It’s all over, baby

December 15, 2009

No surprises with the hCG last night: down to 19. All I can say, at least it’s decisive. There is pretty much nothing worse than sitting at home, cramping up a storm, waiting to start bleeding… all just two weeks before Christmas. On the other hand, the hCG could be holding steady, which would be a terrible thing. I like action; any decision made and action taken makes me feel like I’m moving forward. Ditched the hormones last night and I can’t think of anything more decisively condemning for the fetus than that. (Yeah, it’s sad but necessary.)

I’ve had tremendous support through all this and I am so, so grateful. Although… here’s a statement from my neurotic friend E- that is always crabbing about something (I have never met anyone who complains so much): “…at least it’s not as painful as labour.” Can you imagine?!¬† I swear, some people cannot extract themselves out of their view of their surroundings, events or friends. Everything has to relate back to them. Oh, poor her! She’s gone through something worse, so I can feel better about¬† myself. Well, I told her that after labour, she got a healthy baby and I’m not actually getting anything. Contrast that to another friend that has two sons and also had a miscarriage. Her advice was totally practical: Tylenol 3, granny pads, a good bottle of wine and cuddling with the husband. And, she calls or emails every day to check in. I never knew she was so sweet.

I’m actually laughing at myself at the moment. I’ve got these humongous granny pads — they actually add an inch to you bum when you’re sitting down! I don’t think I’ve seen or used pads like these since I first got my period more than 25 years ago. At least the packaging these days is smarter.

Anyway, this is a short post. I have to call my OB’s office now to see what the next step is. I still don’t have full u/s results and it’s driving me crazy. But I’m trying to chill….

Hope you all are doing well. I’m going to go ’round and check on you all, on your blogs, later today.

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Hooray! The little blast has kept dividing and our second beta hCG was up to 160. Yes! Yes! Yes! I’m still a little nervous because my sister-in-law had a miscarriage between this phase and her first ultrasound at 6 weeks. I realize that can happen to anyone. Although I’m trying to put faith into the fact that this embryo comes from a 24-year-old woman so it’s not all gnarly, aged, grey, faded and worn. I can’t help those adjectives; I’ve become used to personifying my eggs. It offers some comic relief for me to imagine them as cartoonish characters. My current embryo definitely has long, lustrous locks, sparkling eyes, healthy, glowing skin, no stretch marks… you get my drift.

However, my OB search is actually adding stress to my life. The one OB with whom I have an appointment at 12 weeks refused to see me earlier. The IVF clinic instructed me to find one, as they have graduated me from their care. And, well, I don’t have a lot of confidence in my family doctor. I am sure I could get a 6-week ultrasound and my doctor could read the results and call me with them. That is not the issue. My issue is that I am supposed to stop taking Aspirin, Estrace and Crinone (progesterone) gel at 8 weeks. In the past, I’ve been told that I would take them for 12 weeks and generally that is the protocol at the clinics up here. But my clinic has this new protocol and they are quite confident with it. I mean, they are the same people that were confident in placing just one blast at transfer time instead of two, and it worked so I should be okay with those instructions. However, I still want my hormone levels checked (there are instances where women don’t produce enough of their own hormones after going off meds and lose their babies) and I want to be followed by someone whose job it is to know about these things, instead of going to an independent lab that never sends the results same-day, then waiting until my family doctor’s secretaries find time to give her the results, then waiting to see if she even knows what to do with them or how to interpret them. Too much stress.

So now I’m continuing the hunt for another OB because the attitude of the previous one just sucks. She told me to call the IVF clinic to ask why I should stop the drugs. Duh! I know why I need to stop the drugs. Does she?!? I need follow-up! I mean, how can she let a donor IVF patient hang out to dry? It’s unconscionable, in my opinion.

You know what? I’m probably going to be one of those protective, crazed “older moms”… you know the stereotype. The one where women are just so bloody happy to have a baby they lose all perspective. But part of me now knows what it means to be a mom. Just like you have to take your own medical care into your hands — be an educated patient (without being an annoying one) — you have to advocate for care for your fetus because if you don’t demand it, who will?

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?