Tag Archives: pregnancy test

She Says… Pregnancy #2 Journal: Part 1

If you haven’t read yesterday’s post, please do so before reading this one. This week’s blog posts will be back-dated journal entries of what I experienced over the last 11 weeks regarding a pregnancy that will end in miscarriage.

June 6th, 2012

I’m confused. Confused, but excited. At the end of April, Benjamin and I decided to pull the goalie and begin “trying” for a 2nd baby. It was the perfect timing I had planned all along (despite the fact that everyone, and I do mean EVERYONE I know with a kid Owen’s age is ready to pop with their second baby already). A 2 1/2 year age gap. Avoiding a Christmas baby. Winter pregnancy. Getting pregnant right away would have been totally ideal, but I was not putting pressure on us just yet. I was doing my best to “enjoy the trying” and put the troubles I had getting pregnant with Owen out of my mind. I was aware of when I would likely ovulate, but I wasn’t tracking myself closely or obsessing in any way. If it happened, it happened. If it didn’t, it was only our first month trying.

Around the end of May I took several pregnancy tests (starting far too early to actually get a positive… a bad habit leftover from my “will I ever get pregnant?” days!), and every time, I was a little disappointed when they were negative. After several negatives and a few days after my expected period, I put on a happy face and was ready to start again next month. It was only our first month “trying”, anyway. No rush.

A week went by. Still no period. I didn’t feel quite right. My boobs hurt and I got a spontaneous bloody nose (which happened a lot when I was pregnant with Owen). I felt a nagging feeling that I was pregnant, but was emotionally tired of taking pregnancy tests and feeling down about it. They had been negative even after my expected period date anyway. I convinced myself I didn’t ovulate this month and was frustrated that I didn’t know when to “try” again. Then, on a whim, I tested again on a Saturday afternoon before we had a party, just to check if there was ANY reason I shouldn’t have a drink.

And there it was. Or, it wasn’t. But it was. The faintest line I’ve ever seen on a pregnancy test. With Owen, the pregnancy test turned positive immediately and practically jumped off the stick screaming, “YOU’RE SO PREGNANT, OMG”. One second I wasn’t pregnant, and then one second I was. It hit us like a ton of bricks. With this pregnancy, the test whispered. So quietly I thought I was going crazy. So quietly I had to shove it in Benjamin’s face and say, “Do you see a line? Or am I making it up?”. He saw it, but it certainly didn’t feel like a cause for celebration. Weeks late, and only a barely-there line? That couldn’t be right.

It was the middle of the afternoon when I took it, so I chalked the light line up to the fact that I was well-hydrated. So I took another one the next morning. SLIGHTLY darker, but still very, very faint. Immediately I began to worry that something was wrong or it was ectopic or a chemical pregnancy or blah blah blah. My Google PhD in Fertility Issues was NOT helpful at this point. I knew just enough to scare the crap out of myself.

I scheduled a blood test for the next day. The hcg quant test came back pretty low. 108. Especially low if you consider that, counting from the first day of my last period, I was technically 5 weeks and 2 days along. Even lower if you consider that at only 14 days past ovulation my quant with Owen was in the 300’s. Instead of celebrating a positive pregnancy test, I was biting my nails over numbers and holding my breath for the second beta test (where the numbers should double… and if they don’t, it’s not a good sign). An agonizing 2 days later I got the second blood test, hoping against hope that it would be at least 216. The nurse said 350 (or something like that, I couldn’t hear her after the “3”) and I was relieved. Relieved, but I still wasn’t giddy. Why weren’t they higher? The second quant from Owen’s pregnancy was in the 1,000’s.

EVERYTHING feels different this time around.

Given that my dates are a bit funny, my doctor and I decided to do a dating ultrasound next week. If I am 6 weeks along, we should be able to hear a heartbeat. I think I’m still holding my breath for that moment.

She Says… My Face is Where?

In case you are like me and you don’t generally have time to read anything other than your gmail in a day, you may not have seen the two articles that have my face plastered on them as the poster child for crazy people who post videos of themselves taking pregnancy tests on YouTube. Slate Magazine has named this phenomenon “WombTube”, and thefrisky.com jumped on the bandwagon and drew out the controversy by asking commenters “Is posting videos of your pregnancy test sweet or creepy?”.

