I started out a bit higher (120) but my first repeat beta doubled in 44 hours, second check doubled in a longer time, similar in pattern to yours... Much worse than my major miscarriage with perfect betas. My slow beta offspring is sleeping next to me now.

    Will be thinking wonderful u/s results for you guys.

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  59. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  60. Oh, I forgot to mention earlier, with Emery (our 5th IVF) my number was doubling every 36 hours then went to doubling every 77 hours between two of our BETAs and I just knew I was miscarrying again. Then, the next BETA was back to doubling fast. No rhyme or reason, we hadn't lost a twin or anything. Emery is now a very healthy one year old. Sending so many prayers your way, I don't want to wish you're pregnancy months away but I can't wait until you are holding that sweet baby in your arms! (((HUGS)))

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  61. I've only been pregnant once- and thankfully it ended in a healthy baby. But right after I got the positive HPT I started cramping exactly like I was getting my period. I was so convinced I was going to get my period that I wore a maxi pad day and night for 2 days. After a week, I stopped with the maxi pads and it eventually subsided and things were fine.

    I'm praying the same is true for you.

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  62. I know you've already gotten a ton of these kinds of comments but I cramped a ton, bled heavily at both seven and 28 weeks and dreamed of miscarrying/bleeding CONSTANTLY throughout my pregnancy, and everything turned out totally fine. I know these early weeks are SO hard w/the anxiety but you are doing great...hang in there -- looking forward to good news from your u/s!

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  63. I really do hope that everything works out for you. Keeping you in my hopes and prayers. (ICLW #72 & 106)

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  64. Just adding my "cramping was normal for me" comment. I really did cramp throughout, especially from weeks 5-8 if I remember correctly. It was scary, but in my 32nd week now and all seems normal. I am thinking of you and hoping for the best tomorrow. Lots of love to all three of you.

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  65. Damn. Why can't this ever get easier? I'm sorry you and Will are having to endure this stress. Hopefully increasing the PIO will help.

    Thinking of you and hoping hard for good news during your appointment tomorrow.

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  66. How terribly scary. I hope that your little one is just burrowing in for a nice long stay and that your progesterone levels increase quickly. Sending hugs.

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  67. Dear Mo and Will,
    So sorry to hear about all the nightmares and anxiety. Hope your progesterone creeps back up, and that you get to see your little bean on the ultrasound tomorrow. It sounds like you're doing everything possible to take care of yourself. Good luck.

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  68. Mo,

    As I was reminded yesterday by our beloved acupuncturist, "everything is a sign of everything". Cramping is common after IVF, during the early weeks, and even later when it's round ligament pain. Hoping and hanging on with you. Sounds like you have a good and responsive team on your side, and that means something.

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  69. I was cramping and felt just like I was getting AF until about week 6 or so and I'm currently 13 weeks pregnant. I never had my hormone levels checked but I was on 2cc daily of PIO shots and 2 suppositories, 2 time a day from 2 days before my transfer until until 12 weeks. I lowered the PIO shots to 1cc at 10 weeks to taper off. Maybe upping the PIO shots will help?

    I am keeping everything crossed for you guys and i'm willing the good luck fairies to be on your side this time. I'll be anxiously awaiting the results of your ultrasound.

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  70. Eeek, scary! I hope the u/s goes well today. I was also on the 1.0 PIO every day and 3 endo - until I had the SCH - then dropped the endo altogether, and upped the PIO to 1.5cc. I think that the PIO better absorbed, just my totally non-professional opinion.

    I'm sending you both all my best thoughts today! Fingers crossed too!

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  71. Sorry I am little late in commenting. I hope your u/s went well. And I truly hope that the extra pill helped with the p4 levels. I have the same worry with my p4 levels too. I read somewhere that the PIO is absorbed better than the suppository. So, is increasing your PIO dosage an option?

    Thinking of you today!

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  72. Oh, man! I wish I could make these months fly by for you. Can't wait for you to feel this kid kick. I hope reading all these comments about cramping help. And, as has been said, you should expect 48 hour doubling time at this point. SOOOOO glad you're staying on top of the progesterone issue. I think Calliope had to inject PIO twice a day.

    Waiting impatiently to hear about your u/s.

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  73. Ummmm, that should be "you shouldN'T expect 48 hour doubling time at this point."

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  74. Hoping, praying, crossing fingers, holding thumbs, etc. that the u/s today goes very well.

    I applaud you for having Will check your levels and for staying on top of your own health. When you have a baby this summer, you will be able to look back and know that it was due to your diligence and listening to your body. (Although I do have to chime in with so many others to say that I cramped and was SURE that I was starting my period so much so that I wore pads for almost a week...)

    Hugs & high hopes.

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  75. I'm so sorry your having this stress, as if you guys haven't been through enough. I don't know anything about progesterone levels I'm afraid, my clinc just gave progesterone suppositories until week 12 and didn't measure levels. But I had scarily low betas, persistent heavy cramping (worse than period pain) and spotting, some bright red, from week five to week eight. I went on to have a healthy baby. I know everyones different and I know you have a huge history with all this but this can still work. Think of your genetically healthy blast/s, there is still hope. Thinking of you both.

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  76. It's great that everyone's on top of your P4 numbers and responding quickly! I'm with you on the PIO maybe being bad - 10 is quite low - but 1cc + 3 pio supps outta do the job just right.
    When are you getting P4 tested again?

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