Saturday, February 18, 2012

FET#2: 9dp5dt: preparing for the worst



So today was finally the official beta day for the Denver clinic. And we are up in the country far north of NYC. My husband Will arranged for me to get my levels drawn here locally, and we arrived up here yesterday evening after I successfully finished hosting a training seminar in my area of expertise.

I didn't realize how nervous I was to have to give a serious talk while pregnant until yesterday as I was doing it. It was with a clinical audience. And although it was only a 90-minute talk, it felt like a fairly big deal both because it was a fair jaunt away from NYC, and because it was with the same colleague I'd been with in 2010 when I spoke at a featured symposium internationally while pregnant (and while majorly cramping) and turned out to be losing pregnancy #6. So standing up there in front of an audience pregnant again yesterday, and finding myself significantly cramping again, and toward the end feeling fluid running out of me (that I was sure was blood), well, cue major internal freak out. I had to actively tell myself to try not to panic. And because that self-talk wasn't so effective, between the cramping and the fluid-feeling, I even left and ran to the bathroom before all the folks with questions coming up to us had gotten answers following the talk (and thankfully I quickly discovered that there was no blood, only my progesterone suppository and mucous). Phew! I then parked myself on a cushy chair for the next 2.5 hours, drinking water and not budging until Will could come get me and whisk me away to the country.

Since then, and into today, I have been exceedingly nervous about the beta. My anxiety was heightened by two other things:

(1) I worried - and my Denver nurse confirmed - that having my beta drawn at a different lab might mean we would get harder-to-interpret numbers. That if the numbers weren't doubling as expected, it might be because the pregnancy were failing, or it might just be the labs' differences in calculating.

and

(2) I have been faithfully POASing (although not posting many of the results), and damn ladies, but the line has not been getting darker. It has still been a weak positive, but I can't tell a whiff of difference between the stick from 7dp5dt and 9dp5dt. I've been trying to tell myself all kinds of reasons for that, from the fact that I just don't have great visual acuity, to the fact that the hcg would still be relatively low so maybe not a noticeable difference (haven't really believed that) to the possibility that I ruined myself when I tested with an hpt when my hcg was over 12,000, and so now everything else just looks like a weak positive to me (I could get myself to mildly endorse this possibility).

So I've been steeling myself for at least a non-confidence-inspiring number, and maybe a lower number than I got previously. Basically preparing myself to have to try not to be devastated.

We've had so much practice being devastated.

Anyway...we drove 40 minutes to the closest little municipality with a community hospital, got the blood drawn stat, and then went to the local Target to pick up toys and a new dog bed for Ms. Moxie (whose old dog bed is not so cushy anymore and is stinky no matter how much we wash it at this point), and then for a scrumptious gluten-free Indian buffet lunch.

I called for the results this afternoon and the lab refused to give them to me over the phone (arrgh!!!), so I then had my "doctor" call back 15 minutes later (Will, who had written the prescription). Felt mildly deceptive about this, but I guess in this case he was the doctor on record and I needed those results!!

And...
HCG = 155!!!
Progesterone = 31.16

So a doubling time of 42.19 hours, a 123.7% increase!!

Oh my gosh, what a relief!

I don't know why my hpts are so underwhelming-looking. This hcg level is one, though that I, and Will, and the Denver clinic, are very happy with. We will be up here until Monday morning, and Denver has asked us to test again at this lab so we have as much consistency as possible with the values.

So very good news over here, despite all my continued cramping, and despite my consierable trepidations! I still have a hard time believing any of this and am taking this one moment at a time.

I am still cramping up a storm and fairly fatigued, so have spent a few hours flat on my back. My amazing husband Will is working on making us a gluten-free/egg-free pizza crust with organic goat cheese, asparagus, and basil toppings for dinner (I'm having a little tomato sauce tonight, despite my supposed "sensitivity" to it. Yum!! And Moxie is snoozing happily (oblivious to all going on her family) in her new bed from Target.

Thank you all for your many comments and thoughts and support. Trying to wrap my head - and my heart - around this good news. We are so, so grateful to be just a little bit pregnant.

Mo

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49 comments:

Vaso said...

That number is amazing!!! I am so happy for you and can't wait to hear Monday's number! Relax as much as you can and enjoy the weekend (and being pregnant!!!!)

TurtleMama said...

Mo - I am so so happy for you! I am tearing up as I write this. You have worked so hard for this amazing beta! I had alot of cramping during the first couple of weeks after beta, so don't worry. Enjoy your gluten free pizza - it sounds yummy. Congrats again the great beta!!!!

fiscafamily said...

