IUI #5 (Part II)
OK y'all, I know I left you with a very BIG cliffhanger in Part I. So many of you reached out and couldn't believe I left you hanging! #sorrynotsorry 😜
Well, now that I have your attention, let's dive into what happened next. (If you haven't read Part I yet, I highly recommend checking that out before you read this post.)
The Next Morning
Let's see...where did we leave off? Oh yes, the BFN (Big Fat Negative) after a very faint positive. And then I couldn't sleep so I Googled everything you could ever think to Google.
It's now Tuesday, August 31–one day before my official test day. I got up around 4 a.m. and took another test. I wasn't going to test again, but then all those things I read on Google convinced me otherwise.
AND THERE IT WAS.
ANOTHER FAINT LINE.
You know those days where absolutely nothing can bring you down? Thats the type of day I had.
If the zombie apocalypse was happening and the world was ending, I wouldn't have noticed or cared.
I had the best Tuesday ever.
You guys, I started planning and thinking about EVERYTHING:
Our pregnancy announcement
What the nursery would look like
How we'd tell our families
Maybe its twins!!!!
How life would be so different after 3 years of infertility
I even calculated the baby's due date (May 11, 2022)
Would it be a boy or a girl?
I loved this baby so much already.
It's now officially September 1–TEST DAY!!!!!
I was like a kid the night before Christmas––too excited to sleep with anticipation of what was to come the next day.
So...morning comes. And you are not going to believe the morning I had––I can't even make this stuff up 🤷♀️
4:55 a.m.: "Babe. BABE! Get up. I gotta pee...it's test time!!
4:57 a.m.: "Are you f'ing kidding me?" (excuse my language). I peed on MY LAST TEST (the digital one I was saving) and it ERRORED OUT!!!!!!!!!!!! If you have ever had this happen before, you know how extremely frustrating it is to see that blinking "booklet" on the test telling you to consult the instructions.
4:58 a.m.: "OMG. That was the most important pee of the day." I furiously shook the test. I hit it against the counter. I stared at it, willing it to stop blinking. Brian searched for the instruction booklet (even though we both knew it was no hope).
5:05 a.m.: "I'm going to Hy-Vee to get more tests."
5:20 a.m.: Arrives at Hy-Vee Waukee which is only about 10 minutes from our house.
5:22 a.m.: ARE YOU SERIOUS!? They don't open til 6 a.m. I thought they were 24/7! Googles all nearby stores (Walgreens: opens at 6. CVS: opens at 8. Target: opens at 7.)
5:27 a.m.: Texts Brian."BABE. Is this a sick joke? Nothing is open. Can you believe it!!!"
5:28 a.m.: "LOL. Par for the course, honey. Try Grimes Walmart, they're open 24 hours."
5:30 a.m.: On my way to Grimes. Coming up on Douglas Ave. and remember there is a Hy-Vee in Urbandale on Douglas....Googles it quick...OPEN! Veers right like a maniac.
5:45 a.m.: Heads into the Pharmacy area. Cannot find pregnancy tests ANYWHERE. Looks through entire pharmacy 4 times. Hmm..maybe they keep them in the baby aisle. That would be weird, but worth a shot.
5:52 a.m.: Searches baby aisle. Finds woman stocking shelves. Asks for pregnancy tests (kind of embarrassed to be asking for these so early in the morning). "Oh those are in the pharmacy." WHAT!??! She walks me to where they are in the Pharmacy. On the BOTTOM shelf of an endcap, with very little inventory remaining. No wonder I didn't see them!
6:15 a.m.: Arrive home. Don't have to pee. Not drinking water so I don't dilute my urine.
6:35 a.m.: Takes pregnancy test.
"Alexa, set timer for 3 minutes."
Timer goes off. I cannot look at it. Brian checks it and tells me what it says.
Talk About a 180
My Wednesday moved in slow motion.
I felt nothing.
There weren't even any tears.
I was numb.
I guess when you're used to bad news for three straight years, it's what you start to expect.
Numbing my feelings is a defense mechanism I use often.
