I’ve now had four HCG tests and each one has left me trying to figure out if I’m “normal” or not.
My first HCG test was 47, which was just shy of the 50-100 normal range I found on a website. But it was so close, and not <1 which every HCG test I had ever taken prior had been, so I was feeling positive (literally)! The nurse at my fertility department wasn’t so happy with it. She ordered another test two days later.
My second HCG test was 79 and they had wanted it to double. But from all of my Googling I had been doing I had read that sometimes levels don’t double every two days, but every three days. And My levels reflected a 66% increase so I was happy. Again, the nurse was not and ordered yet another test two days after that.
My third HCG test was 148, so a 90% increase in two days, that seemed great! They were still not totally on board but said I could wait 7-8 days and test again.
My fourth HCG test came back as…over 5000! I couldn’t believe it. It is starting to really pick up now and I am starting to relax a bit about it all, especially being in the normal range. I go in for my first ultrasound in a week and I think that will make me feel a lot better too.
In the mean time I’m Googling what everything means, and if I’m normal, and if I’m increasing too fast, and most importantly is it so high that I might have multiple babies. That last one terrifies me so much and I’ve been trying to focus on anything but that thought. I already know I’ll be having a high risk pregnancy because of my weight and fertility issues, the last thing I need is to add ANOTHER baby inside my body! According to most searches I can find, people were at higher levels around 14DPO than I am at almost 6 weeks. I guess I’ll have to wait until next week to find out and check!
LONG POST AHEAD!!!
Now where are we now? After years of trying and not even getting my body to ovulate once, it finally happened. We started the highest dose (750mg) of Femara they would give me before moving me on to injectables. Which I really didn’t want to do. So I took the Femara and went in a few days later for an ultrasound to see if anything happened.
It was actually Valentine’s Day when I went in but I was feeling incredibly negative that day. I had been there a dozen times and every appointment ended with a “I’m so sorry this didn’t work, but we can try (blank)…”. Imagine my surprise when my Doctor did my ultrasound and said that I had one egg folicle that was 23mm. One. The rest still looked too small and hadn’t grown enough, but we had one. They were happy with my husband’s sperm tests (he’s very proud) so she gave me the option of doing timed intercourse instead of an IUI. I told her we would try that and if it didn’t work we would do an IUI next month since we now knew the medication worked. They sent me home with a trigger shot and she told me to have a ‘nice Valentine’s Day’ and to have sex for the next three days.
I couldn’t believe it had actually worked and that there was even a chance for us after years of no luck. I honestly believe the biggest reason that we got anywhere was because I started acupuncture two months ago. Which I will get into another time. But I really do think that contributed to me responding to the medication and seeing progress.
After a long two week wait, I was supposed to go in on Wednesday, March 1st to get a blood HCG test to see if it had worked. Leading up to that day I started feeling…off. I couldn’t explain it but something felt different. Monday I walked around Target and almost bought my husband a gift to surprise him because I felt so strongly that I was pregnant. I even decided to take one of our home pregnancy tests that night to prove it to myself.
Now, this was against everything we had agreed to. We had decided to wait and we definitely had decided that we wouldn’t be taking tests in secret. I just couldn’t help myself. I should have known not to take it at night either, everyone knows these tests work best first thing in the morning. So I took it, and it was negative. I stuffed it back in the wrapper and put it back in the box because I didn’t want my husband to find it and know I had done it. Hours later, I went back to the box and checked again and this time I saw a very faint line. I read all about false positives and how you can’t really trust a reading after the 10 minute (or whatever) period so I kept this to myself.
Wednesday came and I took the test at lunch. Usually I get test results within an hour or so but by dinner I still hadn’t heard anything. But I had managed to burn dinner because I forgot to turn the burner down on the rice and I was having a hard time focusing. That night I left to go coach an improv team downtown. As I got out of my car and walked to the house I got the message that my results were in.
My HCG level was 47. 47! 47. I couldn’t believe it. And I had to go in and coach for two hours and try and be helpful (sorry to this team, they are great and I was probably off my game). I got out and had to talk to someone about it. I didn’t want to tell my husband on the phone but I had a 40 minute drive ahead of me. I called my best friend since birth and told her. She has been so helpful through my whole journey and I knew she’d calm me down and be excited for me at the same time.
I went home and told my husband and we stayed up talking about how crazy that my first little egg that ovulated worked. It really just takes one!
When I first started this blog a couple months ago, I was in the midst of the infertility march. My husband and I had started four years ago after we got married and after almost a year of trying we knew something was wrong. I never had normal cycles and I was fairly sure I had PCOS (Poly-cystic Ovarian Syndrome) but had never been diagnosed. After months of testing it was confirmed and we started working with a specialist. We tried for awhile but we were getting nowhere except that medication was making me feel absolutely crazy. My husband and I decided to put the baby planning on hold and make the move to Los Angeles, something we had wanted to do for years. We were 29 and figured it was now or never and moved here in October 2014. Last summer, we decided to start trying again but at least we already knew it would be difficult and went straight to a specialist.
I did have to meet with my GP, then my OB/GYN and another OB/GYN before they would even let me see the specialist I knew I would have to see. Once I finally working with my doctor, I was feeling frustrated with the countless appointments. With the invasive and literal probing of my body. Of the tiresome cycle of checking, trying Clomid, checking, using progesterone to start my period, checking, trying a higher dose of Clomid, checking…it went on and on. And having to skip months because the Clomid had made cysts appear. It just felt like every month was a disappointment and a constant reminder that my body wasn’t working right.
I have tried to keep pretty open communication with friends and some of my family about our infertility issues. But even I feel the stigma and have a hard time talking about it sometimes. And as much as I love them or they love me, there’s not many in my life that have kids or want kids and those that do haven’t gone through all of the trouble that my husband and I have so far to do this. So this is why I am here. To have brutally honest feelings about what’s going on and everything I’m worried about and all the things I feel guilty to say out loud. So, let’s go!