Given everything with work, with how tired I am, with how much I need to focus on my health and really lose some weight, and given a promise I made my boss that I would not have a baby during a time that would have me out during the summer (for as far as I could prevent it), we decided after work started seriously discussing me taking over Dept 3 that it was time for the long break from trying to conceive we'd talked about.
After all, last year, when I had just taken over Dept 1, my cycles went insane from the stress and I only had one clear ovulation in the fall and a couple of weak ovulations in the winter. I felt like the best thing we could do was take a break. I planned to call my OB and schedule an annual appointment and discuss our options, get serious about dropping some of this weight, and continue paying down our debt - we've started to get serious about house renovations. And frankly, I could use a break from ttc, from the rollercoaster of emotions it produced, from the faint lines and the hope and the terror. I know that I'm not done with trying, but I was accepting that I was ready for a break. Dh was supportive. Of course, that all happened in the days after ovulation.
Are you getting a sense of where this is going?
Well, I'm not one to completely ruin the suspense.
Seven days past ovulation was Gabriel's birthday. I hadn't felt anything, really, not even sore breasts. Nothing was different that day. I did take one of the stupid online cheapie tests that continued to give us faint lines and that DH had asked me to throw away after last cycle. It was completely 100% clear - snow white in the test area, which was nice to see. I knew it wouldn't be positive, but at least the tests were capable of giving me clear negatives.
Eight and nine days past ovulation were relatively the same, save for testing. My mom was coming into town to visit for the weekend, so on a whim, at nine days past ovulation (last Friday), I took a test. I figured it would be negative, as I wasn't overwhelmed with pregnancy symptoms and we both felt pretty convinced that despite good timing, this wasn't likely to be our cycle. Please take a moment to imagine my utter shock when I looked down at the test about 3 minutes in and realized there was a faint but distinctly pink line on the test that already looked darker than the faint lines we'd had to that point. DH agreed that it looked like something. I was even able to get a picture of it, and my friend T agreed she could see it too. A second, and third test agreed that the first was not a fluke. There was a faint line.
The next morning, Saturday, was weird. We needed to get the place cleaned up for my mom, but well, we were preoccupied. The first thing in the morning, I peed in a cup and took out the last FR I had in the house. My hands were shaking, and I was convinced it would be negative, but I did it anyway. Within a minute, the line was there, but so what? I'd seen it before with these 'new and improved, more sensitive' FR. An evap line appears, but never turns pink, it's just the test strip becoming more visible. Only, before two minutes have expired, that line is pink. There is no doubt, no twisting and turning and squinting. Not as dark as the control line, but definitely a clear, pink line.
When DH came into the room, I handed him the test with a frown on my face. He took it with an air of long-suffering, and brought it up towards his face, expecting to do the usual stare-down, only to get it about half-way up, see the clear line and shout "FUCK!" and throw the test back at me in surprise. Then he stood there shaking his head and saying, "There is no mistaking that. That's a positive."
It was. In fact, the digital popped up 'Pregnant' in less than a minute and I collapsed into a fit of nervous giggles. The other few hundred tests I've taken have been equally positive, if not more so. Anecdotal though it may be, the tests have continued to get darker and darker, even the stupid internet cheapies are as dark as the control line a week later.
I'll spare you details of the past week, though it's been quite frustrating. A call to the OB's office revealed a patient policy I was unaware of; because I've not seen her in over a year, I have been reverted to 'new patient' status and they will not order labs, order prescriptions or give a referral until I see her. The problem? I need the beta series and the doctor is out of town. And no one else in the practice will see me because I'm not considered an 'established' patient. In the end, I had to go to a private clinic and pay exhorbitant amounts.
The betas came back well so far though, draw one was 188.24, draw two (exactly 48 hours later) was 475.69, which is a doubling time of 35.8 hours. The individual numbers are quite high for a singleton pregnancy at what I thought was 12 and 14 dpo, so there is that. There is a slim possibility ovulation was really two days before, in which case the numbers are above average, but less crazy high.
The big concern was the progesterone. I'd never had progesterone drawn before, and rather wish I'd not now because it's been difficult to stop worrying about it. It came back on the first draw at 11. The normal range is 9-47. So in the range, but on the low end. And everything I've ever heard is that it should be over 15. Oof. Scary. My doctor was out of the picture, so I begged and pleaded and favors were called in and there was drama, but I saw another doctor. I wanted a progesterone supplement.
He was very nice, but unintentionally condescending. He would not give me a prescription, insisting that it was in the normal range and in the absence of any spotting, I needed primarily to relax and let the pregnancy take its course. Sigh. There was one good thing. He's going to try to get me in with a sensitive, good perinatologist - one who's been recommended to me several times. If that comes through, it will have been worth the mortification of that visit.
Really, I'm still worried about it. I decided not to have it drawn with the second beta, and I delayed the third beta on the idea that I will have it drawn again. And since I'm on my own this weekend, and since it's a holiday, and since there is nothing I can do, I decided to wait until Monday to have it drawn. At least then my OB will be back in town and able to squeeze me in if possible and get me progesterone if needed.
Overall, I vacillate between fear and hope. Things have gone pretty well. I couldn't ask for better beta levels at this point. I have symptoms every day - fatigue, large and very tender breasts, queasiness and nausea that come and go, bloating. . . things seem to be as they should be. I passed the point my period should have arrived, and there has been no sign of spotting. The cramping that comes and goes occasionally is disconcerting, but not too worrisome. I try to remember what is normal, but honestly, I've no sense of it for myself. I know what the texts say, but believing it for myself is different.
I am currently going with the earlier possible ovulation date, because it makes more sense to me in terms of numbers, but also because I won't know much before the u/s, if we get that far. So at the moment, about 4w5d (or 4w3d by FF's calculations).
Crazy. Despite the fact that we intentionally had unprotected sex around ovulation time, we can't help feeling like this was unplanned. The timing is not what we would have chosen. And yet, there is so much hope right now. It feels good. You know, in between the moments of pure terror (like every time I go to the bathroom, because I'm afraid spotting will have started).
Honestly, I have been through just about everything at this point. I know I can handle whatever will happen. I know I'll live and be ok, whatever happens. What's killing me is the waiting to see what that is going to be. The uncertainty and lack of control is unsettling at best. But I suppose, really, that's life, isn't it?