Even as I sit down to write this post I am truly in disbelief. I mean surely I knew that after transferring our beautiful 6AB embaby there was a chance I would become actually be pregnant, but after all the heartbreaks, and hardships of the past few years, I guess I had somewhat started to believe it was impossible for us to hear those magic words. And they truly are magical.
Following our successful FET transfer on Feburary 28th life pretty much carried on as usual. I made notes of any potential ‘symptoms’ just for my own reference when moving forward with other cycles. I figured why not have a go-to list of what I was feeling so I know what to expect, or not expect, depending on the outcome. I spent most of the week just counting the days till our first beta test (HCG blood work). Jason and I had made a promise that we would not test before our scheduled blood work date as we felt it would just cause too much unnecessary stress. From what I had seen from many other IVF’ers is that even with a positive or a negative test result they still felt unsure and needed the blood work to confirm. We felt there was no point in seeing a HPT (home pregnancy test) result before the beta test as we would still need confirmation either way. I guess I am one of the very few who actually waits as my instagram feed was blowing up with images of both positives and negative HPT’s.
On the morning of my beta test I was an absolute nervous wreck. When I say nervous I mean full blown shaking, sick to my stomach, heart racing, mind racing, unable to think straight bundle of nerves!! I got to my clinic around 8:30 and wasn’t taken back for my blood test until closer to 9:00 a.m. Those extra 30 minutes didn’t help with my anxiety! After taking my blood work they told me I would receive a call by mid-afternoon with the results, the nurse wished me good luck and off I went. When I finally arrived at work I kept my cell phone with me at all times, anxiously awaiting the call. I tried desperately to remain positive and upbeat, all the while freaking out and trying to prepare myself for the worse just in case. I had already spoken with my boss who said I was free to leave early if the news was less than positive. I greatly appreciated her understanding that I would be in no working condition following a negative result.
As the hours ticked on I began to become more and more nervous and full of doubt. The last time I had a beta test done was following my IUI. The call came in significantly later than they had told me and I remember I could tell just by tone of the nurses voice that the news was not good. I kept replaying the conversation in my head and then trying to replay it as positive news rather than negative (trying my best to attract positivity!!). When the phone finally rang I could barely say ‘hello’ to answer it. The conversation went like this… “Hi Joy, It’s Elana at CCRM I am calling with your test results, did you take a home pregnancy test?”… I said “no actually I didn’t” (truly not sure what her response would be)… then she said “Excellent! I know how hard it is to wait, but now I get to be the first person to tell you, you are pregnant!!”. I had no words… the shock took over. When I finally said something all I was able to muster up was “oh my god, I am??”.
My initial beta number came in at 93.7 at 9dp5dt (9 days past 5 day blast transfer). When I asked her if those numbers were good or not she said “well we like to see it at 100 or better but you are close, we need you to come back on monday for a follow up test.” And just like that I found I was pregnant, and a whole new round of racing thoughts and ‘what -ifs’ began filling my head. What if my numbers don’t rise and this was just a chemical pregnancy? What if the numbers are low because its an ectopic pregnancy? What do I tell people, should I tell anyone? Now what??
I immediately thanked the nurse hung up and fell to the floor of my office in tears. I prayed like I have never prayed before and thanked god profusely for this amazing gift. The gift of life. I was finally pregnant, something I had only ever dreamed of. Something that for so long felt impossible. Then I began trying to figure out how to share the good news with Jason. I finally found an image to text to him that I thought was equal parts funny and fitting for our scenario..
He immediately responded and said “shut up!” “are you serious!!”. We had a quick conversation over the phone where I told him the good news, explained how everything was still very-very delicate and we would need to see our numbers at least double come monday’s test to ensure that pregnancy was continuing to be viable. I was honestly on cloud 9. I wanted to shout it up and down the hallways at work that I was finally pregnant!! But of course that isn’t what I did. Instead I quietly smiled to myself, continued to profusely thank god, and shared my new little secret with a few co-workers who where in the ‘know’ and had been praying for us.
On my way home from work I stopped at a local CVS and bought a card to tell my parents and another one for Jason to congratulate him on becoming a dad. I also bought a two pack of pregnancy tests. I have never in my life seen a positive on a home pregnancy test so I felt like I needed to see it with my own two eyes. The package I bought had one digital and one traditional test. The directions said to use the traditional first and confirm with the digital. Well I freaked myself out a bit when the traditional came back with a very faint double line. Then the digital re-confirmed with a ‘+ yes’. Which made me feel a lot better. I put the tests on the kitchen counter along side the card for Jason when he got home from work.
The next few days felt like a blur. I knew I was technically pregnant but nothing really felt any different. If anything it felt like my period might start at any point. I was constantly going to bathroom to double check and make sure there was no spotting or blood. I continued to document any ‘symptoms’ I was having and all I kept thinking was “I don’t fell pregnant” and to be honest I still don’t. Finally we made it through the weekend, including me ‘drinking’ ginger ale’s when out with friends. Monday morning bright and early was my next HCG beta test. Of course my work day was absolutely jam packed with meetings so I knew I would miss the phone call from the clinic.
In between meetings I quickly checked my phone and to my surprise I saw a missed phone call at 10 a.m. This time I started to panic because that was a few hours earlier than I was expecting the call. I started thinking… what if its bad news? Why did they call so quickly, that can’t be good… I’m not ready for this to be taken away from me.. So I tried to switch gears, I told myself I would listen to the voicemail when I had a break from meetings so that I could get myself back together incase it was bad news. When I finally got up the courage to listen to the voicemail it ended up just being a message from the nurse to call her back for my results. Cue more panic, if it was good news why couldn’t she just leave that on the voicemail!
I called the clinic up and prepared myself for the worst. When I finally got a hold of the nurse she seemed excited to talk to me. I remained cautious as I waited for the news. “Hi Joy! your results are back and your numbers are 361.5!! That is a doubling time of 37 hours!!” …. HOLD UP… Did you say 361.5??? The absolute highest I had thought they might be when I was trying to be positive was 280-300. They were even higher than I could have imagined. Now here’s the trick with HCG beta numbers. There is a HUGE range of what is normal. All that really matters is that the numbers at least double within a 48-72 hour period of time. My numbers had doubled in a 37 hour period of time!! The nurse went on to say that because my numbers looked good I did not need to come back in for any more HCG blood tests, instead I was now scheduled for my first ultrasound check on March 23rd!!
Part of me was ecstatic that they felt confident enough that I did not need to return for a third beta check before the ultrasound. The other part of me felt like I wanted the reassurance of the increasing numbers. So here I am now, waiting for friday of next week to find out if everything is continuing to progress as it should. I know that everything is still super delicate. I believe the miscarriage rate is the highest during the first 6 weeks of pregnancy. I will call this the ‘danger zone’. Of course nothing is guaranteed even if you make it out of your first trimester (after week 13) but I guess there is some sense of security in knowing you’ve made it that far.
So for now, at 14dp5dt (or 4 weeks, 5 days pregnant) I am just counting down the days till our first ultrasound next week! It’s going to be a long 9 more days! The wait never ends. Until next time, wishing you and yours lots of love, luck and baby dust!!