Two pink lines. There they were. Staring back at me. It was a Friday morning in January and I told myself the night before to at least wait until Saturday to test but there was that dream I had two nights prior with a blazing positive pregnancy test and I couldn’t help myself.
Brian was in the shower and I quickly grabbed a pregnancy test that was underneath my bathroom sink. I went into Makenzie’s bathroom, peed on it, and then shoved it back into the wrapper and tucked it into the drawer of my nightstand. I climbed back into bed, trying to forget that at that moment I could open up my drawer and either see the disappointment of a stark white big fat negative or exciting yet terrifying big fat positive result.
The month before I tested early and pulled a very, very faint but positive test. Pregnancy tests are so sensitive these days that you can pee on a test at 8 or 9 DPO (days past ovulation) and get a positive result. Obviously this is well before a missed period and a lot can happen in just those few days. So I had made the mistake of taking a test at 10dpo. It came up positive, although it was a squinter. I called my OB and requested beta draws and she got me in that day. I took another test the next day and noticed it was still a squinter and did not get darker in the least bit and automatically had a bad feeling about it. Sure enough, that night, December 19th, I started bleeding. It was what most OB’s would refer to as a chemical pregnancy. Many times women don’t even know they had them because your period comes just a few days later than normal but your body produces the growth hormone, hcg, which is needed to pull a line on a pregnancy test. The next morning, I went in for the 2nd draw although I already knew the outcome of this pregnancy, non viable. I had a small breakdown in the OB’s office and met with an amazing nurse since my OB was off on Friday’s. She acknowledged that Brian and I had a rough year in 2014 and that maybe we just cool it on the TTC (trying to conceive). That was not what I wanted to hear. We had been preventing since our loss in May and were just given the ok to try again 2 months prior in October. The test results from Wednesday revealed my hcg was only a 5 and by Friday it had dropped to a 3.
A week and half later I met with my OB for my routine yearly visit. We talked about the chemical and she said I could do a couple things. First she suggested we run a panel of tests that are usually done for women with RPL (reoccurring pregnancy loss), after we get those results we could either be referred to a specialist, try out clomid for a stronger ovulation or choose to do nothing. 12 vials of blood and a week later my blood work was back and all was within normal values. Brian and I discussed our next step and we decided that we conceived Makenzie naturally and there wasn’t anything really that made us feel like we couldn’t do it again. All 3 of my losses were all very different which my OB said, was a good thing. So, we did nothing.
Back to that Friday in January. Brian had gone downstairs to start working and I opened my drawer, grabbed the pink wrapper and locked myself in the bathroom. I put my contacts in and then tried to mentally prepare myself for only 1 solid non-pregnant line instead of 2. Because, like I had cried to Brian a few days earlier, I didn’t feel pregnant. He just smiled and said, “You say that every time.” I was SHOCKED when I looked down and saw those two pink lines. They weren’t squinters. There was definitely a second line there. My initial gut reaction was excitement followed by immediate panic. That day Brian was leaving for a guy’s ice fishing weekend and I decided not to tell him. I didn’t want him to have to worry about me, I wanted to him to have a great time with his college friends and be carefree. So I walked downstairs like nothing was different that morning and tried to avoid any sort of pregnancy conversation. He took Makenzie to daycare and I went about my morning working in my office like I normally would do. At noon he hit the road and as soon as I heard the garage door shut I was on the phone with my acupuncturist asking if he could squeeze me in that day, explaining my latest findings.
The next morning I took another test. Lets be honest, when you are TTC you have a stockpile of FRER’s (First Response Early Result tests) that are just begging to be used. I wanted to do a progression and make sure the tests were getting a little darker. However, I knew better. HCG doubles every 24-48 hours so if my tests weren’t exactly darker I shouldn’t freak out just yet. But to my surprise, my Saturday morning test pulled a darker line than Friday. Sunday I did the same thing, and I got another great result, even darker than Saturday’s and definitely a lot darker than Friday’s.
