Today I had my beta test, the blood test to officially test how much HCG is in my system. My beta was 320, which tells us a little bit but not much. Basically, the next step is another blood test 48 hours after the first one to see how well the numbers are progressing. Supposedly, as long as your numbers are doubling every 36-48 hours (or 2-3 days depending on the source), your pregnancy is proceeding "normally." If the numbers don't improve along those doubling standards, the scores could be an indication of possible issues. So, I am pregnant. The score is normal for where I am at, though the normal range is so vast, who knows. These numbers can sometimes start to give you an inkling as to whether you have a singleton or twins pregnancy, but again the range is so vast and the overlap so much, that who knows. My statistics obsessed better half computed that once we were pregnant, the chance of twins was around 40%, so odds are there is one.
My morning commute to confirm the pregnancy was peaceful. It's refreshing to go to their office for a positive reason. I pretty much already knew the outcome and figured the number would be normal, so I wasn't too stressed. Now the wait and sees start again. I realize that I continue to feel incredibly numb and detached. I don't feel happy. I don't feel safe. I grabbed some ginger ale at the grocery store on the way home just in case I start to feel nauseated, but even as I grabbed it, I wondered would this ginger ale be mocking me from the fridge in a week or two when things possibly go south. The congratulations phone call from the nurse felt flat. Telling our family members who knew the test was today felt a little painful. The need to couch the reveal in terms of "but it's so early" and "who knows where this will go" sort of negates the happy news feeling. We've made those calls twice before, and then we had to call again to say never mind, forget it.
Early pregnancy after miscarriage feels joyless. I am really working to be gentle on myself and just let myself feel whatever it is I feel without judging myself as an ingrate. I know I am lucky to have made it over the getting pregnant hurdle. It was exactly two years ago in March 2012 that we got pregnant last time. And it was exactly two years before that in March 2010 the first time we got pregnant. Both of those ended in April miscarriages. Our 2012 loss is what I think is really holding down my joy. We had these same blood tests then--the numbers doubled and all looked good. The first ultrasound was normal. The second ultrasound was normal, including a healthy heartbeat. The odds of losing the pregnancy after that were in the single digits, but it happened just weeks later. I know this past experience colors my testing now. So what if the blood test is normal every time? So what if we see the fetal pole and heartbeat? There are no guarantees. I know life itself offers no guarantees. Maybe I just want the ignorance of four years ago back again. Yes, I knew it was ridiculously early. But somehow I thought it wouldn't happen to me. I had a sort of ignorance to the very real precariousness of things reproductively related. I still believed in "signs" and "good feelings." I was such a different person then than I am today.
I guess I am just waiting, trying to take each of the next steps in the process day by day. Each little victory, even if not accompanied tears of joy, gets us one step closer to the end game. It's hard knowing that the genetic code of the embryo inside me is either solid or is not. Right now already. Nothing I can do. It just needs time to grow and play out either way, and I have to be patient and let it happen on its own terms. My emotional numbness is helping me to be able to inch along in a somewhat sane state. I have my therapy, my acupuncture, and my online support group. A good friend passed along the first three seasons of Downtown Abbey, so I can finally see what all the buzz is about, but I am saving those for a rock bottom day, whenever it arrives.
I keep wondering to myself when my numb shell will crack open, allowing happiness to envelop me. I suspect it will happen once I can get past where I was in my last pregnancy, but maybe just getting past the month of April will help me relax. We made it to 10 weeks last time, so close but a million miles away from our aim. I keep thinking about the dreaded day at the real OB/GYN's office after graduating from the RE. I have revisited the details of discovering the stopped heartbeat in my mind over and over during the last week, willing a new memory to form in anticipation of a second chance to get it right this time. It will take another long six weeks to get to that new possible memory and an opportunity to eclipse past failures. My mantra has been: you are in the best possible place today that you could be in, and there is every reason to believe things can continue smoothly. Looking back at my thoughts, I know they seem incredibly negative, but I just can't help it. The desired baby is closer than it has been in years, so close that I fear losing the progress we've made. I end most of my internal dialogues with the same thought: please just let this work this time.