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Posts Tagged ‘HCG’

No one really knows, but we’re going with “it’s looking good unless you hear otherwise from us regarding your HCG numbers.” 

And, since my HCG detectors (otherwise known as my not-even-a-little-bit-sore-at-all breasts) say that my numbers have plummeted over the last 48 hours, I’m not worried.

No, really.  Not worried at all.  Not even a little.

Hah.

Actually, he did a pretty thorough (ouch) exam, and said everything looked just the way he’d expect it to at a normal day 2 past a chemical pregnancy.  I don’t think he’s concerned about an ectopic, so therefore I’m not feeling too concerned, either.  My body is definitely casting this one out on its own, and I haven’t had any weird pain.  Thank god.  This is a rough period, but nothing unbearable. 

Let’s see, in other news, my doctor reminded me that I have a beautiful uterus; even though the rest of my innards might be fighting us on everything, Ms.Uterus is on-board & ready to go.  (I reminded him that my uterus would prefer being fabulous to being beautiful.   Beauty – even in internal organs – never lasts, y’know.)

Not much else to report until 4 o’clock when I should get my numbers and find out if I’m starting stims tomorrow.  If I can start tomorrow, this is going to be an easy-peasy cycle.  No Lupron, and only one Menopur injection per day instead of two.  He’ll prescribe the slow-down med later, apparently.   And I’m back on prednisone, as of tomorrow.  Grr.

Speaking of growling…The dog ate the cap off the boy’s toothpaste sometime in the night.  To punish him for putting her in the crate during dinner, I’m thinking.  Poor Nellie.  Part of the problem is that we haven’t been able to find her big bag o’ rawhide chew-treats since youngest daughter’s Thanksgiving party.  And I’ve been too busy to get to the pet store for another bag.  So her chewing-muscles have been sadly underworked.  Plus, you know, transfered frustration.  If chewing up a tube of toothpaste made me feel as relaxed as it does her, I’d be stealing Crest, too.  You go, Nellie!

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Mostly because that’s the day I go in for my weekly HCG tests at the baby-makin’ clinic. That’s where all my tests are classified as ‘preg.’ instead of ‘decidedly not-preg’. Which sucks.

On the good (good?) news-front, my HCG numbers are still halving – however, the bad news is that we’re looking at a half-life of about a week, so at this pathetically slow rate (pauses to do some quick calculations…) I’ll be down to about zero & ready to start trying again in a mere two and a half months.

Which is flat-out ridiculous. Not to be stood for. So I’ve asked for a phone appointment with my doc, to see what the next theoretical step is. Because if it’s DHEA, which I suspect he’ll recommend, since that’s what this clinic is apparently ALL about, then I think I need to be on it for 4 months or so to reap all the ova-benefits. In which case, this whole ‘let it happen naturally’ thing will work out fine, since it’s not like I’m gonna be using that space or those hormones for anything during that four-month time frame anyway. Well, nothing that (in my case) leads to babies, anyway.

But if he thinks I’m not a candidate for DHEA for some reason, then I think I’m going to start pushing pretty hard for the artificial, induced, ‘knock me out and get it out of me’ option. Damn the risks. I know he doesn’t prefer to do it that way, but it’s been two weeks now, and about three weeks since they estimate that Sprog died. Not so much as a single spot or a cute little cramp. Nada. Things are still happily chugging along in there, not yet having received the message that it’s too little, too late.

Argh.

So, enough, already. I have a life – a reproductively challenged life in which the time left before I am completely and utterly unable to bear a child is beginning to give way to the tick-tock sound of impending doom. Doom with the big thunder and scary scary horsemen and maybe a vampire or two thrown in for kicks.

So we’ll see what the doc says tomorrow. And if he thinks DHEA might work wonders for my younger-than-they-act ovaries, then I’ll try to start taking that asap and pray to whatever god Rapunzel prayed to that it doesn’t do a number on my already-thin hair. But either way, I hope I’ll be able to decide on one course of action or the other tomorrow, since it will make me feel like there’s still a goal to be moved toward that doesn’t totally suck shit through a straw.