Brian had called and texted a few times during that weekend but I held off and didn’t tell him. He got home late Sunday night, after that heartbreaking Packer loss to the Seahawks that never should have happened. My heart rate was racing during that game for obvious reason and I kept telling myself to calm the heck down!! He walked in the door just early enough to say hello to Makenzie and put her to sleep. When he got downstairs after tucking her in, I made small talk about his weekend, what Makenzie and I had done and finally just showed him the latest test. He said he had a feeling all weekend that I was and hoped I had good news for him tonight when he got home.
That next day, Monday, January 19th, I called my OB and told her the good news. I wasn’t sure if I even wanted to get beta (hcg) draws done with this pregnancy or not. In May of 2014 my betas were increasing just perfectly and I still ended up miscarrying so I knew that although the results came back positive, it doesn’t always mean perfect pregnancy. But my OB preferred that I get my betas and progesterone drawn so I agreed. I made my way into her office at 4:30p and they took my blood. As I was leaving I made my 2nd appointment for Wednesday at 8a. Again, I knew better than this. That was less than 48 hours in between draws and the rule of thumb is usually doubling betas every 24-48 (sometimes 72) hours. I figured it would be fine, what’s the big deal if I went 8 hours earlier….
I got my first draw back on Wednesday morning from Monday’s draw and my levels were 110. This was a good number, within normal range. So we were looking for a number of over 220 from Wednesday morning’s draw. I went into my appointment at 8a, they drew blood and then I asked if the labs could rush them so I didn’t have to wait 48 hours to get the final result back. The nurse agreed and they sent them downstairs. Within a few hours I had an email from my OB stating that the labs were showing a value of 175, which means they had doubling time of 66 hours. Which technically in the OB’s rule book this is still somewhat normal. She went on to say that since my labs were rushed the hospital lab performed the tests and not the original lab that did my Monday draw. She said for this purpose we cannot compare the two values and we would need to do anther draw on Friday morning. So there I sat, Brian was traveling and I had started to think the worst again. I had been through this song and dance before but then I started going over things in my head, trying to stay optimistic. Different labs, different values, cannot be compared. I had gone in at the 40-hour mark and not the 48 hour mark, surely 8 hours could make a big difference, right?
I made it through the next 2 days and on Friday morning after dropping Makenzie at daycare I headed back over to the hospital to have more blood drawn. I asked the lab tech how long it would take for the results and he said a couple hours. I went home, tried to work and act like things were normal. I was waiting for my phone to ring with the caller ID showing my OB’s name but instead a couple hours later I got an email through my chart saying my test results were ready. It was an email directly from my OB saying that my betas went from 175 on Wednesday to 474 on Friday. Doubling time of 33.13 hours. I was so happy and excited. I sent Brian a text immediately with the good news.
Fast-forward two weeks.
By my calculations I was 6 weeks 2 days pregnant, which is the beauty of taking your temperature and knowing exactly when ovulation happened. It was a Thursday and Brian had left 2 hours prior for a quick trip to Minnesota. I had just gone to the bathroom or at least tried, no details needed here but all you been there done that pregnant women out there know how it goes. That wonderful hormone called Progesterone is running rapidly through your body to help sustain the pregnancy and it is slowing down all sorts of things, especially digestion. I think I tried a little too hard to get things moving and I felt a sudden sharp pain. When I got up from the potty I looked down and there was blood everywhere. I stared down at it in disbelief thinking to myself is this really happening again? I didn’t even cry, initially. I couldn’t. I just kept thinking over and over, this is some sort of cruel, sick joke right? Right?! 5-10 minutes later the bleeding had slowed but wasn’t stopped. I picked up the phone and called my OB. No answer so I left a message. I paced. I went back into the bathroom to do another check and still there was fresh blood coming. I did a quick assessment and realized I had a few small cramps but it wasn’t terrible by any means. Finally, I picked up the phone and called Brian. He answered happily, as he always does. He tells me that it makes his day to hear my voice and I just lost it. I told him I didn’t want to have to call and tell him but I was bleeding and I didn’t know what to do. He pulled over to the side of the road and told me to just drive to the hospital and demand to be seen. My husband, I love him beyond words can explain, but even though I was bleeding I lack the gumption he does. I told him I was going to wait for my OB to call me back and I’d let him know as soon as I heard anything. I did some more pacing. 30 minutes went by and nothing. I called again and explained what was happening to the receptionist. She told me she was going to connect me directly with a nurse and then she accidently hung up on me. I was livid at this point. I did another check, still spotting but no longer considered bleeding. I called Brian’s sister, who has the same spunk Brian possesses. I asked what she would do, she said very simply and matter of factly to me, “This is what we are going to do. I’m going to come and pick you up, you are going to take my appointment that I have scheduled at 1p and I’ll just reschedule. They can deal with it.” I hesitated but then finally said yes. She came and picked me up and I could have sworn in the car I could feel the blood pooling. We were about 8 minutes away from the hospital when my OB’s nurse called me back. She told me my OB wanted me to come in for an ultrasound right away. Done. I was already in the car and on my way.