Thursday & Friday
So, by now, Aunt Flo is still late and I have no signs/symptoms. This is not normal for me. Both Thursday and Friday morning I took a digital pregnancy test. Both of them were negative.
2 faint positive pregnancy tests
Many negative pregnancy tests
Something weird is happening in my body and I have no idea what it is.
Yet, I was still holding onto HOPE.
Brian and I made a deal that if Aunt Flo didn't arrive by mid morning on Friday, I would call the fertility clinic.
I talked to a nurse and let her know what was going on. Given that we were heading into Labor Day weekend, I didn't want to go through the long weekend with no answers. I scheduled a blood draw to check my hCG (pregnancy hormone) levels for that afternoon.
The Big Draw
I can't even count the number of times I've had my blood drawn at the fertility clinic. But this time, it felt different.
This time, there was a real possibility that I was pregnant.
This time, there was a true sense of hope.
This time, it was going to be different.
Knowing that I was going to find out the results of my hCG test over the phone, likely sitting in my office, alone, since Brian was at work, was unsettling. To say my anxiety was through the roof would be an understatement!
Finally, after what felt like eons (in reality it has only been a little over an hour), my phone rang. It was time.
The nurse on the other line has the kindest voice. She says she's calling to let me know the results of my blood test (like I HAVEN'T been staring at my phone for the last hour!). She had a lot to say and I was jotting everything down so I didn't miss anything.
Yes, there is hCG in your blood. Your level number is 21, which is considered a low positive. Anything above a 5 is a positive pregnancy test. Given your experience with the faint positives early in the week and then the negative tests later in the week, it is likely your hCG level is decreasing.
Wait, WHAT? So, I am pregnant?
Yes, you are pregnant, but it is a low positive. I am going to be 100% transparent with you––with other women at this stage of pregnancy, we typically see MUCH higher hCG numbers. The fact that your number is so low and you haven't gotten a positive pregnancy test for the last three days is likely not a good sign. You are most likely having what we call a "biochemical pregnancy." This means the sperm and the egg met but couldn't implant for whatever reason. There is no way to know the exact reason why, but it is likely from a chromosomal abnormality.
I'm pregnant right now?
Your period will probably arrive over the weekend. If it doesn't, I'd like to keep an eye on your hCG levels. Let's make an appointment for you to come in Tuesday morning for another blood test. If you get your period, just call and cancel.
Is there any chance my levels could rise?
Yes, there's a chance. But I want you to be prepared for if your period arrives in the next couple of days.
Oh OK. Well, thank you so much. At least something different is happening this time. And I really appreciate you calling and telling me all this. I have learned so much.
Yes people, this is how I closed the call. Remember when I talked about my numbing defense mechanism above? This is it in action!
As you may have gathered from the conversation with the nurse, I was experiencing some shock during (and after) that call. It was NOT the clear cut answer I badly needed.
If you know me, you know I am a pretty black and white person. It either is or it isn't. It's either positive or it's negative. I'm either pregnant, or I'm not.
I wasn't prepared to call my husband and tell him the news.
Hi babe! Guess what? I'm pregnant!
....but not for very long.
Hey honey, I'm pregnant!
.....but I'll probably get my period soon.
Hey babe, it worked!
....but we'll probably never get to meet our baby.
I called Brian after hanging up with the nurse, and I don't remember one bit of our conversation. He came home right after that, and we held each other and we cried.
Labor Day Weekend
We watched season one and two of Schitt's Creek (Brian's first time!!). It made us laugh.
Every single time I went to the bathroom, I expected the worst.
Ever single time there was no blood, my hope rose.
It was so emotionally draining.
Then, really late Sunday night, I saw some blood. And we cried again.
And by mid-morning Monday, all hope was gone.
Friends, I know this was not the outcome you were hoping for. We appreciate your kind words and prayers. In my next post, I'll talk more about hCG levels, what a biochemical pregnancy actually is, and the aftermath of this emotional rollercoaster.
I'll also talk about the hope that was gained from this experience, and what is next for us.