Despite the fact that I might not actually need an OB after tomorrow, I decided that I’d go on the hunt for one. It’s a blood sport in this town. They are all so overbooked. One that I called (came highly recommended by a friend and has a 4.7 rating on RateMD) is taking patients with a delivery date starting in August. I can just barely slip into her schedule. So I booked her. I mean, I don’t get to see her until 3 months anyway and if I have to postpone, then at least I’m sort of in the door.

One of my friends thinks I am making a mistake. Well, not a mistake per se, but she thinks I should book with a different doctor (he got a 5.0 rating and my sister went to him but his receptionist is a b****!) because his hospital has a tunnel to a kids’ hospital next door so if anything should happen, it could be a lifesaver. This does make sense to me but I feel badly about the first doctor, who seems like she’d be really nice. No final decision yet but clearly I don’t have time to languish.

The advice I received from every single female friend I have who has kids is, call several doctors even before you get a positive result. Literally on day of ovulation or retrieval or transfer and give them the approximate date (lie if you have to, they said!) because otherwise you may be really truly stuck.Talk about more stress.

I learned another neat trick: make sure your referring doctor indicates you’re high risk. That way you’ll get priority treatment and the OB’s staff will actually return your calls. They’ll also fit you in whenever necessary, unlike a regular low-risk pregnancy. What surprised me is that my donor clinic does not consider me — or most “regular” patients — as high risk.

While I was on the RateMD site, I looked up my fertility doctor from the second clinic I went to — and wasted three years with. She and her partner are some of the lowest rated fertility docs in this town. Comments consistently say that patients are made to feel like numbers, lack of confidentiality, and not listening to the patient or explaining consequences of treatment or drugs. More seriously, someone else had a similar experience as I did where the doctor prescribed meds “just in case” even though tests showed no underlying condition existed.

So there you go, ladies! One more thing to think about and sort out while you’re in the very busy throes of IVF.

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Ugh. Every time you have a glimmer of hope in the IF world, something comes back to bite you. Found out that my hCG levels from Monday were 40. The clinic says this is good but they usually want to see around 50. If my hCG doesn’t double by tomorrow morning I’m SOL. Tomorrow cannot come fast enough. Maybe if I sleep through the whole day it’ll be here before I know it. On the other hand, I’ll probably have nightmares.

I looked up hCG counts:

PREGNANCY STATUS SERUM hCG LEVELS

from conception from LMP (mIU/ML or IU/L)
7 days 3 weeks 0 to 5
14 days 28 days 3 to 426
21 days 35 days 18 to 7,340
28 days 42 days 1080 to 56,500
35 – 42 days 49 – 56 days 7,650 to 229,000
43 – 64 days 57 – 78 days 25,700 to 288,000
57 – 78 days 79 – 100 days 13,300 to 253,000
17 – 24 weeks 2nd trimester 4060 to 65,400
25 wks to term 3rd trimester 3640 to 117,000

According to this researcher:

Levels double on the average, every 30.9 hours until values reach 6500 mIU/ml (6,500 IU/L) at approximately the eighth week after the last menstrual period (LMP). After that the rate of rise becomes individualized, peaking between the 60th and 70th day (9 to 10 weeks) LMP. HCG decreases slightly between the 12th and 16th week post LMP, and then remains constant until birth.

Levels for normal pregnancy fall within the following wide ranges. You will note a discrepancy between the ranges of normal in the two tables below. The actual level can vary widely, and is not as significant as the amount and rate of rise, particularly before 10 weeks.

I suppose I’m within range… but what a range. I remember a friend telling me she was in the 100’s with her first two tests.

I want to tear my hair out but then I’d just look like a crazy woman and not be pregnant. I feel so disappointed, so sad and so worried. My uterus has been feeling kind of heavy, if you know what I mean. Like the feeling you have before you get your period… it’s waiting to disgorge. I mentioned it to the husband and he got scared but then he thought that, well, early pregnancy often feels like you’re getting your period. So I don’t know.

Last night we saw a great little house in a fabulous school district. We had decided to put an offer on it late last night but this morning, with this news… maybe it’s tempting fate? You should’ve seen the frenzy around this house. First day on the market and couples (with babies) were circling like vultures. And it’s not even that large… we’d outgrow it soon enough. But the renovation was very well executed and nothing needed to be done to it. Which is unusual in our city. The normal thing is a do-it-yourself reno (i.e. cheap and ugly) and a price raised beyond affordability.

What to do?