17 August, 2016

And the Results are In

Let's backtrack slightly. The week after I had my first blood draw, I went in for the second blood draw. I was not as nervous for that blood draw. Because my first hcg level was so high, I was not concerned with a chemical pregnancy, but a woman can miscarry extremely easily during the first few weeks of being pregnant. The second hcg level came back at 13,268. That meant that my numbers were doubling approximately every 36 hours. Doctors like to see doubling happening at every 48 hours (or faster). They scheduled my ultrasound, told me to keep taking the drugs, and sent me on my way.
Today I had an appointment that I was more terrified for than any other appointment. I went in to hopefully see the heartbeat of my healthy offspring. This was a monumental appointment for a major reason.
Reason: I've never seen a live baby on an ultrasound.
The anticipation for today brought me feelings of fear and excitement. I know that blood tests of all types can be incorrect. The first time I was pregnant, my hcg levels were over 150,000 when I started to miscarry. That was not a fun experience.
I had meetings all morning until the appointment. One of my coworkers was extremely kind and carried my heavy boxes for me. I fidgeted madly until the hour I could sneak away from the meeting to rush out to my car.
During the drive to the clinic, I was literally shaking and almost started to cry. In the back of my mind, I was imagining the worst news possible. I wanted to live in the  ignorant optimism of pretending I was pregnant instead of receiving bad news.
After waiting for what seemed like four hours, I was finally taken back and got ready for the ultrasound.
One of the adorable ultrasound technicians came in and got straight to the point. (I am sure she knew I did not want anything else. Show me my baby! I don't want to do smalltalk.) She put the wand in the proper location and we saw a gray blur! We saw our alien baby. The baby is still technically an embryo and I know it is tiny (probably around 1/4 inch), but it was the most beautiful blur I have ever seen. I was excited to see my baby, but I was even more excited for what came next.
"Hold your breath and let's listen to that heartbeat."
That was the most beautiful sound I have ever heard. (It was a day filled with several "most beautiful" moments.) The baby's heart is beating at 137 beats per minute. From what I have read, the chance of miscarriage goes down to approximately 5-7% if you hear the heartbeat at seven weeks. I have never heard the heartbeat of my offspring before. (The technician asked if we wanted a baby that has red, curly hair. I thought that was a great idea.)
What's the plan now? I will go in in two more weeks for my final appointment. They will give me my fat folder of medical information and I will go to a regular old ob the next week. I felt great relief as soon as we scheduled our final appointment at the fertility clinic (for this pregnancy). I cannot believe that I will be done with them on September 1. It's a miracle. If husband and I did not have the help of science, we probably would never be able to conceive a viable baby. Don't you just love science?

I love that the technician labeled the baby. I really hope some women go in expecting to see a miniature baby shape.

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