I’m not going to apologise for lying.
In spite of sharing every aspect of our fertility journey, I have, on a number of occasions requested my privacy when it came to D-Day.
I’ve always insisted on that 12-week grace period, and while I’m sure you’ve all been bursting with excitement, curiosity and well-wishes, did you really think that I was going to tell you that I was 2 weeks (considered 4) pregnant, when most people wait until they are between 7 and 12 weeks to announce?
Many people gave me a wide berth, respected my wishes, and didn’t ask me out right, “so, any news?”
I can be a pretty good liar when I need to be.
To some, I out rightly lied and said the IUI/yard-sale month, wasn’t our month and we were taking a time out for our trip home and will try again in September.
To others, I told a more real version of the truth, that all my numbers looked good and that we’d have to wait 2 more weeks before we can have a scan to “check for life”, I.E a heartbeat and a sac.
The truth, however, is that 13 days post-ovidrel (ovulation trigger shot), Thursday 25th August, I woke up at 5am and took a pregnancy test (First morning urine).
Bloods reinforced the OTC sticks.
All signs pointed to pregnant.
Let’s get something straight. The two-week wait? Is a crock.
In reality, it’s a 4 week wait, since they can’t test for proof of life until you’re 6 weeks after the 1st day of your last period.
So even if your pregnancy test is positive, there’s no way to check you’re *actually* healthily pregnant until they go in and look. At around 6 weeks.
I can’t post this blog at the time of writing – for obvious reasons – however, I wanted to document my absolutely insane experience of discovering that I was, however temporarily, pregnant.
Wow. As I type, the news is about 15 hours old, that is to say, I took my first test 15 and a half hours ago. Here’s how it went:
5am (testing a day earlier than the nurse told me to): Las wakes up in dire need of a pee, having not brought a cup upstairs to pee in (a trick, I’m told, handy when you need to re-test to double check), I used my ‘first morning pee’ on one stick, the CVS own-brand, + marks the spot kinda test.
I guess I should have kept the instructions, but I thought the + had to be as dark as the ‘l’ that was next to it. The vertical part of the + wasn’t very strong at all, going on 5 hours sleep, I wasn’t even sure there *was* a vertical part, the horizontal line was definitely dominant.
So, I climb back in to bed, not convinced either way, 10 mins later I haul my butt out of bed, re-check the test and am still unhappy.
Eventually, I decide it’s negative, I click a picture of it and send it to my sister, Magz and Liz – all of whom are up at 5am in the morning my time, saying, ‘well, I guess it’s not our month’ and go to climb back in to bed. My phone went wild. All 3 of them tell me they aren’t convinced it’s negative, Liz replied ‘?! There’s a cross. There’s quite definitely a cross. It’s most definitely a cross. It’s faint but Oliver was a faint line’.
The collective decision was to go to a 24hr pharmacy, pick up some more tests, different brands and test again.
I woke the hubby, brought him up to speed and showed him the test. To which HIS reply was, ‘If it was negative surely there shouldn’t be *ANY* vertical line?’
So off we went to Walmart, bought 2 boxes of 2 tests (Clearblue and First Response), stopped in the McDonalds drive through for breakfast and came home, ate and peed, in a pot this time – which I brought in to the living room, sat on the coffee table and dunked two different pregnancy tests into. Yes, I am such a classy bird.
When the 2nd and 3rd test, matched the 1st test, a sense of panic set in. I still had over an hour to wait for the RE’s office to open and sat in a stunned silence, trying to read my book. It really went painfully slowly, passing in a blurry blur.
8.30am: I called the RE’s office, left a message with my nurse, telling her I had 3 positive home pregnancy tests.
9.50am: They call back, asking me if I can come in for a blood test. She said that if I got in and tested by lunch time that I’d have the results the same day. I was told that if I don’t hear back from anyone by 3pm, to call the office.
10.25am: Got to their office
10.50am: I was off on my merry way, picked up Col and headed out for lunch at Five Guys – where all I wanted, was french fries.
2.22pm: The office called and told me that my HCG levels were ‘positive’ and that I’m to come back in on Monday for a repeat HCG (and thyroid) level. Depending on those results (hoping for the same kind of deal – come in the morning, get results by afternoon), I’ll go in again, two weeks later, for a 6 week internal ultrasound to confirm there’s a sac growing and hear a heartbeat.
My heart stopped.
I spent the rest of the day trying to stop myself from being excited – which was very difficult – and wanting to tell the entire world, also very difficult.
I’m hoping this isn’t a chemical pregnancy, a mixture of excitement and terror. Let’s see how this goes!
