After getting a positive home pregnancy test on Friday morning, Friday night Berilac and I were able to celebrate the success of our cycle. We went out to dinner, we joked that after overcoming such a huge stressor how much more appropriate it would be to toast with glasses of wine rather than water - but we gratefully tilted back our cups in celebration, then we came home and fell asleep watching a movie - like old married people.
I will admit that Friday brought with it a bit of relief that we haven't experienced since January of 2008 ... when you get pregnant (even if it only to miscarry) at least you get an opportunity for the pregnancy to work out. We are grateful for this opportunity, but the label of "habitual aborter" has not left us unscathed.
Over the course of our celebratory evening, we stopped each other as one of us would veer into "what if this one doesn't work," we knew to hug tightly when we saw that look in the other's face that of course was followed by an "I'm scared." We shared many a deep breaths.
We saw pregnant bellies pass by (man, I had no idea Friday nights are a big belly fest at the local Cubian restaurant!) but we did not smile knowingly to one another or brush legs under the dinner table. We stared ... questioning if we would be able to get there someday and we continued with our celebration, regardless of the symbols of things we "kind of" have ... we tried to enjoy the night and for the most part we did.
Back at the ranch (for those of you who don't know we don't actually live in a ranch - hello? we're Californians ... a small, rented duplex on a comparable size property is not even close) ... after falling asleep on the couch to a movie, when we moved to the bed, of course Berilac was out like a light (I've always been envious of how quickly that boy starts lightly snoring once his head hits the pillow) and I lay there listening to his soft breathing, thinking ... hoping ... praying. Trying to imagine what a healthy, successful pregnancy would be like. And I kept coming back to the gravity of the next morning and the infamous first beta ... dum, da dum dah, DUMMMMM! And of course it didn't help that the lab is only open from 8-8:30AM so I'd be rising and shining at 6AM to get my progesterone supp inserted in time to laze around for an hour before racing to the clinic (nothing like the pressure of having a short night of sleep in front of you to "help" you FORCE yourself to sleep!) Somehow I dozed off and I awoke bright and early this morning, ready to challenge my "habitual aborter" title.
Can I just give a shout out to the nurses of CCRM here for just a moment? (I know most of you are only reading this after having scrolled to the bottom to check out the number, so I'll just do what I please) ... those ladies are FANTASTIC! Last night I realized that I only had enough Endometrin to last me through mid-day Sunday, I called the urgent call line at CCRM and they suggested ways we could get me what I needed by Sunday (do I even have to say that they quickly and effectively followed up with those suggestions and I have my Endometrin as we speak?) ... not only that, but somehow I LOST my beta lab slip and only noticed in on Friday night ... THE NIGHT BEFORE THE BETA!!! ... I sent one email to the IVF nurses and by Saturday morning, 8AM, when my local lab opened, my local clinic had received a fax and I was no longer "in a bind" to get my ever-so-important beta. So thank you CCRM nurses!
Anti-climatically, the blood draw story ends here. There was no more excitement to the blood draw, if you're an infertility patient you've been there 100 times before (probably literally) you can just think back to your most uneventful one and that was how exciting it all was.
Directly after the draw, after running many errands, we got on our way to a baby shower of a couple of fellow infertiles from one of my infertility support groups. As we all know showers are essentially ... well, torture (but for any fertiles out there reading this - it does not mean we do not want to be invited - we just want to attend on our terms - you know, if we're not on the verge of emotionally breaking down ... then we come) ... but this shower was different. It was easier for me to connect to because we had scored two points for Team Infertile (it was a double shower of TWO girls in our infertility support group that are quickly approaching their due dates!) so that was the high point. However, Berilac and I knew that we should be getting our results while at the shower (you know, the place you want to get all fragile with a call to your fertility clinic at ... A BABY SHOWER!) And wouldn't you know it, in all of their efficiency CCRM called early in the day and gave us our results while people were still arriving to the shower.
It was aggravating for me that CCRM's original call went straight to voicemail (probably as aggravating as it is for you that this post is running at the mouth like it is ...) so we promptly dialed them back and navigated the clinic's answering service to speak with the nurse. It was so cute when she said "Congratulations, you're pregnant!" and I responded by saying "Yeah?" ... she quickly got the gist and replied "but you already knew that, huh?" She said we had a nice strong beta, and although I hesitated for a just a moment - thinking how wonderfully blissful it would be NOT to know the exact number to obsessively track, measure, and compare, I asked her "what was the HCG level?" and she responded: "108." She also confirmed that my Progesterone level was also "good" but this time I opted not to get the details and just trusted her to do her job (something I completely LOVE about CCRM, you actually CAN trust them).
So that's it folks. 108. A "solid" singleton pregnancy beta level. As a matter of fact, it's nearly the exact average (100) for singleton pregnancies at this stage.
We celebrate this number for today - again, we are pregnant.
But I can't make any guarantees on where my heart and mind (and sleep) will wander off to on Sunday night as we prepare for beta #2.
In a Nutshell.
3 months ago