Scott took the week of the BETAs off work. To tell you the truth, I think he was just as anxious as I was.
12 days after the transfer, March 30th 6:30 in the morning, we drove into the city for my bloods. In the car on the way there, we had our first real discussion about whether or not the embryo had stuck.
Scott asked “How do you feel about it all?”
And with a heavy heart I finally told him, that unless I am totally out of sync with my body, I feel nothing at all, I honestly don’t think it has worked. I was so scared of uttering those words aloud, because I had been so conscious of remaining positive.
After the blood test we decided to drive down the coast for a day trip to keep ourselves occupied through the dreaded wait (one of the millions of dreaded waits with IVF). I was expecting the results at around 2pm.
So as it turns out, I am totally out of sync with my body.
We were in the car heading out of town when my phone rang. It was only 10am.
As I answered I felt like I might not even hear the nurse over the sound of my own heart beat.
The nurse was on the other end telling me my HCG reading.
“73” she said. OMG I HAVE A HCG READING!!!!
I was smiling in complete disbelief and giving Scott the thumbs up as he drove.
“73 is low, very, very low” she continued.
They would hope to see at least a 100 at 12 Days post 5 Day Transfer. It was quite obvious, she certainly wasn’t congratulating me. I read between the lines of what she was saying. This was possibly a chemical pregnancy.
Ok…so I was now giving Scott other hand signals…the one when you hold your hand flat and wave from side to side, to tell him that there was a ‘BUT’, don’t celebrate yet.
The nurse advised that the levels needed to be at least doubled in the next 48hrs, I was to return for my 2nd BETA two days later.
We didn’t know what to tell our loved ones who knew we were getting our results that day. This is one of the crappy things about IVF, do you tell your loved ones about IVF so that you have constant support, or do you keep it secret so it’s one less thing to agonise over? We rang our mums and told them to be cautiously optimistic or indifferent or whatever.
We didn’t know how to feel between BETAs. My emotions swung widely from being amazed that I was actually capable of being pregnant, a tiny bit of faith in my body restored at long last, to feeling extreme anxiety and panic. It felt like torture.
Up until this point I hadn’t done any pregnancy tests during the entire process. But that phone call changed everything. We went to the chemist and picked up a pack of 5 First Response & 2 Clear Blue Digital Weekly tests. I did a First Response that evening, and there it was, my first ever positive. We had waited 3.5 years for that positive and yet there were no tears of joy, no celebrating, just a confused state of emotions. What should we feel? It was the complete opposite reaction to how I always imagined seeing those two lines would be.
The next morning, I did the Clear Blue test and it showed 1-2 weeks post conception. Ok so that sounds about right, I was feeling slightly more optimistic. I repeated the First Response that evening, around 24hrs past the original one. My heart sank when the line was barely there. I came out of the bathroom and told Scott the line was fading, it was over. I felt heartbroken and numb.
The next morning, the day of the 2nd BETA, Scott insisted I use the 2nd Clear Blue weeks test. I came out of the bathroom and handed it to him. I told him I couldn’t look. A few minutes later Scott sung out, “Asho….it’s gone up….it says 2-3 weeks”. I raced down the hallway, “What? Show me…”
Sure enough, there it was. My hope was back.
We drove into the city again, feeling slightly optimistic.
That day was the longest day ever. They didn’t ring at 10am, or 11am or 12pm. Scott kept telling me to ring and I kept telling him I would wait until 2pm.
I made it to 1:30pm before I caved. I rang the specialist office.
“Ahhh Ashleigh you’ll probably be wanting your results” the receptionist said cheerily.
UMMMM YESSSS I SURELY WOULD!
“so the HCG has doubled nicely, it’s currently 161, so I’ll book you in for your scan in 2.5 weeks”
So there you have it, we found out we were pregnant on April Fools Day, and as far as I know it wasn’t a joke, although it sure feels like that at times.
Our first scan is due next Tuesday, I should be 7 weeks by then… BUT (yes there is always a ‘but’!)
A few nights ago, I experienced cramping for the first time. It lasted about half an hour on and off and wasn’t very painful at all. The next morning when I went to the bathroom there was a tiny amount of bright red blood when I wiped. Now cramping is considered normal in early pregnancy, however, cramping and bleeding is not. Until that happened I had no idea how terrifying it would be. As soon as I saw it, my hand started trembling uncontrollably. I know it may sound absolutely over the top and ridiculous but I felt like I was going to have an actual break down right then and there. It was 6am at the time and Scott was already at work. I rang him but there was no answer. Ok, that is probably a sign to not worry him. I googled “bleeding 6 weeks pregnant” like a mad woman, and for once I actually felt reassured by what I read…there are seriously loads of women saying they bled throughout pregnancy, I know even my own mum did with me.
I felt slightly better about it, I went off to my acupuncture appointment, and my usual acupuncturist was away. The lady covering her shift had just given birth 5 weeks ago. She told me that she bled throughout as well, but to definitely advise the specialist.
My specialist and acupuncture clinic are conveniently all in the same building, so on the way out I dropped in to the specialist. The doc was out of the office at another appointment. The receptionist took it all very seriously which I was quite impressed with. She noted all the details and told me that she would talk to him about getting me an earlier scan.
Shortly after I got back home, the doctor called. He was very reassuring. He told me that whilst they don’t like to see blood, it is a very common occurrence (in about 25% of all pregnancies). He told me to rest, continue taking all meds, and advise him if there was any further bleeding/ cramping. He didn’t want to scan me early in case it was too early to see anything in which case would only increase my anxiety. That’s what I like the most about our specialist, he never wants to put us through anything which would cause unnecessary stress.
I had the day off work, so I lay on the couch and watched bulk netflix all day, going to the bathroom every half hour to check like someone suffering from OCD. I finally got hold of Scott and told him what had happened. He is pretty much a nervous wreck at the moment too, quizzing me constantly on how much blood there was, how I feel now etc.
Anyway, I went two whole days without bleeding, then today, the exact same thing happened when I woke this morning. A tiny amount of bright red blood.
Stress= Next Level (I didn’t even know there was a next level)
I’ve spoken to my specialist today and we are going for the scan in a couple of hours. Hopefully to work out what on earth is happening, so that Scott and I can both get some sleep tonight.
Again I’ve been instructed to rest today, so I’ll be off for another decent netflix session.
My mum called me on the first day of the bleeding and messaged me again today…I swear it’s like mother’s have some kind of sixth sense built in…maybe my sixth sense will come later on because right now I don’t even feel pregnant and that is absolutely terrifying.
I’m so sorry for such a gigantic rambling post…I haven’t felt ready to post about it all since we found out because everything feels so surreal. I feel like if I say it out loud I will somehow break this spell. It feels too good to be true and I have to keep peeing on sticks and reminding myself that yes, this did actually happen. Yes I am actually pregnant.
A part of me feels like the luckiest person in the world, honestly what right do I have to feel so utterly terrified when so many women have never even got that positive? Another part of me is remaining seriously guarded, I don’t feel secure at all especially with a lack of symptoms and now the bleeding. This part is telling me not to celebrate yet, to keep detached from the notion, like some form of self defence in case it all comes crashing down.
And the final part just wishes that all the other incredible women struggling with infertility would get their positives too. I’m thinking of you all as I write this, because I know how bloody hard it can sometimes be hearing about other people’s success, not because you don’t wish success for others but because it makes you feel damaged and broken.
It’s a big wakeup call reminding me to count my blessings.
Thinking of you all, and sincerely hoping that your BIG FAT POSITIVE is around the corner xxxx