When we left off, I had decided that I wanted to have a baby. T said he wanted to think about it for a few months. Well, those of you who know me IRL know that once I make up my mind, things are happening now. Not in 3 or 4 months. So I basically steam rolled over my husband who was simply trying to be the voice of reason, knowing my impetuous ways.
I saw my OB for a pre-conception consultation and he told me we could start trying as soon as I finished my cycle of birth control pills. Dr. G said there was no increased risk of miscarriage the month after stopping the pill, which was my first question considering my history. Dr. G did add a caveat. He said if, "you're the type who will blame yourself if something goes wrong," then you should wait a few months before trying.
Nice foreshadowing, Dr. G.
I got knocked up the very first month we tried. I dutifully waited until day 28 of my cycle and took a test. That's when I was introduced to the gray areas of home pregnancy test results.
Me: "T, is that a line or am I imagining things?"
T: "I don't see anything. Did you follow the directions?"
Me (smacking T in the head with the box): "Look, here in the bright light. Do you see it?"
T: "Ummmm... I think so."
After a few days of some positive and some negative tests (I think I went through at least 4 or 5 tests a day, an early sign of my developing home pregnancy test addiction), I went to my OB/Gyn. Well, Dr. G was going through a break up with his partners. The office was in chaos. I had to wait 75 minutes for a pregnancy test. Which, because they did a urine test, was negative. I asked for a blood test. The staff said "wait a week and test again." Um, I. don't. think. so.
I got a new doctor. They got me in the next day. By this time, by my calculations, I was 21 DPO (days past ovulation). A home pregnancy test should be positive by 14 DPO and a blood test will pick up HCG earlier than that.
The test was positive. My HCG was 63. For the uninitiated, the average HCG at 21 DPO is 1061, with a typical range of 324-4130. They had me in 2 days later for another beta and a progesterone level check. My second beta doubled nicely, so I thought I was safe. I didn't know it at the time, but my progesterone level for that pregnancy never got above 7. Again for those of you who luckily have no idea what I'm talking about, a good progesterone level in the course of your normal menstrual cycle is between 2 and 28. It gets much higher during pregnancy. My doctor later told me he generally likes to see at least a 20 with the first beta. Mine was a 7.
I had my first ultrasound, by my calculations, at about 26 DPO (5 weeks, 5 days). A transvaginal ultrasound conducted with the all-seeing-dildo-wand, put me at 4 weeks, 2 days. They told me I must have had my dates wrong. There was a gestational sac, but they wanted me back in a week for another ultrasound. I did not get a grainy, black and white ultrasound picture to take home, although I desperately wanted one, like all the happy women I saw leaving the office.
Dr. M gave me many warnings about calling if I had bleeding, abdominal pain, or pain (oddly) in my shoulder. A few minutes on Google later that day told me he was worried about a possible ectopic pregnancy if my dates were right.
I spent the next week on Google. I basically couldn't do much else except type in various search terms such as "small sac, gestational age" and "low hcg 21 dpo."
At my next appointment (almost 7 week by my dates, 5 weeks, 2 days by theirs), we again saw a gestational sac, and possibly fetal poles, but it measured 4 weeks, 6 days. Not a good sign, but Dr. M told me we would wait until I should be 8 1/2 weeks, do another ultrasound, and then we would know whether or not the pregnancy was viable if we saw a fetus and a heartbeat.
Any guesses on what we saw?
I finally had a D&C at 10 weeks (after several more mentally excruciating ultrasounds) when my body showed no sign of fixing the situation on its own. I had no bleeding at all, but lots of morning sickness. Morning sickness is usually a good sign of a health pregnancy. Ah, the irony.
I scheduled my D&C for July 3rd, rationalizing that I could take the 4th of July off from work (a Friday) without guilt and then be back in the office by the weekend.
After all, I didn't want to inconvenience anyone.
To be continued....
Welcome to Day 9 of Wil Wheaton watch. Feel free to stop over at his blog and remind him that I'm still here. Waiting. Patiently.
I just heard some horrible news that adds some perspective to my post above. A little girl in my son's pre-school class is in Boston right now having exploratory brain surgery for a tumor in the center of her brain. Apparently our local children's hospital can't do anything for her.
She's 3 years old.