Beta 2 day


Beta 2 day, and all is well in the uterus of this pregnant woman! Gah. Every appointment, every phone call, during these precarious first weeks, it feels as though I’m jumping hurdles. Hurdle # 2 cleared. Whew. Can go back to life for a while…that is, until the next hurdle. All doctors and nurses have sweetly obliged my request for continued numberlessness. Dr. San Roman, hale and tan after a week of skiing in CO, with mountainman beard, kept slapping his hand down on pages in my file to cover numbers so I couldn’t see them. He’s in support of numberlessness for sure. (Did I tell you that he hugged me before I left for Atlanta? He did. And this time he showed me photos of his grown son, with whom he went skiing. He makes each visit feel so personal and comfortable. He calls me “my friend,” as in, “How’s my friend doing today?” Talk about someone who has found his calling.)

When the nurses call, I can tell by their voices when it is good news. I can hear them trying to sound neutral, but they don’t—they sound excited. “Wonderful,” is the word I hear in regard to my betas, and the nurses at my local clinic are whispering their excited congrats to me in the hallways. I appreciate it, I really do, but at the same time am having flashbacks to other nurses in other hallways of my past, and how those excited warm expressions drop when things go south.

BUT that’s not gonna happen this time, right? Right. Deeeep breath. According to my saucer-nipple antennae, all is heading in the right direction.

But today I started to feel nervous and serious. Because Dr. San Roman likes to get a scan in the FIFTH WEEK YIKES HELP HELP EARLY TOO EARLY WHA??? HOW ABOUT WE WAIT TIL WEEK 8? No, week 5. We’ll do it at 5 weeks 3 days. He says he likes to do a scan weekly for women who recurrently miscarry, because “the more information we have about what’s going on, the better.” He told me there would be nothing to see, just gestational sac(s), which he will measure, and that’s it. I know I might see a little more than that, but I won’t be crushed if I don’t. He says if the sacs are small, it will be an indicator of something perhaps not developing properly. Ahhhgggh. Okay. Not gonna think about that. But of course am thinking about that.

I wasn’t expecting to have to ride that beastly table so soon. I  know I don’t have to, but I trust Dr. San Roman so much and know that it’s in my best interest. I will be okay. Right? Right. Riiiiggght…

What I need to concentrate on right now is that I had a good 2nd beta, and that means everything is progressing as it should. Keep it up, babies. I am here for you.

In other news, I did something I kind of wish I hadn’t done, but what’s done is done: I asked for my progesterone level today. RBA doesn’t ask for repeat testing of progesterone level when the patient is on because the blood-progesterone level is nearly meaningless when a woman is doing vaginal gel. The only way to accurately test a patient’s progesterone level would be to biopsy the tissue of her uterus—which would of course not be a good thing to do to a pregnant woman. So they check the first week and make sure it isn’t below 4, and they leave it at that. My local clinic likes to see that initial number at 5 and above. So, last week’s level of 9 was a superstar level, and I could have left it at that. But I had it retested. And it came back, today, at 4.5. But that number is practically meaningless. “You could come back in right now,” my local nurse explained, “and test your progesterone and it could be back up to a 9, or a 10.” My RBA nurse said the same thing. The numbers on are lower and fluctuate a great deal.

RBA was not concerned about the 9 on Monday and the 4.5 today. Dr. Shapiro says that there is no need to switch to PIO—that if it is a healthy pregnancy, it will survive, and be well supported, whether I am on or PIO. If it’s not a healthy pregnancy, it will go south no matter what.

BUT. Both Dr. S and my local clinic said I could switch to PIO, if only for my peace of mind. My local clinic says that if they were in charge they would have actually prescribed the switch automatically, just because of the high stakes involved. Both clinics say that if things go south, they don’t want their patients looking back, regretting, and (wrongly) blaming themselves for the form of progesterone they took. After discussing it with DH, against my better judgment, really, but also because I do not want to add any psychological triggers for myself should things go south: I have decided to switch to PIO. It was a difficult decision. Especially since I realize I am doing it for mostly psychological, not medical/biological, reasons. But I do not want to regret anything. I do not want to play my least favorite game of what if. Sigh. And ugh. And all of that noise. But my lovely local nurse is going to train me tomorrow in how to do it better than I did last time (when I maimed myself), and I’m hoping I will not hugely regret this decision.

Maybe I can get DH to stab me…for some reason, though, it seems like I prefer to stab myself.

DH and I had an incident last night. I was at The Couch, where I live, and he was looking at his emails. As you know, he’s officiating the wedding of one of his dear friends, a guy he lived with for 7 years and whom he really loves, in mid-April. The two of them are part of a group of guy friends who are hilarious, guys who’ve been tight since their early twenties. Most of them are married now, some with kids. So they are throwing a bachelor party for the groom. And DH got an email last night from one of the guys, asking about hiring some strippers for the party…

DH: “Babe, you won’t mind if there are strippers there, would you?”

I stare at him blankly. All I am thinking is that is week 6, that is scary ultrasound looking for heartbeat(s) week…

Me: “Um. Yes. Yes, I think I would mind, actually. I think I would mind a lot.”

