Beta #2: 16dp5dt (5 weeks): 4507

A doubling time of 33 hours, and another good strong number.

Holy crap.

I spent a large part of last night and this morning convinced this embryo had given up the ghost already. I don’t know that I will be able to relax in this pregnancy, given my track record and the dire prognoses of untreated anti-phospholipid syndrome (I’m treated. I’m having a hard time convincing my brain that it is sufficient).

I do know I can’t spend the next 8 months living in dread and fear of the other shoe. My job between now and the ultrasound is to find some level of acceptance of what might come, some level of zen in the face of the unknowable.

I’m great at that – acceptance of the unknown and release of control over the uncontrollable. Great. So good at those things. This should go well.

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10 thoughts on “Beta #2: 16dp5dt (5 weeks): 4507

  1. rainbowgoblin

    You’re going to spend the next 8 months living in dread. Actually, I’d say the next 2 years, at least (it’s possible that by that point you’re so accustomed to the dread you just accept it as the new normal).
    I found setting goals helped me deal with it. Totally ridiculous, uncontrollable goals. “If I can make it to 13 weeks the risk of miscarriage is much lower. If I can make it to the anatomy scan and it shows a heartbeat and a nasal bone, I’m halfway there. If I can make it to 26 weeks, I personally know someone who delivered a baby who survived, I’m very likely to be OK.” Then 37 weeks, birth, 3 days, 6 weeks, 6 months, 1 year… I don’t set goals anymore, but you better believe my kids are the best swimmers in their class (not sure where the fear of drowning comes from) and man, are we conscientious about vaccinations.

    Reply
    1. labmonkeyftw Post author

      I’ve decided I’ll just assume this will work out ok. It’ll be a kick in the stomach if it doesn’t even if I spent the whole time thinking it might fail. So I might as well channel the blissful ignorance of most pregnant women! So for I only wonder about once a day if everything has gone wrong.. manageable.

      Reply
  2. Jenny F. Scientist

    I have a friend here who had a lot of difficulty and losses on the way to a viable pregnancy (like ten years). And she was nuts. Totally bananas. (She also allowed her idiot OB to manage her pregnancy in a fear-based way rather than a science based way and that went about as well as you’d imagine, down to him – of course, him!- telling her to stop taking the antidepressants she’d been on for 20 years, that went REALLY well). She called me when the baby was a few weeks old, in a panic, unable to sleep, convinced the baby had pyloric stenosis because the baby had thrown up – ONCE. (Babies… you know…. spit up a lot. It’s a thing.). It really seemed like no way to live.

    I hope your counselor can help you work through some of it- you’ve had a rough time! And, as someone who had some galloping postpartum anxiety, that is ALSO no way to live.

    Reply
    1. labmonkeyftw Post author

      I’m really really conscious of how anxious I get in random not-that-important situations these days. My counsellor has me writing each of these instances down, and I do think it actually helps to pause and make note of it. I’m hopeful I can build some coping mechanisms that are robust in the next few weeks, to help with the next few months/years.

      Reply
  3. Turia

    I am going to say all the wise things that others have said to me in this situation:
    1. If you lose the baby, you will not feel less sad by having been worried and stressed about the baby for the entire pregnancy. You might as well enjoy being pregnant. (Variations on this: celebrate every step/every day being pregnant; don’t fool yourself into thinking you can keep yourself from getting attached.)
    2. Every pregnancy should be treated as a clean slate. Just because you lost the last pregnancy does not mean you will lose this one too.

    I am sure there were more, but now I cannot remember them. Anyway, you can guess how well such suggestions worked with me. I was nervous for much of E’s pregnancy even without any previous losses, and this one has been even worse. At the growth scan a couple of weeks ago, I still expected the tech to tell me that the baby had died, despite having felt the baby move that morning and having absolutely no reason to think anything was wrong. I think there is just a certain level of anxiety that comes with being pregnant after infertility/loss. We can’t wish it away and all we can do is try to find the best way to live with it.

    I did the same as rainbowgoblin in that I would set arbitrary milestones for each pregnancy (even though I, of course, had absolutely no control over whether or not said pregnancy reached them). First- scan with heartbeat. Then- IPS testing. Then- anatomy scan. Then- viability. The anxiety never went away, but it did help to feel like I was checking off the steps. And with this one, I am still worried about stillbirth, and I recognize that this will continue until this baby is born alive. So I am working on strategies to manage the fear rather than trying to just erase it or unthink it, which is not going to happen.

    FWIW, I was much, much less anxious once E. was born. I was still overly anxious, but not about his health. And I still worry (because being a mother is to worry), but it is different from how I felt when pregnant. I think having the baby somehow allows us to think that we’re back in control. It’s not true of course, but I think it is easier to fool ourselves once the baby is on the outside.

    I would honestly take it a day at a time. Having a day where you feel confident? Great! Having a day where you’re convinced the baby has died? Those days suck, but better days do come along. And ultrasounds are incredibly stressful right before they happen, but then are usually good for a day or two of relief afterwards, assuming all has gone well.

    xoxo

    Reply
    1. labmonkeyftw Post author

      I really am trying to do this – to just assume it is fine, and while I’m having a hard time being excited or referring to this as a pregnancy or a baby, I am forecasting forward and am hopeful. We’ll see – a heartbeat will go a long way to ease my mind.

      Reply
  4. conceptionallychallenged

    First, yay for those great numbers!
    I think these feelings are unavoidable after infertility and loss (and I suspect the hormones make it worse). Hang in there, one day at a time. I’m not sure to what extent I got used to worrying and to what I relaxed… But you can do it. Ask for help, therapy, medication if you think it might help. Fingers crossed!

    Reply

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