First of all, thank you. To all of you. Your kind words over the last couple days have meant a lot to me. I know some of you are in very tough places at the moment and your support is everything and speaks oodles about the strength and beauty of each of you.
But now, let’s get down to the nitty gritty details of how this all happened…
The truth is, I really don’t know. Like, I don’t know at all. I took a pregnancy test the day I began the Provera, on CD29, and it was negative. I was seeing some signs of ovulation at that time (cervix was high, open, and soft), but every OPK was negative and my CM was creamier than it normally is at that time of the month. My BBT was all over the place, with spikes in my post-ovulation range, as well as really low dips.
Looking back, there are three places I can identify where possible ovulation and conception occurred:
(A) CD15, when I got a questionably positive OPK. I was sick and running a fever at the time, so I wouldn’t have noticed any rise in my BBT. Once the fever was gone, my temp was really unreliable. If this is how it happened, I am 7 weeks + 6 days today. This is about the time the clinic nurse thinks I ovulated, but I feel it’s a long shot. Mostly because I was being monitored at the time and my follies were only measuring at a twelve or so. Also, when I took the HPT on CD29, I should have gotten a BFP by then. But I didn’t.
(B) New Year’s Eve, CD24, when I did get a mildly positive OPK and had plenty of EWCM. However, I didn’t see the characteristic rise in my BBT until some days later, when I started taking the Provera. It’s possible that the fever earlier in the month messed with my temperature and cycle so much that nothing looked normal to me…or maybe I just rely on temping too completely and it really has little value. If this is the right scenario, it would make 6w4d today.
(C) CD29-31, just as I started taking Provera. The Provera BBT rise would mask any natural ovulatory rise. But I didn’t even know it was possible to ovulate while taking progesterone. And yet, if I did, I would be five and a half weeks along.
When I woke up on Wednesday, the day after getting my BFP, I believed that Scenario C was probably the most likely. But after getting my beta results back that afternoon, I changed my tune. My hCG level was 10,676. If I was only barely five weeks at the time of my blood draw, that number is off the charts. It’s so high that they won’t even be having me come back for a second beta because it won’t double and will provide little useful information (or so they say). So now my best guess is that I’m about six and a half weeks. But that’s only a guess! The nurse at the clinic keeps insisting that I’m over seven weeks based on the date of my last menstrual period, but I just know that’s not right. I think there’s probably a 0.5% chance of that, or less. Mentally, I’m finding it very hard not to know exactly when I conceived. I always have in the past. How will I ever know when I am approaching 7w1d, the point at which I started bleeding with Teddy Graham? And how will I know when to worry because I’m not feeling enough symptoms? And, at my early ultrasound, how will I know if my baby is measuring right on track, or a few days behind? How can I even be sure that I’ll be far enough along to see a heartbeat at that ultrasound? And what sort of certainty do we have that my beta number isn’t extraordinarily high or much too low for where I’m at? It’s hard not knowing.
But soon enough, I suppose I will. An ultrasound on February 8 at 11am will reveal all. I hope. (I could have made it for sooner, but wanted to hold out for as long as I could, just in case I might be too early to see a heartbeat earlier in the week.)
I’m scared, though. So scared. Scared of everything…and yet, there are times when I’m not. I expected to have only fear and trepidation when I got my next BFP, but that hasn’t been entirely the way this has gone. There are moments when joy and excitement bubbles up. My friend Lillian, who is going to her own first ultrasound on Feb 4, is ecstatic that I got this lovely surprise and we are expecting only days from each other. Days. Her enthusiasm has a way of seeping into my skin and penetrating the wall I have tried to build around my heart. But I’m scared of those moments. Those times when I allow myself to dream of the months ahead, of having a gender reveal party in May, of wearing a maternity dress at my cousin’s July wedding, of giving birth without drugs and nursing my baby as I sit beside Lillian and she nurses hers. I want to be happy about this. I want to let hope take over. But I am scared this will all fall apart in just barely a week’s time. I’m just plain scared.
So for now, Honey and I are taking baby steps. We are cautiously optimistic, but realistic as well. We know this can go either way. But today, right this minute, I am pregnant. My pregnancy test is positive and my beta is looking good (though, how can we really be sure it’s going up and not down?). This is something worth celebrating. And so we have and we continue to do so, when we can, in the small ways that we can, for as long as we can. After our ultrasound next week, if all goes well, we will be able to breathe a little easier and celebrate some more. But we know it doesn’t stop there. Seeing a heartbeat is not a magic moment that suddenly turns everything around, but it will be something. It will be one step closer.
In the meantime, as I quietly count down to February 8, I am trying to do what I can to protect my baby. I am taking my progesterone, staying on Metformin and baby aspirin, and trying to keep healthy. All caffeine has been banished (oh my goodness — all the coffee and soda I’ve had in the last few weeks! I’m ashamed!). I’ve stopped restricting calories and cut back on my exercise. Two hours a day was too much. I’m resting when I need to. Basically, I’m just trying to control the few things I can.
And I’m trying hard to stay busy. I sleep when I’m able (because I’m unworried and carefree in my dreams) and fill my time with lots of little projects, activities, and outings so that I will spend as little time thinking about this as possible. Which still ends up being a lot. I obsess over symptoms, or the lack thereof (no nausea, sore boobs, or headaches yet — all of which I felt while pregnant with Cupcake), but then try to let go. I know very well how far worrying got me in my last pregnancy. It’s impossible to avoid, but it serves little purpose. For now, I am feeling more relaxed and at peace than I was while pregnant with Teddy, but that’s not to say I always will or that I’m footloose and fancy free. I’m so far from that. Just yesterday, for example, my temp dipped from 98.17 to 98.04 (still completely normal for me in pregnancy!) and the two pregnancy tests I took in the morning were maybe slightly lighter than they were two days prior and I nearly lost my mind. A 5:45 a.m. phone conversation with my mom was able to calm me down, and then I remembered Kristin’s post about nearly this same thing and all those responses to her helped me immensely. They talked me off the ledge. Today, I am feeling a little more positive, but still shaky.
Have I mentioned I’m scared? Like, scared to death?
Because I am.
I so totally am.