First, I do wish that the video of me that is “going viral” had not been taken at 6:30am with no makeup. But that’s kind of beside the point.

The point, in my opinion, is that when our pregnancy test video (first posted here) is taken out of the context of our blog, I totally get why people think it’s weird. I mean, I also understand why people think that having a blog about things as personal as pregnancy is strange and self-obsessed and a prime example of how our culture has gone off the deep end in the age of oversharing.

But there’s another side to that coin.

When Benjamin and I were two young, healthy people struggling to conceive, our blog became a way for me to let out my emotions and exchange information and, most importantly, connect with other people going through similar issues. Every day I found more and more blogs of more and more women who were struggling with the same issues, and it became, for me, a source of incredible support and sisterhood at a time when I felt like I didn’t know anyone in my real life going through what we were going through. I created relationships that eventually helped me stay positive until we were able to get pregnant.

I cannot even express how happy I am that we caught that moment on video. I will never, ever be able to harness that emotion again. If and when I see another positive pregnancy test, I will never, ever have that same reaction. Until that moment, I literally did not know I would be able to have a baby. That moment was not just “Oh yay, we’re pregnant!”. It was a rush of emotions that I had been bottling up since I first went off birth control and never got my period. The stress and pain and frustration of trying and knowing that my body wasn’t cooperating just melted away.

So I can’t comment on why other people post their pregnancy test videos on YouTube for all the world to see. But I can tell you why I did. After all the time I spent cultivating and growing my community of people struggling to get pregnant, I felt that I owed it to them to share the joy of that moment. Without their openness and support and willingness to share their stories, I might not have ended up where I was in that very special moment. In many ways, I wanted that video to shine like the light at the end of the tunnel for other women struggling to get pregnant. To show them that there IS a happy ending for many people in their situations.

And as all of you who continue to read the blog know, our over-sharing didn’t stop with the pregnancy test video. We had just gotten started! Since then, we’ve shared so many other special moments with the world — even Owen’s birth. Believe me, I understand why some people think it’s crazy (hence the sarcastic undertone of the articles I’ve been featured in recently and the comments they have generated). But I would argue that it is also incredibly amazing to be able to share a story that may help others if they are struggling to conceive. I cherish every email and comment I receive that says something like, “Just reading your story has helped me so much. I had the exact same problem and now I’m pregnant!” or “You are an inspiration” or even “I’ve learned so much from reading your posts and your comments”.

The bottom line is that I wish these authors had done a little more digging than just seeing my face on YouTube. There’s a real story here, and I’m not just a crazy person posting a video of my pee on the internet for all the world to see. And, beyond that, many of the commenters said that this phenomenon is gross and TMI. My response to that? Don’t watch them! There are a lot worse things out there on YouTube, I guarantee it.

She Says… Aaaaaand, We’re Back!

First of all, thank you all SO MUCH for your overwhelming support and congratulations over the last few days. Benjamin and I read every comment (and, no joke, got a little misty-eyed at every comment). Each one meant so much to us.

We have been basking in the glow of our bliss. Taking it all in. To say that we had so much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving is a gross understatement. It’s hard to believe it’s really happening.

While we were struggling to get pregnant, the word infertility would send shivers down my spine every time I heard it. I never really let myself believe that I would never get pregnant, because if I had, it just might have broken me into a million pieces. It is the one thing I fear more than anything else in the world. And the moment I saw that “pregnant” readout on the home test, all the tears and fear and anxiety that I had been pushing to the back of my mind came out like a flood. And it made me realize just how amazing that moment was. And without going through all the waiting and the struggling and the yearning, I’m not sure that moment would have been as sweet. So, to all those ladies out there still fighting the fight, take heart. Not only will it happen for you, but when it does, it will mean so much more than if it had come easily. I am certain I will not take even one moment of pregnancy for granted.