I think its time to pee on an FRER-I am willing to bet it will be well worth what ever you pay for the box as you'll get the nice pink second line you are looking for :)

gwinne said...

Been waiting for your update!!! What a great second number. You're on your way Mo... I'm so happy for you and Will.

"Jay" said...

Great second beta! I don't blame you for being unnerved by the cramping! It still freaks me out when I cramp! I hope you are able to relax the rest of the weekend! So happy for the excellent rise in beta!

NewYearMum said...

Great result :)) Wonderful news xoxo

Silver said...

Phew! With the title and the start of the post, I thought I was going to be reading bad news - but WOW, just the opposite! Brilliant numbers and doubling! Fantastic :-)!

Brave IVF Girl said...

Fabulous news!

Jen said...

Great news Mo!

What IF? said...

Big sigh of relief over here once I got to the 2nd beta # in your post! Most excellent news. I'm hoping for the cramping to subside soon so you can enjoy your well-deserved break.

The pee sticks are definitely not all created equal. I had some lighter ones a few days in as well, but then subsequent ones tested darker or the same. It's a crapshoot. I agree the FRER-ones are better, especially this early. Sending love, as always.

Emily Erin said...

So very glad that your beta is so strong and while I know that the cramping is hard to deal with, I'm holding so much hope and praying so very hard for you! Try to enjoy your time in the country and take it easy.

Nikki said...

So glad to hear your great news!!!! Try not to stress over the second line color - I had a strong beta and the lines weren't equal until about 28dp5dt!

Sarah said...

Another relieved person here... especially because I remember that symposium when you started losing your last pregnancy. I commented then (as Anonymous, this was pre-blog) to reassure you about your bleeding, only to feel guilty for raising your hopes when you did miscarry.

So no hope raising this time, but congratulations on another milestone achieved, and I'm still rooting for lucky number seven!

Dora said...

Oh! Huge sigh of relief here. That's a fantastic doubling time! I'd call this officially pregnant. :-)

White Picket Fences said...

Feeling very very happy and hopefu for you. Congratulations again! And ...from one multiple miscarriage girl to another ....the 2 babies I have I have after being exceedingly generous with a "modified" bed rest regimen for the entire first trimester. Part of my own regret management, I suppose. I say sit thee butt down and stay. You're on lovenox anyway ...might as well use it for DVT/VTE prophylaxis as well!

LisainSK said...

Sweet sweet relief...one day at a time...one hour at a time if need be!! Enjoy the extra pampering!!

Elizabeth said...

Yay for doubling betas! I remember that anxiety, which I'm sure is NOTHING compared to what you're feeling. Still, thinking of you, hoping for moments, at least, maybe whole hours, of not actively worrying about it and just being. Sending love,
Elizabeth

R. said...

Thrilled for your good news!

Danielle said...

A big milestone, and one worth celebrating! Maybe even with a little tomato sauce.

sprogblogger said...

Oh so very relieved. yes yes yes yes yes! And, um, another reminder that cramping is not, necessarily, a bad sign at this point. Things are movin' around in there, getting rearranged and a bit of crampiness is a sign that that's all happening as it's supposed to.

And those are some awesome numbers, and I am so very very very happy for you. And yes, I agree with other commenters--take it easy. If you can find a way to swing it, take LOTS of breaks. Sit down breaks. Sit down breaks where you don't stand up until you've finished drinking a big glass of water. And lots of days off. And lots of relaxing weekends away.

We're coming to Brooklyn for 24 hours on the 26th--any chance we could get together for some herbal tea or something?

newbie said...

Yes! Yes yes yes! You had me on tenderhooks there with the lead-up to that HCG! I am SO happy for you, no one deserves this more. Please take good care of yourself - no coming home after 9pm okay? Yay for Mo!

Laura said...

WHOOHOO!

mekate said...

Hot damn! GREAT BETA Mo and holy moly, whew! and WHEEEEEE and Yee Haw and holy crap.
big love to you
xox
Kate

Kristin said...

Woohooo, so glad the numbers are good and hope you continue to get great news.

justagirl-Krista said...

YAY! I have been checking my computer all day for your post! excellent beta number. I had lots of cramping too for I think until week 8. It got better around 7 weeks. Hope all continues to go well. Can't wait for the first u/s!

sonja said...

YAY!!!! May the good news continue to get even better with each new test!


