Initial beta is 313 at 14dpo. I can live with that. My repeat draw will be tomorrow. I feel like an animal on high alert, scanning the horizon for signs of danger, trembling and precious. My little cat curls up close, offering warmth and comfort as I wait to hear from my psychiatrist.
For my readers with less experience with the common perils of early pregnancy: the “beta” is a measure of the level of the hormone HcG in a women’s bloodstream. This is the hormone produced during pregnancy — when you take a home pregnancy test, this is what it looks for. The level is supposed to double every 48 hours…some people say, I think, every 72 hours but I don’t hold with that. So tomorrow (Friday), I’m looking for my number to be at least 626. I’ve made it through beta hell before, but still miscarried. The thing that really matters in my case is whether or not this embryo is chromosomally normal. It either is, or it isn’t, and I will not know until I either get to genetic screening at the end of the first trimester or miscarry again. Nothing I do now will change the outcome…this little spark’s future has already been scripted.
ETA, 2PM My psychiatrist is fine with the med changes I want, which is to get off my anxiety medication (Restoril), drop my anticonvulsant mood stabilizer (Trileptal), and start Lamictal (a different anticonvulsant mood stabilizer) instead. It’s going to be rocky, I don’t handle medication changes well. If my beta doubles tomorrow, I will contact my psychiatric obstetrician, who manages my bipolar meds during pregnancy. I don’t want to have to go see her (her office is up in Seattle) until I feel a little more secure in this pregnancy, if it does end up coming to that.
I wish I could shake this horrible sense of impending doom. In our conversations about embracing childlessness (however reluctantly), Geoff and I have considered practical aspects of the decision to stop ttc, noting that the GOP is hell-bent on coming for our health care, which for us and many other families is a huge fucking deal. Stopping ttc would have been the sane thing to do. I am a disabled Medicare patient with regular large bills from psychiatry to contend with. Sigh. This won’t be easy, no matter what the outcome.
I’m getting ahead of myself. Scruffy came back from the gutter and keeps nudging me gently with his singular stabby horn. I know how dangerous hope can be.
ETA, 3.30 PM. Commenced panicking about my beta tomorrow, and I listened to the panic attack audio segment of my app, Stop Anxiety and Panic! Yes, there is an app for that, primarily consisting of cheesy guided meditations and mindfulness exercises, and for me it’s indispensable during pregnancy. The panic attack audio is basically a recording of a lady that yells at you to settle down. God, how is this my life? Me, who scoffs out loud when my psychiatrist tells me to light scented candles and take baths…just give me the drugs, bitch! Why can’t I be a normal woman, with a normal brain and a normal egg reserve, who can have a normal uneventful pregnancy resulting in a healthy baby? Lab opens at 8 AM Pacific time, I will be there crying to the phlebotomist.
Speaking of the phlebotomist…the phlebotomist is at my general practice clinic, where my former OB works. These people have been horrible to me in so many ways, and are horrendously incompetent to boot. My OB there said she wouldn’t see me during this pregnancy, because she doesn’t handle AMA pregnancies as they are, apparently, fraught with horrible perils requiring attention from a doctor who is a specialist in geriatrics. I mean, wtf?? An OB that won’t treat a patient over 35 yo? WT EVERLIVING F? Plus, she’s seen me through two AMA pregnancies. I realize I’m a difficult patient, but if she’d said she couldn’t work with me because of my psych issues, I’d understand that. But it’s not like if you’re a waiter, you can be like, “oh, i don’t serve assholes”…suck it up. But I digress.
At the lab yesterday, there was one gentleman in front of me. I was off in panic attack la la land, but Geoff recognized him as someone we don’t know well, but who moves in similar social circles as we do. When I calmed down, I recognized him as well. He went into the lab, and annoyed the shit out of me by engaging the phlebotomist in a lengthy conversation about their dogs. Hey, we were in a rush! After he finally left, I went in while Geoff had a brief conversation with him acknowledging our mutual friends.
“Sorry about that. He’s terminal. Bad liver. Only has a couple months,” the phlebotomist told me.
WHAT ABOUT HIPAA?? Patient confidentiality? Fuck. Now we know this horrible thing we’re not supposed to know about a man we run into from time to time…ugh. He apparently didn’t mention his health problems to Geoff when they were talking…just, ugh.
I’ll be back in the morning to freak out in either despair or elation tomorrow…this is real. This is our last chance. I am terrified. For now, goodnight.