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Went in for my weekly HCG test. Not only did one of the techs – who actually knew better, but forgot – breeze in & say, “You must be so excited!”

Um no. Not actually.

Then she couldn’t get a vein to give up enough blood. Bad veins have been the bane of this IVF experience, and at the moment, both elbows are bruised and – I’m sure – scarred. So she had to go into the back of my hand. Ouch. There’s a reason that’s not the preferred spot.

I made her tell me what my HCG levels were last week – 31,570 – and got out of there as soon as I could, after asking her to have someone give me a call with my numbers. I want some idea of what’s happening in my poor body.

So I got a call from the nurse, who gave me this week’s count – 16,350 – & told me that my RE wants me to come in tomorrow morning for an ultrasound. I asked, “Why?” I did not continue, “I mean, looking at electronic photos of dead babies is pretty fun, but once you’ve seen it once, the thrill is gone.” She said it was because my levels were still so high.

Um, no they’re not. They’re about half of what they were last week. Not particularly high at all. I mean, if they were three times what they were last week, I could see wanting a peek in there because, omigod what if we made a mistake? If they were just a teeny-tiny bit higher, I could see wanting to maybe run some tests stat to make sure we’re not looking at a molar placenta issue or something ghastly like that. But half of what they were a week ago sounds sorta like an impending miscarriage, yes? I mean it’s dropped enough that it’s obviously not viable, even in my most pollyanna dreams.

So why the fuck do we have to have a look?

The best I can come up with is that he wants a visual confirmation so that he can, in good conscience, sit me down and offer me some management options. ie: pain meds, grief counselor, heroin, whatever. I was pretty ragged right after I found out last week, so, being a good doctor, he might just want to make sure I’m not suicidal or planning to bomb his clinic. Which is nice, and I realize that so many women going through this process are seen by faceless drones, so I really shouldn’t complain that my doctor is taking the time to really make sure I’m doing ok, despite me messing up his live-birth statistics for the year.

But I was already strong once today and I have to confess that I really don’t want to go do this tomorrow.

Just in case you hadn’t figured that out already.

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…save that there’s nothing new to report.

Boy decided that the reason I’m having “such a hard time getting over this” is because of the waiting. He hadn’t realized (actually, let that read “he hadn’t registered when I told him the first time”,) that this process might take up to 6 weeks to begin, and that I was going to feel pregnant that whole time. And here I thought I was being quite the trooper. I think to him, it never felt real – especially since his first wife had a couple of miscarriages. Like my mom, I never had much in the way of pregnancy symptoms, and those I had, were so minor compared to the IVF-drug symptoms that I sort of downplayed them. It felt real to me, though. I think so far, only my RE has gotten it right. He told me he understood that it felt like I lost a baby, not the chance of a baby. I don’t know that I’d go that far, but it comes close. But truly, as hard as this is, it can’t possibly be as hard as it would have been to lose a baby after I’d counted its toes in a 3D ultrasound at 8 months. It can’t even be as hard as the decision to terminate a pregnancy would have been, if the 13 week tests had shown something horrible was wrong with sprog. It certainly can’t be as hard as losing a child that you’d held in your arms.

But it’s still fucking hard, waiting for my stupid body to realize that the baby I was growing is dead.

And did I mention how much I hate waiting for anything? I mean, waiting for Christmas day is a bummer, and you know it’s going to be fun. But this? Waiting for blood and pain and even more mental anguish (it’s really really really over) has just got to be the worst. I’m starting to understand why women just close their eyes and ignore any risks and go ahead with the D&C – just for some fucking closure so that they can start to move on with their lives.

And, in the cases of infertiles’ like us, anyway, so that they can start trying again. Because hell, it’s been a full 7 days with no needles, and my bruises are starting to go away. Must. Inject. Myself. With something.

It’s a good thing I’ve never been tempted to try heroin, or now would totally be the time.

Although, tomorrow will be my second HCG blood draw (whew!) so I’ll get my needle-fix then. Not to mention my dose of unhappy nurses trying to be comforting, but mostly saying lame things like, “It just wasn’t meant to be,” or my favorite: “Everything happens for a reason.”

