Where was I? I got a faintly positive HPT….I wanted to be hopeful but unfortunately this was not the first time I’d been fooled.
In November 2005, I was on my second cycle using clomid. I’d given up on this cycle about a day or so after the doctor injected C’s washed sperm. The follicles have to be a certain size before the administration of HCG (which tells them to mature and release from my ovary). The idiots at my old clinic let my lead follicle (the boss of my ovary) mature to almost 3.0 – way too mature and thus completely useless. I didn’t even bother with the progesterone suppositories – just gave right up and vowed never to go to that crappy clinic again.
When it came time for me to pee on a stick, my Swiss co-worker urged me on. He said, “I just know you are pregnant”. I thought that was very odd and set out to prove him wrong. Imagine my surprise when the HPT showed a positive sign. I came out of the bathroom, told my co-worker that his intuition was right…and a small crowd appeared congratulating me. My boss quickly pulled me into his office and closed the door- “Don’t say anything. It is too soon and you are likely to be disappointed”. Of course I didn’t listen. I quickly called my husband, his parents, my own parents and then put a calendar pop up reminder saying “end of first trimester” on a random date 3 months in the future. Of course all pregnancy test following were negative and so was the blood test three days later. A chemical pregnancy. Imagine the happiness my calendar reminder gave me by announcing “End of first trimester” right smack dab in the middle of my first failed IVF.
Back to the cycle at hand – May 26, 2006…I did what any sensible POASer would do – I headed to my RE’s office for a blood test. The blood test measures the level of HCG (Human chorionic gonadotropin) – which is given off by the developing embryo when it attaches itself to the lining of the uterus. Most HPT measure levels above 50. The test I took measures levels as low as 25….the one that I used must have been extra sensitive. My level at 11 days past ovulation was 12. My doctor looked concerned when he told me and so was I. Most women on my message board going through IVF had levels of HCG that were 50 – 200 by this time. I had a measly 12. We headed upstate to our house in Pawling that weekend. Some friends from Ohio were coming to visit. That was promising to be a much needed distraction.
At the same time, my cat Poofie had taken a turn for the worst. This cat was given to me by my grandmother as a graduation gift from college. He was a strange cat who seemed to both love and hate me. He didn’t have the greatest life, poor thing – I lived for years in an apartment the size of a large bathroom with his brother Ted. Poofie did, however, love my husband. He lost the use of his legs and we had decided to spend one last weekend with him in Pawling before putting him to sleep. I was pretty down in the dumps about it but tried to focus on the little miracle inside me..hoping it might decide to stay around. I promised I would wait until Tuesday’s blood test and not use the 10 remaining HPTs in my purse…but I broke down. The test was still positive but fainter than before. I keep peeing on sticks all weekend and watched them become fainter and fainter. I knew what this meant. Another chemical pregnancy. I was devastated and morose. My husband tried to comfort me but there was no use.
I tried hard to focus on Poofie’s last few days on this earth and the guests at our house Adam and Shauna..they had been together for a few years, recently had a child and when the subject of marriage came up at the dinner table, I pounced on Adam. Poor guy. I had a heck of a time convincing C to marry me and felt great sympathy for Shauna who seemed to wonder what was taking Adam so long! I basically grilled him – enjoying him squirm in his seat as I reminded him that Shauna had given him a child and that he was being dishonorable to both his daughter and to Shauna by not marrying her that instant! I kept up my attack until much to the shock of everyone he stood up at the table, pulled a ring out of his pocket and knelt by Shauna’s side. She began crying and I, of course, shut my mouth! It was such a surreal moment – I couldn’t believe it was happening right there before our eyes! Adam had planned to ask Shauna but couldn’t find the right moment and when I started in, he couldn’t bear it anymore. He had lugged a huge backpack of quarters with him to NYC, cashed them in and bought a beautiful ring in the diamond district.
This made our weekend happier – and I felt bad that my misery seemed to cast a shadow on such a special moment. I took time to be by myself and meditate. I began to fall asleep when I suddenly had a huge feeling of deja vu and a sudden knowing. “You will have three children so stop crying and live your life”. It was by far one of the strangest things I’ve ever “known”…that is the only way to describe it. I held on to that and have continued to do so throughout all the hard times and all the disappointments.
I got up from my rest and joined the group. Tests were all 100% negative and decided a glass of wine was in order…only I didn’t stop at a glass. I drank an entire bottle and then in my infinite wisdom, popped an ambien.
The mood at our house greatly improved as we celebrated Shauna and Adam’s engagement…yes, I did wake up with a huge hangover and a splitting headache. It had been a long time since I’d indulged in a “Judy Garland” night as my friend Sandy and I used to call them…
Tuesday was my official beta HCG test but I was convinced it was over – on to Cornell, a new RE and hopefully a chance to have a child.