If this pregnancy is going well, then today instead of being 8dp6dt, I am also four weeks’ pregnant.
I emailed the egg donor nurse, C, to let her know I am pregnant because I’d recently had my TSH levels checked and wanted to know the result — in my last pregnancy, I became slightly hypothyroid and wanted to make sure that my thyroid would be monitored early on in this one.
I didn’t expect a warm congratulations from her — she isn’t exactly known for her people skills — but I wasn’t expecting such a disheartening response, an excerpt of which is here:
Me: Just letting you know I had a positive pregnancy test [last night] (6dp6dt). Looking forward to having my beta on Monday!
C: My fingers are crossed that you [sic] home test is correct.
Me: I did a second test this morning (different brand) and got a fast positive again. Plus, I’ve had a couple of strong symptoms that can’t be attributed to progesterone. Fingers crossed — but it feels good to have crossed this first hurdle.
C: Don’t go crazy with home testing.
WTF? Excuse me, but something more appropriate might be That looks very promising, let’s wait and see what your beta is. Or, Good news! That’s a step in the right direction! C’s unenthusiastic response actually freaked me out a little, like I was faking it or something.
I admit I got a little upset. Because I did DEIVF, there is no residual hCG from a trigger shot in my system. The hCG is coming from somewhere! And who is she to say how many pregnancy tests I do? Some women choose to POAS, some don’t — each to their own, right? I know a beta is more accurate — it’s a blood test, not a mass-produced pee stick, duh! But most importantly, I feel like anyone at a fertility clinic has already had multiple disappointments. No one really chooses to spend tens of thousands of dollars on invasive procedures to achieve what most people seem to be able to do as a drunken oops. And the subset of that, donor egg recipients have to come to terms with the additional loss of the genetic connection. I really wish our nurse could show a bit more warmth, but she was just really negative. Give me a break, I know that a BFP doesn’t mean a baby — look in my fucking chart, woman!
But then I compared this year’s three sets of double lines with last year’s. Today’s test — the bottom one at 8dp6dt / 4 weeks — is equivalent to the first one in the rollover image (14dpo). Despite the age of the January 2013 tests, you can see how much darker this year’s tests are. Also encouraging is that I think I maxed out on line darkness yesterday, meaning today’s test wasn’t darker because it’s as dark as it gets.
Emotionally, I’m all over the place. I can get pretty cranky when I haven’t realised I’m tired or just hungry again, and I get choked up at the smallest things. Today on the freeway, I was driving behind a car whose rear windshield had a memoriam decal. It said My Son ~ My Hero, and the man’s name, regiment, and Killed In Action on a date beneath. I cried a little at that.
Yet, strangely, I’m not as scared in this pregnancy as I thought I would be. Even though I need new bras, I am refusing to go out and buy them because I don’t want to tempt fate — but I might reconsider if I get good beta results. I understand that my dad and parents-in-law are happy but not jumping for joy. They, too, have learned that so much can go wrong in pregnancy. When I saw that I was spotting a little bit, there was a thump in my chest, followed by a rational It’s just the progesterone pessary, don’t freak out.
My acupuncturist explained the spotting: in early pregnancy, your body needs to create more blood — an extra half a litre — which is why staying hydrated is so important. But although your liquid volume increases, your blood cells haven’t increased at a comparable rate. This explains dizziness, but also spotting, because the extra fluid in your blood vessels makes them more easily prone to rupturing. So, when you push a large pill up to your cervix twice a day, that is irritating and can burst capillaries. Still, just to be on the safe side, she inserted an extra couple of needles and switched my herbs to make sure that it’s nothing more than progesterone-induced spotting.
She’s also treating me with the assumption it’s twins. I described how my boobs went from a 34B to a 34D in four days, how veiny they are, how I have this huge appetite (I ate a large dinner two hours ago and I’m getting hungry again!), how I’m getting tired. She felt my pulses and said they feel full, fast, and strong. She said that if I’d had all these symptoms next week then that would be promising for a singleton, but to have them this week suggests twins. Of course, we both acknowledged that just because it’s twins today doesn’t mean twins tomorrow…
I don’t know if I’m trapped in “It’s Twins” thinking, but I feel like it’s twins… I guess I’ll find out in a few weeks’ time. I have my first beta on Monday and, from what others have said about their experience at the same clinic, I will return for a second beta on Wednesday, and a third one on Friday, after which I will schedule my ultrasound.
Meanwhile, I’m trying to walk a fine line between being supportive of people who just got another BFN and not being too much of a reminder that I just got a BFP. There were a few people who I contacted individually before saying anything on Twitter or on the blog, and I haven’t heard back from them. My heart breaks for them, because I know how bad it feels when it seems like everyone but you is pregnant. I can’t imagine (and hope I don’t find out) what it’s like to have one or more fertility treatments fail. It feels strange to finally be on the other side of the double-edged sword, and it’s not a straightforward place to be.
Overall, I am nervous in the sense that we still have a bunch more hurdles to clear, but I am hopeful that this pregnancy will work out because I know I have at least one chromosomally normal embryo (Three or Four, or both?) growing inside me and, so far, things seem to be going in the right direction. And though Three & Four are not of my body, I feel deeply connected to them, physically and spiritually.