Symptoms of note? Tiredness, nausea before bed time for the last week or so, weirdly burpy, occasional reflux and heartburn.
I guess I’m 4 weeks and 2 days today, I took another test this morning – that makes 6, Hey! Don’t judge! There’s a small comfort in seeing that positive test, when you’re living in such fear.
Symptoms to note: Still exhausted, pretty bloated and I have a weird insatiable hunger. I’m living off chicken strips with buffalo sauce for dinner these days.
I went in for bloods round #2, to test HCG and Thyroid levels. The nurse called me and said ‘It all looks good, 355 today’, to which I said, uhm, ok? What was Thursday’s levels? 53.5 she replied. She said that they like it to double for the first few days, but that anything over 200 today would have been considered good.
So far, so good.
Symptoms: irrationality and mood swings.
This week, symptoms have all calmed down a bit. I’ve not been as tired, not felt as nauseous, and the cramps haven’t been nearly as bad, though I am definitely suffering from seriously sore boobs.
I am a confessed total crack-pot though; I have just ordered a 25 pack of pregnancy tests from Amazon (around $13) just to give me some peace of mind. You go from seeing medical staff every other day, to nothing for 3 weeks – that has been hard, especially during a time you need most reassurance.
11 days to go til our 1st scan…
Pack of 25 pregnancy tests arrived: still pregnant.
I’m totally crapping myself! With only two days to go until our 1st scan, my nerves are wrecked. Lots of people have already announced their pregnancy by now, some, as early as 4 weeks – who can do that? Before even hearing a heartbeat? Is it because I’ve suffered with infertility that I feel shocked by this?
I texted my hubby at work and told him I’m considering driving to the beach. He asked if I was serious and offered to take me on Saturday. To which I replied, that Saturday wasn’t the day before my scan and I was somewhat highly strung. Lots of tears (from me) and feeling wholly unprepared for this stage of the process (hubby said that is probably normal for a ‘first timer’).
Today we met our little McBubble!
Heartbeat is 122bpm and (s)he is measuring in at half a cm. Dr Dunn was thrilled, he gave me a big hug. I guess we fall under the ‘star patient’ file, first month of treatments and ‘only’ one baby – Dr Dunn gets full marks for sure!
He told us that for my age, the rate of miscarriage is 20-25%, that goes down to less than 10% with hearing a heartbeat at the 6 week mark, and with a heartbeat at 8 weeks, the risk drops to less than 3%. That gave me some comfort.
Bubble looked great on the monitor, though the nurse who did the scan didn’t make me feel like this was a special moment. She behaved like it was my 50th pregnancy, wham bam thank you ma’am! The ultrasound took a lot longer than normal, and she sounded frustrated (lots of huffing, puffing and sighing) and the more she prodded, the more painful it was on the right side…but there was little bubble, fluttering on the screen. It was amazing – even though it was brief.
The staff at Fertility Specialists of Houston were all sad to see us leave, but thrilled that we are pregnant. I didn’t get to know them as well as many of their other patients do, I’m sure, but they have always treated us well and have always been friendly.
They told me that after signing a release, my OBGYN would have access to my information and I should make an appointment for when I get back from my trip home, for a 10 week scan and sent me on my merry way!
September 5th 2013
Today we went to the private clinic in Newry for a scan. Yes, some may think its overkill, crazy, obsessive, but when you are experiencing minimal to no symptoms; it’s very hard to actually believe that you’re pregnant. We had meant to do it sooner during our trip, but we decided it was still worth a visit to bubble, even though we are going to my obgyn in Houston next week.
We booked the appointment yesterday, and I can’t say anything but good things about the staff and the clinic – it was excellent!
When I asked the midwife if she wanted me to strip from the waist down, she said no. I almost fell over – no half nekkid internal scan with the lightsaber?!?! I was able to have an external ultrasound and it’s much more dignified!
Bubble is measuring perfectly (s)he has 2 arms and 2 legs and they were flailing around like crazy. We were amazed we could see limbs at this early stage, especially from an external, but there they were going like the clappers!
We didn’t hear the heartbeat again today, when I asked her if we could, she informed us that Doppler (used to hear heartbeat) can startle the baby, so if they can see a strong heartbeat flickering away on the screen (bubbles was going great and seriously clear on the monitor) they don’t like to startle them for no reason. So no heartbeat was heard – but seeing the little arms and legs to 90 to the dozen definitely hit home. It made it a little more real and helped it all sink in.
We were so bursting with excitement when we got to my parents house, so filled with love and joy at having waited 3 years for this moment, that we decided to tell the world. We have been overwhelmed by the outpour of love and best wishes and we are excited to share our experiences with all of our nearest and dearest friends!