(And thank you for your kind words re: our transfer, it means a lot.)

Dreams and False Alarms said...

Maybe your sticks are expired, before they expired! Like those numbers!

Seattle said...

Hi Mo or anyone else who can help me answer this question:

I'm sorry I am asking on here but I just started IUI and don't really know who else to ask. Also, I am not sure how competent my clinic actually is, but I have no choice but to use the clinic b/c it's the only one my insurance will cover 100%.

Is it "normal" to wait 7 hours between the sperm collection/wash and my iui? Per advice of the nurse I saw (and yes, I have to see a stupid nurse b/c doctors are only available for office consultations), I was told to schedule my trigger shot today and then an iui in the morning. HOWEVER, they failed to tell me that there should be a window of 36 hours in between. So when I frantically try to reschedule it, the only openings they had was my husband coming in at 8am for the sperm collection, and I come back at 2:15pm to do the iui.

Will this lower my chance of conceiving b/c of the long wait in between and the fact that it will only be 28 hours since my trigger shot instead of 36 hours?

This office is VERY disorganized, so I do not have much faith in their abilities currently. I would love any feedback if anyone has it. Mostly, I just want to be reassured that it is okay to go 7 hours between the sperm collection and iui and that it won't hurt my chance of having a successful iui. I feel like at this point, they just tell me whatever I want me to hear. Ugh.

BTW: Mo, congrats on your current pregnancy. I am very happy for you. After experiencing 3 pregnancy losses myself, your words and honesty have been such a comfort to me. You inspire me to keep going even when I want to give up. Thank you. I hope this is the one for you!

Aisha said...

happy dance! happy dance!

Fingers crossed ten times over.

:)

Mo and Will said...

seattle - i don't know, i'm sorry. i went straight to ivf, so don't have much knowledge of iui. i thought the washed sperm doesn't hold up very long...but i don't have anything to back that up. maybe google it and see if you can gather more info? another place to see if you can get an answer is an RE moderated board run by SIRM at http://haveababy.com/...maybe post your question on all of the various geographic locations there and see if one or more of the REs responds with some info.

ugh. sorry for the situation you're in. i'd recommend advocating very strongly for yourself - see if your clinic will change the schedule and fit you guys in...(or at least could you find somewhere quiet and have sex that morning to give yourself that chance at least?!)

good luck. wish i knew more.

Mo

Nepsi said...

I am amazed by both your numbers and your ability to find good Indian food up there :) I hope all continues to go well with the 2ww part 2.

Alexicographer said...

Mo (and Will!) -- that is a lovely number. Yay! The whole situation (speaking, etc.) sounds really difficult; I'm sorry you had to do that right now. I love Anxiety Girl, though -- I think she is the superhero of infertiles everywhere!

Remaining hopeful.

momtohowmany said...

Yay!!! You two are a great team and are doing a superb job/everything right! Keep it up...it's working!!!!

glamcookie said...

OMG, you had me on the edge of my seat, lady! Wonderful beta!!!!! Everything crossed for you!

Kahla said...

Woohoo! Congratulations!!

mummydr said...

Congratulations, that is a wonderful number and a perfect doubling beta! I really really hope and pray this is your time.

Stacie said...

A great second beta! Yeah!!!

I cramped a lot with the twins, so much so that I ran to the bathroom every ten minutes knowing that I had to be starting my period any second. Fingers crossed for you!!!

Jay said...

Mo, my heart sank when I read the title of your post. I scrolled to the bottom, and then breathed a big sigh of releif:)

Yay at the continuing good news! I'd definitely switch the HPT test brand. If you want to avoid plonking down the cash for multiple FRERs or Clearblues, I'd recommend my brand of internet cheapies (link on my blog), they were surprisingly sensitive. I could tell my beta increasing, just visually, from day 10 to day 18 where my levels were about 1700. At this point, I was close to maxing out the tests. I did continue for a little while longer, by carrying out bigger and bigger dilutions of err,the test liquid and seeing if the test line was still maxing out. Yes, I'm kinda nuts:)

Though its hard not to, I would not worry about cramping, that is entirely natural, its growing pains of your ute, and I think almost everybody I've spoken to gets varying amounts of those.

Jay said...

@ Seattle, It should be fine, especially since you were working with fresh, non-frozen sperm. That stuff can live upto (and retain the ability to fertilize the egg) for up to 5 days in a friendly environment, so it should be fine for a few hours.

