- John Green, talking about Looking for Alaska
Beta #3 came back at 738. That is a 50.5 hour doubling time from my last beta. Cue freak out. I know that 50.5 hours is well within the 48-72 hour doubling time. I do logically know that. I know that the nurse told me that the number was good. But it slowed down. And all I can think about is what happened last time.
Last time I had beta draws on days post IUI 14, 18, 20, and 25. From 14 to 18 I doubled normally just shy of 48 hours. From days 18 to 20, though, my doubling dropped to 56.7 hours. At the time, I reassured myself that I was within parameters, and it didn't matter that it had slowed down. And then from days 20 to 25, my doubling time was 95 hours (which sounds pretty bad, but at that point I was over 1200, and hCG doubling slows to 72-96 hours once you get over 1200). That was when I got a phone call from the doctor instead of the nurse, telling me they were concerned about the slow down in doubling, and I needed to come in for an ultrasound to rule out the ectopic. I wrote about that day at length in this post, so I don't need to go into how fucking awful that day with the ultrasounds was. What I will say about it is this: when I went from my doctor's office to the Maternal Fetal Medicine (MFM) office and told the obstetrician reviewing my high res scan what my beta numbers were, he basically said he couldn't understand why my doctor had sent me there. As he put it, yes, the beta doubling time had slowed, but it was still within parameters and certainly didn't indicate ectopic pregnancy to him. After that, I went through about 2 weeks of ultrasound hell where we would have no hope, then a little ray of hope, then have it all squashed down again. I understand, in retrospect, why my RE was concerned and wanted me to come in and get checked so early. But I also think she was just covering her ass. I think my RE's office put me through 2 fucking weeks of torture for a not particularly good reason. Would it have been brutal to go in at 7 weeks, expecting to see a heartbeat, and then be crushed that it wasn't there? Of course. But living with that ambiguity from 5w4d until 7w3d - I just don't think I can do it again. Clearly, I am still having some post traumatic stress issues from my missed miscarriage. The point is - I hate betas and I wish my RE didn't make me keep coming in for them. And it's hard for me to see slowing and not think that we'll lose this one too.
I realize that this all might sound like a pretty huge overreaction. I am fucking terrified of having another miscarriage. I don't know that I have the grit to deal with another one. I don't know if I can start over again if this doesn't work out. And I'm saying this as someone who has basically not allowed herself to attach to this pregnancy out of fear that it will be snatched away. I realize compared to the many bloggers out there who have dealt with recurrent pregnancy loss, me and my whining about my one chemical pregnancy and my one missed miscarriage makes me sound like a huge pussy. Those women are astounding warriors. But I just don't know if I can keep at this the way they do. [Please note, Universe, that this is not a challenge.]
I have to go back for another beta on Tuesday, which will put me at 22dpiui, or 5w1d. I think that if disaster strikes and the doubling time plummets, and they try to make me come in for a scan, I'm going to refuse. They won't see *anything* that early. Maybe, maybe they would see a gestational sac. Maybe. Instead, they would make me come in and torture me because their fucking machines aren't clear enough, and then they'd send me off to the grumpy MFM doctor, who would say, "yeah, I can't see anything because it's too early. Why are you here again?" No thank you. I'm not doing that again. I will go in when they believe they might actually see something.
I'm trying to dig down and, as John Green says, live a hopeful life in a world filled with ambiguity - the uncertainty that this pregnancy will work out, that we will get to have a kid after all. I'm having trouble finding that hope today. In lieu of hope, I am going to watch American Horror Story with the lights off and eat an enormous bowl of peanut butter chocolate flake ice cream.
Sorry for the emotional unload.