Um, no. Actually some things are just completely fucking random and should be raged against, as such.

So there.

No, seriously, I think I’m doing better. Well, I know I’m doing better than I was a week ago, since I’m not currently throwing things at the wall just to hear them shatter. I’d never really understood that impulse before, but it’s all I could do to express how I was feeling, and, you know, I never liked that vase anyway. I’ll have to stock up on ugly crockery before my next IVF round…

I still haven’t had a glass of wine, though I had a latte this morning and it was good. Had my lamb chop this evening cooked bloody rare and it was awfully tasty. I’m still taking prenatal vitamins, though I’ve switched from the prescription, $2 a day kind to the cheapo kind.

Hope springs eternal, but not entirely damn-the-expense, I guess.

Because I need to save my pennies for the next round. Which, given the lack of progress on the whole miscarriage-front, will likely be taking place somewhere in September.

I wonder if I can re-use the vial of Lupron that’s still hiding in the fridge…

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… I went in to the doctor to, as I expected, prepare myself for the worst. After finally getting in touch with the nurse almost 30 hours after my test, learning that my HCG was only doubling every 73 hours, and that the head of the practice wanted a look because things should certainly have been visible via ultrasound by this point, I was readying myself for an imminent miscarriage/blighted ovum, or – even worse – an induced abortion to eliminate an ectopic pregnancy.

I even made my boyfriend stay at home, because I was going to be mature and calm about the news (having gotten my wailing out of my system last night.) I was kind to the nurse who didn’t call me when she was supposed to. And I got myself up on that table and prepared myself to see a whole lot of nothing with perfectly dry eyes.

Instead, he found a baby. (Well, an embryo, but I’m willing to grant it baby-status as of today.) Because it has a heartbeat. I, of course, burst into violent sobs right there on the table with the wand inside me. So much for calm and mature.

The low HCG levels are partially genetic, he said, especially since my mom & her mom never had morning sickness. Nothing to worry about. Stop reading things on the internet, he added.

Um, ok.

There’s a baby in there. A real, live, heart-beating baby blob.

And I think I’m going to stop reading so many horror stories online. At least this week.

I’m pregnant. With a real, live baby.

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After calling my incompetent RE’s office four times, I finally got someone to connect me to something other than voice mail.

The nurse said that another doctor wanted to do an ultrasound tomorrow, since my numbers have risen, but certainly not doubled every 48 hours. They’ve sort of doubled every 72 hours, but they’re not good. Though they’re good enough that a fetal pole should be visible by now, even given my tipped uterus.) And not-good numbers + no fetal pole = no good news at all.

Goddamn it all.

So I’ll go in tomorrow and let another strange man root around in my private bits. Not really expecting good news at this point, though I suppose the thinnest of silver linings is that apparently tonight is the last night the nurse expects me to be on PIO. So goodbye to IM injections for a while.

And you know what? I couldn’t give a shit about that, or about anything else my grasshopper brain keeps trying to throw up as a consolation prize.

Will try to write more when I learn anything definitive, but it might be a few days. I sort of feel like falling asleep for the next two weeks. Wake me when it’s over.

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So my RE wanted to see me this morning – or at least my RE’s partner, whom I had never before met. Things were running crazy at the office, doctor arrived late, people had been waiting for procedures for way too long, etc. But I wasn’t worried – as I told fiance – because everything’s been going just fine for me.

Hah.

Anyway, the doctor found the yolk sac (and there is only one, so no difficult decisions lie ahead of me, which is wonderful news.) But he could not find a fetal pole, let alone a heartbeat. So he ordered an HCG test.

And so I am waiting by the phone for the nurse to call with my numbers, so I’ll at least have a sense of what’s going on. And she was supposed to call between noon and one, and while part of me knows that she was running around like mad, trying to do the work of lab tech & nurse & scheduling receptionist all at the same time, part of me is certain that it’s bad news, and she’s such a sweetie that she is putting off the horrible job of calling me up and telling me said bad news.

Oh to be a normal pregnant woman, whose biggest fear at this point is that the kid (for kid it will, of course, turn into) will end up with hubby’s hideous toes or mother-in-law’s irritating laugh!

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