Just FYI, freeze-thawed sperm has also been described to be alive and motile for upto 72 hours, but I've always wondered whether it loses its ability to penetrate the egg after a while. However, all abilities are retained upto 24 hours, at least.

Sara / Aryanhwy said...

Such wonderful news!

jenrcg said...

I know it’s hard, but try not to worry about the cramping, I had strongish period-like cramping for the first 2-3 weeks and so did most people I know (including fellow IVFers, people with RPL history, and fully-fledged fertiles with no issues whatsoever). It was so strong sometimes I was convinced my period was about to start but it never did. I think when you’ve only ever associated that feeling with the start of a period (or worse a m/c), it’s just really hard to get your head around the idea that it could be a good sign. But it seems to be a completely normal symptom of pregnancy, strange as that seems.

I also just remembered that when I was about 7 or 8 weeks pregnant I was having an anxious day and went into a shop to buy an HPT, but it was a different brand from the ones I’d been using. I did the test in the shop toilets (very anxious day!) and the test line was WAY lighter than any of the 5 or 6 I’d done up to that point. There was a second test in the box, so I frantically did that one too, and the line was the same, WAY lighter than any of my previous tests. Cue complete panic, convinced my HCG levels are dropping and I’m about to miscarry, I literally ran to the bus stop and went into town to get more of the original brand I’d been using, did one right there in the shopping centre, and the line was just as dark as it had always been, major sigh of relief. Couple more tests just to be sure and I finally managed to stop hyperventilating! But the result of that pregnancy was my healthy boisterous now 2-year-old daughter, so that other brand of HPT was obviously just a bit crap (or out-of-date?).

So all HPTs are not created equal, especially ones that are about to expire probably. HCG levels measured by a blood test have got to be a million times more accurate than any brand of HPT, so I think everything sounds great for where you are, although I know no amount of reassuring words will stop you from worrying, it comes with the territory (understatement of the year!). Have got everything crossed for Monday’s beta, hope you enjoyed your weekend away.

Jen x

P.S. no more scary blog titles like that please!

Heather said...

Yay, yay, yay! Been thinking of you this weekend. I hope the good news continues into Monday!

Lorraine said...

Have been lurking for a few days - and over those few days have read your story in full. As a physician who struggled to conceive by IVF I felt something of an affinity. I had 6 cycles total, one miscarriage due to a (very) complex aneuploidy (thinking from that result that I'd left it too late) but I am now lucky enough to be 33 weeks pregnant at age 40 and my own eggs (though not buying hardly anything as won't really believe it is real till he's here safely). But I can't believe what you've gone through compared to my relatively easy time of it. But equally, at the moment, knowing you have nice little CGH-checked euploid embryos in there, and knowing you're doing everything you can from an immune perspective, I can't help feeling REALLY optimistic and excited and that you might have made it this time! I have everything crossed for you!

Just one thought (though I don't want to send you as crazy as me, as believe me I was crazy in the first trimester of both the miscarriage pregnancy and this one) - to compare HPTs you surely need to be performing them quantitively at this stage. Now I know I'm the only psycho that seemed to do this... but you empty bladder at time zero. You then pee everything at 3 hours and then dilute to a uniform volume - not too much at this stage as the line is faint - that way you can (to a certain extent) compare the pee sticks quantitatively. After 48h you can even make it half strength and see if they look the SAME (for a 48h doubling time). But like I say, I'd hate for you to get as crazy as me about it!! I got through about 400 (internet cheapy) pee sticks by 12 weeks, doing so many different dilutions and comparisons...

Anyway, VERY best of luck and VERY best wishes.

It Is What It Is said...

Oh, Mo! So excited to read this positive trend! Keep doing what you are doing.

Pulling for you each and every day!

Elizabeth said...

Looking good! That's 2x what mine was on 11dp3dt. So happy for you!

Julie said...

Woohoo! Great news!

Pie said...

155 is solid! Seriously solid!! That is great news Mo!! And those HTPs might just be light - maybe try a different brand, newer ones, and see what you get.

SOOO exciting!! Congrats!

Marcia (123 blog) said...

Lorraine made me laugh and you, missy, made me exhale very deeply now.

So relieved all is very well and the little one(s) is burrowed down deep and getting settled for the long haul.

Tippy said...

Wheeee!!!!!! I'm sorry I am so far behind in your journey. What an amazing amazing turn of events for you after all of these years. OMG. I'm jumping for joy. I will stay tuned more often, well, as much as I can before our babies arrive :-) Sending well wishes for an amazing pregnancy!!!

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