Sunday, July 27, 2014

Final Beta

I went for my fourth and final beta two days ago, on Friday.

I took another of the super cheap pregnancy tests that morning, and the line didn't seem any darker, so I wasn't all that optimistic that my beta HCG had gone up enough. Plus, a fellow SMC had emailed me to suggest that I not get my hopes up -- she'd had multiple chemical pregnancies, and when others offered hope, it made her feel worse in the long run. Granted, her betas had never doubled like mine had, but she felt like very low betas like mine typically double much more quickly in those rare instances when they turned into viable pregnancies. So she wasn't optimistic for me. This was gut wrenching to contemplate.

So... my beta went from 56 on Wednesday to 136 on Friday!!!

The nurse sounded downright jubilant on the phone as she announced, "You are definitely pregnant!"

I could hardly breathe; I was so relieved.

I know I'm not out of the woods yet; I need to see a heartbeat before I can start thinking about an actual baby resulting from this craziness. But for now, I can imagine a successful pregnancy. And that's a beautiful image to envision.

On the advice of other SMC's, I'm not taking the nurse's advice to come in this week, at five and a half weeks, for an ultrasound to look for the gestational sack. I know that especially with low betas, it's possible that there won't be anything visible. And facing that, but not getting definitive answers and still having to wait, would be torture.

So I emailed the RE directly to ask if it would be okay to wait, and he said it's fine to come whenever I want. Yay! So I'm planning to go at seven and a half weeks. It's hard to wait, but I'm planning to relax into enjoying pregnancy without fear. Spending my days wracked with anxiety was no way to live, or to parent, and it's not as if living this way would make a miscarriage less painful. So I'm resolved to feel good for the time being. And worry when I have reason to.

Though I'm sure I'll be terrified when the actual ultrasound rolls around. But that's not for two more weeks!


  1. I think I'd want to know a whole lot sooner, as if I'm understanding your narrative you are now roughly 5 weeks, which means a beta "should" be over well over 1000 and ready to be seen on ultrasound.

    Fingers crossed!

    1. But if she did go and they didn't see anything, they'd just wait. So I totally get where she's coming from. Waiting 2 more weeks won't change anything.

    2. If they don't see a gestational sac at 5-6 weeks, that's pretty definitive knowledge.

    3. Since my beta was only 136 3 days ago, the beta can't be 1000 by today. So that's why it wouldn't be definitive.

  2. That's so wonderful!!! Enjoy the next few weeks as much as you can. Fingers crossed for another uplifting post just like this one! :)

  3. That is great that it doubled. :-) I sending lots of optimistic positive energy for you.

  4. Yay, that's great news! I think your strategy is a good one to relax into being pregnant for now and wait until they will more likely see something. Sending good thoughts.

  5. Sending you best wishes - hang on, Calliope's little sister!

  6. Hoping for the best for you. Take care & I hope these next couple weeks fly by.

  7. You are very wise about how to approach this and what will come will come. I am praying that this little one keeps growing strong.

  8. Glad to hear numbers are still rising!

    I know everyone needs to make her own call about scheduling ultrasound, but i'm definitely in the earlier is better camp. Anecdotally:

    Pg 1: freaky bleeding episode, normally rising betas, sac small at 5 weeks, continuing normal betas; blighted ovum/D&C

    pg 2: sky high betas; spotting; normal sac and yolk at 5.5 weeks, healthy pg

    pg 3: normally rising but low betas (started at 17 on day 12); u/s scheduled for 6 weeks; I request another beta around 5.5 weeks out of paranoia...betas failing to rise appropriately

    pg 4: high betas that fail to double; possible twin, possible ectopic; gestational sac visible at 5 w (yay!), fetal pole by 5.5, heartbeat by 6, wonky pregnancy, healthy kid

    That is, in EVERY situation, while earlier knowledge did not prevent m/c or healthy outcome, I had knowledge. I simply can't imagine the devastation I would have had with my two miscarriages had I just shown up to an ultrasound thinking everything was fine when it clearly wasn't.

    My RE was pretty compulsive about testing, including making sure betas rose to 500 before stopping.

    I can't find a good study right now, but ultrasound benchmarks are really standard, and you SHOULD have a gestational sac and fetal pole by now, as anonymous said...

    Good luck. These early days are so hard, no matter what happens.

  9. There was only ONE single (4-5mm) gestational sac found at 5.5 weeks pregnant, numbers stopped doubling, AND I had bleeding. My twins just turned 4. I'm staying positive for you!

  10. I love your attitude - you can't change anything at this point, worrying won't help. Anything you see now will be questionable, and just make you more anxious. At 7-7.5 weeks, you'll know for sure, no doubts.

    For what it's worth, my RE only did first scans at 7 weeks, no earlier, for exactly that reason.

    Sending you positive and calming thoughts!

  11. As you say, nothing can change whatever the outcome might be so there is no point worrying. Just enjoy your pregnancy and the joy of having a teeny tiny baby inside you for however long it lasts - and FX for you that it is a full nine months with a take home baby at the end