Chasing Rainbows

Warning: This is not a happy, feel good post. If you want all rainbows and unicorns, I suggest you go here.

Yesterday was my second beta. As I said the other day, my first beta (on a Thursday) was 58.4. Dr. C doesn’t allow his patients to have second betas on weekends because the only clinic location that’s open weekends is 45 minutes away. He thinks it’s not worth the drive for a blood work-only appointment. Because of this, the standard 48-hour follow up beta that most woman get was a 96-hour follow up for me. As so many things in this infertility journey–surprise!–the next step involved more waiting.

My result was 214. My nurse assures me this is a very good number. Naturally though, I scoured online forums for appropriate second beta numbers for 13dp5dt as soon as we hung up the phone. When I compare my results to what I find online, I seem to come up short. Way short. (Please, yes I know that everyone and every pregnancy is different and that betas don’t mean as much as we like think they do… I get it. This is about something deeper.) It’s about this: Why can’t I just relax and accept that maybe–just maybe–my results are normal? That I’m entitled to a chance at having IVF work for me as much as the next woman? That, for once in this terrible journey through the wastelands of infertility, something good happened, and it happened to me? Throughout this whole process I’ve grappled with a secret underlying, paralyzing fear that there is something so fundamentally wrong with me that I would never be permitted to get that “normal” the other 90% are blessed with. To be told otherwise is completely a mind trip. Why can’t I just accept good news? Why do I so easily accept the bad news?

I hate this. No, I loathe this. I loathe that this journey is filled with these little degrees of reassurance that we cling to so fiercely, followed by the almost immediate expectation that the fragility of good news could come crashing down at a moment’s notice.  And there’s not a damn thing you can do about it. I can pray, and I do pray. Fiercely. I have faith and give God the glory for all this. And that is enough. More than enough. But at the end of the day, God is God and I am still fallible and not in control.

I loathe that for so many years all I wanted was to get pregnant, but being pregnant didn’t assuage the pain. Once that dream of being pregnant became a finite reality, the thrill of actually being pregnant is so very fleeting. That unknown new joy of having a tiny life deep inside you is quickly negated by the landslide of fears and anxieties that come along with trying to keep that tiny life going for the full forty weeks. Then–just when you think you’ve got that part down–a whole new plethora of concerns about delivery are unleashed. I want to enjoy pregnancy; I don’t want to worry my way through every stage of it.

I didn’t expect this. I thought that once I got pregnant I’d become this blissfully happy idiot (see rainbows and unicorns reference above). That the hard part was over. That all my infertility struggles would just magically go away. The ugly truth is, the hard part’s just begun.

I actually didn’t intend this post to go this way. In fact, I was planning to blog about my medically-relevant details, such as the seven big cysts that I’m currently living with or the fact that I wake up in the middle of the night to pee and can’t fall back asleep for hours every single night. I just can’t do it today. It seems that all I’ve just written is what’s truly inside my heart instead.

Stay tuned for happier posts. I believe they’re coming.

 

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Author: Marixsa

Navigating the infertility waters and encouraging other mamas-in-waiting along the way.

12 thoughts on “Chasing Rainbows”

  1. 😦 So sorry!! I can’t say from experience, but I think I would feel the same way too. It’s the thought will the baby make it through the 9 months, etc. You have every right to feel the way you do! If there is one thing that I have to smack myself for, is comparing my story or statistics on these boards. There is not one person like you or me, similar yes, but your story is yours to write! I wish I could say buck up, but I am sure you are sick of hearing that 😉 But your BETA is still going strong and up! That is all that matters right now 🙂

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  2. I haven’t gotten pregnant yet, since my loss. But I can imagine being the same way. Its not about infertility going away, and I think I’ll find that it never will. I’ll always have some sort of jealously that “the rest of the world” had it so easy. And to think, we’re going to have to do this all over again for baby#2 (if we even get that far). Right now, for you, its going to be getting through the small hurdles. Getting to that next beta, then getting to the 1st sono, then the 2nd.. small steps. It’s totally ok to have days like these. Its just our normal. Keep on trucking!

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  3. The most important thing in betas is that they double roughly every 48 hours. I just busted out my calculator, cuz I can’t do math, and yours doubled appropriately within the 96 hours. That’s all that matters, I swear, not the actual number.

    That said, pregnancy is 100% extremely hard mentally. It’s terrifying. It’s a fight, just like infertility is. Yeah, it’s a more joyful fight than infertility, but it’s hard just the same. When I can get my shiz together and find it, I will send you a visualization that helped me with pregnancy anxiety. You can do this! Just take it one day at a time. Today, you are pregnant, and that is worth celebrating. And not to get all sappy on you, but today is all any of us humans have. My mantra during pregnancy is Joy is Now!

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  4. YES I totally get this! I was not prepared for the way pregnancy would feel after the first initial excitement. I had focused solely on just getting there and then… the pain still didn’t go away. I was told that that’s how “everyone” feels by my fertile friends and family members, and while they may have had worries and concerns with their early pregnancies, it’s not like the kind of overwhelming terror you have after battling for years and finally having this very fragile success that can now be lost again. (Does that make sense? I’m not feeling well today and don’t feel completely capable of communicating well, but your post really spoke to me and I wanted to make sure to leave a little encouragement.)

    So, after reading your beta numbers, I went back to look at ours. We didn’t have the first beta until 12dp5t. Do you know what they were? 212. Almost identical to your 13dp5dt number! I had also afraid they were a little low, but they kept telling me that they were good, and our gestational carrier found a website that confirmed we were definitely still on track and here we are… halfway through week 24. 🙂 I know it’s hard not to worry or stress– I’m not going to tell you not to because I certainly didn’t listen to the people who tried to get me not to! But try not to drive yourself too crazy or let yourself get too low. It will be so much better once you have that first ultrasound and can hear the heartbeat (though even then the worry fully doesn’t stop so prepare for that!). Our stories have ended sounded very similar in certain ways and I am so hopeful that this time next year we will both have babies in our arms! I believe your last statement is right– happier times and posts are coming. ❤

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  5. I totally get that. When were used to the negatives we can’t accept the positives when they do come. I get it. I’m sure the happy posts are coming too!

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  6. Sending massive hugs to you. I’m having the same feelings – it seems that the load we carry due to infertility doesn’t just disappear if there is some success. we’ve been through so many ups, downs, dips and turns it feels like a very fragile thing to hold on to. Just know that you’re not alone, and there will be days when you are filled with excitement to balance the days like today xx

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  7. What you wrote is totally relatable. And, what I have learned is to just focus on whats happening to me and to not compare it to online forums…they are the worst. So glad that your betas are more than doubling and here’s to the next 9 months of your journey. Wishing you the best! xo

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