So, what happened after the video ended? Well, there was a lot more crying and hyperventilating (for Benjamin AND I). And then, we actually had a friend staying with us for a few days, and he was asleep downstairs. I was certain my shrieking and crying would have woken him up, and I didn’t want him to think something was horribly wrong, so Benjamin and I crept down the stairs and stuck the pee-covered stick in his face. At 6:30am. Of course he was thrilled, but it took him a few moments to process :). Lucky for me, I already had an appointment for a blood pregnancy test at 8:00am at Boston IVF (since we knew it was 14 days past ovulation on a medicated cycle). On the drive over, I made a few phone calls to my mom and siblings and some other friends, mostly people who knew about the blog, because I wanted to tell them the news before they read it on the internet. Prior to finding out, I had brainstormed all these creative ways to tell people the exciting news, but when the time actually came, all I could do was blurt out “I’M PREGNANT” as soon as they picked up the phone. And then cry. I did a lot of crying. Which is funny, because I’m not a crier. I almost never cry. Benjamin commented that the moment I saw the positive pregnancy test was maybe the 3rd or 4th time he’s ever seen me cry. I have a feeling this pregnancy is going to change all of that — I’ve been on the verge of tears for the last 3 days! Happy tears, but I just can’t seem to stop the waterworks.

Anyway, bloodwork came back very strong! My beta (the level of hcG in my blood) at 14 days past ovulation was 387 mIU/ml. Wahoo! Normal levels range from 5 – 426 mIU/ml, so my number is on the high side of normal. It’s also high enough to indicate the possibility of TWINS, so Benjamin’s not out of woods yet :)  I don’t think we’ll know that for sure until our first ultrasound, though, which isn’t for a few more weeks. I go back for another beta this morning. The numbers should double over that period of time, so I’m hoping for a 750/800.

LOTS of things to update you on in terms of symptoms, etc. More posts to come.

For those who have been pregnant, do you remember your beta numbers? What were the earliest pregnancy symptoms you had?

She Says… It’s My Turn

I feel like I’ve been waiting forever to write this post. And now that I finally can? There are no words.

She Says… 10 dpo

Well folks, here we are again. 10 days past ovulation. This time last cycle I was starting to take pregnancy tests (since 10dpo is just about the earliest time you can get a positive on a home pregnancy test). Five straight days of waking up at the butt crack of dawn to test was exhausting and disappointing, to put it mildly. So this time? NO TESTS UNTIL 14dpo… the day of my expected period. Also happens to be the day I go in for my blood pregnancy test. I may even just wait and see what the beta results are… but Benjamin said he really wants that moment of seeing the positive test together, so we’ll probably test that morning.

This morning I woke up to a lower temp than I was hoping for, so who knows, maybe that’s a sign that this month isn’t it for us. However, I woke up several times last night, and ended up taking my temp at 4am, two hours before my normal time… so those results are probably not reliable at all. I got a 98.0 at 4am, and then 98.8 at 6am. Confusing. My nipples have been tingly and a little tender on and off for the last few days, which could be a good sign. I never get sore boobs, not even way back when I used to get my period. So who knows.

I’m restricting myself from Google, which means I might have to restrict myself from the computer as a whole :)  But, lucky for me, Benjamin and I have a TON to do this weekend to prepare for Turkey Day next week. Today: acupuncture, yoga, dog walks, cleaning the bathrooms, making my checklists and grocery lists. Tomorrow: deep cleaning the whole house and giving the dog a bath. Here we go!

She Says… Plan B

The nurse from Boston IVF just called with my blood test results from this morning. She says that I’m not pregnant (umm, duh!), and that my progesterone level was very low, which indicates that I didn’t actually ovulate this cycle.

Wait just one hot minute. I didn’t actually ovulate?! What about this positive OPK? And the mittelschmerz? Apparently it’s possible to get thisclose to ovulating, but then not actually release an egg. That would explain my one day of temp spike, and then a return to slightly elevated temps, but well within my normal range. And even the mini period – my body kinda sorta almost thought that it ovulated, so it went through the process of a mini period. Albeit too early and too light, but it was something. It even explains the false positive on the OPK… I guess if my LH surge was almost enough to release an egg, it was enough to show up on the pee stick, too. But, alas, not enough to actually shoot an egg out. Bummer.

So, that was the practice round, right? That means that this time, I’m going to actually release an egg, and it will actually meet up with all the little spermies we’ve been pouring in there, and we’re going to make a baby. Do you hear me, eggs? WE ARE GOING TO MAKE A BABY!