I sat nervously in the ultrasound waiting area for them to call my name. There was some confusion because I had an appointment already scheduled for the following Tuesday as my OB wanted to get an earlier look at baby to ease our mind and fears. Nonetheless things got worked out and soon they had called my name and I was waiting in the ultrasound room ready to see what was going on. Because I was so early a transvaginal u/s was needed. She had left the overhead flat screen tv on so I could watch every click and picture she was taking which was different than the hospital in Iowa where it’s up to the tech whether or not they want to show you what they see. She began the procedure and within the first 5 seconds said, “Ok, there is baby with a little flicker of a heartbeat. Everything appears good so now I’m just going to take some pictures.”
Our baby was measuring 6+2, which was exactly where I thought we should be. Heartbeat was strong at 115. I went and saw my OB and she said, “Sometimes bleeding happens….” It was the same speech I got back in Iowa when I randomly started bleeding when I was pregnant with Makenzie. I was looking back later on and interestingly (or creepy however you want to look at it) enough, I started bleeding at 6+3 with her, only 1 day difference, so weird. My OB wanted to keep the u/s for the following Tuesday to ensure baby was growing and we would go from there.
I called Brian with the news and sent him a few different pics of our u/s. Our baby looked like a little blob but that blob had a heartbeat and appeared healthy. The following week we had our 7week u/s and we were praying baby was measuring to date and that the heartbeat had increased. Sure enough, peanut was measuring right on with a heartbeat of 140bpm.
Between weeks 7 and 11, I had 4 additional u/s. They weren’t for any specific reason but I had to go back into the OB’s office for an infection and my OB said, “Let’s just peak in on baby…” At 10w we felt comfortable telling our parents the good news and I think they were very happy when we had told them we were already in the 10th week of pregnancy.
This pregnancy so far has been so different from the pregnancy with Makenzie. I had zero symptoms with Makenzie until about 9 weeks when I would get a belly ache if I didn’t eat anything. This time around the nausea and fatigued hit me hard right at 6 weeks. I would be fine right away in the morning but by 11a, my mouth started to water and nothing sounded good to me except scrambled eggs w/ salsa in a tortilla. This would last all day until I went to bed and the only relief I got was actually on days I would go to the gym. Good incentive to keep going, right! 🙂
By week 13 my nausea had pretty much disappeared but being 19 weeks on Friday it still shows up from time to time. Up until this point I’ve been feeling pretty confident we are having a boy based on heart rate alone but now I’m second-guessing it. I’ve had 2 girl dreams so far and zero boy dreams… I guess we’ll have to wait until September to see.
I’m still nervous. I still go to the bathroom and do blood checks every time by habit. I was able to find baby’s heartbeat on my home Doppler at 8+3, which I was really surprised but elated at. The Doppler really helped ease some of my fears in the 1st and even first few weeks of 2nd trimester. Over the last few weeks I’ve gone from feeling flutters to feeling definite baby kicks the last few days. It really is the best feeling in the world.
In two weeks, May 12th, we go for our anatomy scan. I’m excited but also nervous. On May 12, 2014 was when we found out our little one no longer had a heartbeat. So I’m looking for this May 12th to be a great, happy, positive day with a lot of smiles and good feelings opposed to how we both felt last year on this day.
Now for some pictures. 🙂