Plan for this cycle:

  • Double up the Clomid to 100mg
  • Do a follow-up progesterone test 7 days past ovulation to make sure that I actually released an egg

Hey, for all the time and effort we’ve put in, why don’t you just release two and I’ll get those twins I’ve always dreamed of? Just a suggestion.

She Says… Square One

Not exactly. But that’s what it feels like. Here I am again NOT having a period, and not sure why. According to the nurse at Dr. P’s office, if I ovulated, I should have a period. “It’s as simple as that”, she said. Well, nothing’s ever that simple, at least not when it comes to me and babymaking. Sigh.

My period is nowhere in sight, and my body doesn’t feel like it’s coming any time soon. Although, I’ll be honest, I’ve pretty much forgotten what that feels like. But that’s beside the point. I called the nurse on Friday to let her know that it hadn’t come yet, and she set me up for some more bloodwork tomorrow morning. She’s going to run another blood pregnancy test and check my progesterone and estradiol levels. These levels were tested previously in my first round of bloodwork, but I believe they should be able to tell us something different now that I am [supposedly] post-ovulation.

Although it’s kind of a pain (literally and figuratively) to go in for more bloodwork, I’m glad that was the next step that the nurse suggested. I’d like some answers, thankyouverymuch.

My own theory (based in part on everybody’s favorite doctor, Dr. Google) is that my progesterone didn’t increase as it should have at/after ovulation. That would explain the light, early period (if that’s even what the bleeding was, which is not yet confirmed), and my lack of temperature spike after ovulation. The good news is that if this is the case, it is an easy thing to fix with medicine, and it’s a fairly common problem with women who do not ovulate.

We’ll see what the real doctor says tomorrow…

In the meantime, has anyone out there taken progesterone or had a progesterone level issue? How did it present itself? How did you treat it?

 

She Says… Movin’ on Up

First things first… we’re doing fine. Thank you all so much for your support and comments yesterday. It was disappointing to hear the news that I was not pregnant, but in some small way it was a relief. At least now I can stop obsessing! As if out of spite, yesterday my temperature spiked to 98.4. If I hadn’t just had the negative blood test, I would have been SURE that was a sign that I was preggo. So much for temps being a reliable indicator (at least mine!).

I drowned my sorrows in a few beers and some deliciously cheesy Mexican food, which helped :) And now it’s time to move on. Onwards and upwards, I say. I am so thankful and happy that I ovulated last month on the lowest dosage of Clomid. It seems like that little bit of medicine was just the jolt my body needed to get back in working order. Ovulating is half the battle, right? So I feel confident that now it’s just a matter of time before we make a baby.

Even though we don’t know exactly what the bleeding was that I experienced about a week ago, I also feel like that was a good sign. It’s at least an indicator that something is going on in there that wasn’t going on before.

So now I wait again. Wait for my period.  I’ve been waiting for my period since March when I went off birth control, so I’m getting a little impatient. The nurse at Boston IVF assures me that I’ll get it this time, though, since I ovulated. Well, we assume I ovulated based on the positive OPK I got. If I don’t get it in a few days, I’ll call her back and see what she suggests. But in the meantime: Get it together, body! It’s time to start a new cycle so we can try again!

She Says… It’s Official

I’m not pregnant.

What a roller coaster ride this is.

He Says… No News

I was up with Kate at 6am for pregnancy test #4.  Again, a negative.  I think we were both expecting that.  Now she is off at Boston IVF getting her blood pregnancy test, which, at this point, I think we are expecting to be negative.  Although, I guess it is conceivable that today or tomorrow would be the first day a positive would show up, and the blood test is supposed to be way more accurate, so we’ll see.

I know we are both disappointed, because it did feel like we did everything right, timing-wise, this month.  When she got the positive on her OPK it felt like such a relief, and now I feel like we have to start all over again, and wait…and hope.  Sigh.  I guess, realistically this is sort of month number 1 of us trying, with any real possibility of conceiving since we now know (or think) that Kate is ovulating again.  So a few tries (or more) is normal.  But, since we did think we were trying back in March (even though it was like target practice with no target), it feels like we have been at this for a while.

Fortunately we are (usually) optimistic people so whatever happens we will keep going.

(I do wonder, though, what we will keep blogging about during the next month, and hope that people keep reading…)