My mind is racing. I am thinking of what a progressive couple we usually are when it comes to our sexuality. I’m no prude. But the idea of him going to Manhattan and hooting over naked women with a pack of guys during that week…

Me: “Would you be okay with me slathering over some naked man shaking his schlong at me while I hoot at him with a group of crazed women?”

DH: “I don’t know how comfortable I’d be, but I trust you—”

Me: “This isn’t about trust! I trust you! I just don’t—

And then I got up and slammed my cookbook down and said: “I don’t care what you do. Why don’t you make dinner!” I paced back and forth, stopped in front of DH, who was looking at me with gentleness and beckoning me to come into his arms.

“I am pregnant,” I said. “Do you understand? Do you know how terrified I am of that week? Week 6?”

“Very,” he said. “Come here.” He put his arms around me, and I started to cry. “You’re safe,” he said. “I’m not going to the party, sweet bayba. Don’t worry. You’re safe. You are totally safe with me.” He was stroking me, giving me exactly what I needed. “I’ll just tell the guys I couldn’t get off work, they won’t know a thing. You need to feel safe and supported right now.”

It was actually really beautiful. As mad-sad as I got, it lasted only a few minutes, and then there he was, proving to me how much I can count on him. Today my therapist said that she didn’t think the incident had much to do with strippers, but more to do with my need to not feel abandoned at that time. We talk a lot about how my parents didn’t protect me from male predators, when I was young, nor were they good guides and protectors for me at key difficult moments in my life.

BUT there aren’t going to be strippers after all! The one guy who sent out a feeler about hiring strippers didn’t get any responses from anyone, so today he wrote: “Okay—I get it. No strippers.” Ha! All the married guys, all the fathers, gave their answer via silence. It also turns out that they will be going somewhere upstate. The timing works out perfectly because DH will be with me for the ultrasound that morning, and if things are looking good, he can just hop on a train to meet the guys, and he’ll be back home that night. But if there are any indications of anything wrong at that ultrasound that morning, he can simply cancel the trip and stay with me—it’ll be perfect because he will already have asked for the day off work that day.

All’s well that end’s well.

This post is all over the place, and now I must go make dinner and can’t think of a neat way to wrap it up. I’ll just say that I’m happy, excited, nervous, and scared–but at this point, the positive is outshining the negative. Thanks for helping me stay strong.



Leave a comment


  1. I’m so happy things are going well for you and that you have such a compassionate doctor and a wonderful husband! Stay blessed… Hugs!!

  2. So excited! Thinking of you sweetie xxx

  3. Amy mac

     /  March 27, 2014

    Yay, beta 2! Regarding progesterone, I have a very similar history to you and in my last cycle (currently 19 weeks pregnant with my first!) I ended up doing both crinone and PIO. The PIO for me and the crinone for my RE. I applaud you for your decision!

  4. Yay for “wonderful” beta. :)

  5. Clare

     /  March 28, 2014

    Ok first of all congrats on wonderful beta 2!! Second – your DH is seriously the best. You guys have such an awesome relationship.
    As for the early scan… I am with you on waiting a couple more weeks, but your doctor’s reasons make sense of course. What happened to me was my first scan at 6.5 weeks I had 2 sacs, 2 heartbeats – i was over the moon! Then my doctor proceeds to tell me one didn’t look right, measuring small and low heart rate. So of course I had weeks of turmoil and worry, then at 9 weeks they said everything’s actually fine and I can chill. Anyway – those early scans…. I just think some little beans like to do they’re own thing at the start, so try not to worry if one looks good and the other doesn’t. A few weeks later they can both be totally cool. It’s all so nerveracking!

    • Clare I can’t thank you enough for chiming in with this. I’ve been thinking of your words ever since I read your comment—it’ll be one of those comments I “take to the table’ with me. I’m going to try to go in there with an attitude of: Whatever happens is fine, it’s too early for the data to be meaningful. I’m so glad everything smoothed out for you at 9 weeks. Sorry if you’ve told me already, I sometimes get people’s stories confused—did you give birth to twins already?

  6. Glad your “non-numbers” are good. I opted for PIO this time as I just was too anxious with low crinone levels. I know they say its fine but these babies are too hard to come by for me to chance it. Like an above poster, I’m doing one crinone/ day along with PIO. It’s just better to remove any anxiety that we can.

  7. Another ah-May-zing report!!

  8. Such loving and good news on the numberless beta and relationship front. I would do the PIO in your shoes too. All part of limiting the what ifs you and your babies don’t need you to be preoccupied with right now. Hoping all stays well.

  9. Yay! so happy to hear the betas are doing what they are supposed to. Does your husband give classes on how to be emotionally supportive? I am so happy you have him and we can happily and with no regret suffer through PIO together!

    • Ha! I just read that aloud to him, and he went: “Aw, how sweet!” He’s genuinely touched. I told him that he really came out shining of that “stripper situation” and he started laughing. Anyway, no, he doesn’t teach classes, but the man really should. (:

  10. So happy all is going well! Xx

  11. Yay for a great beta 2! Sounds like you have a great hubby, too!

  12. Thanks everyone. Love you.


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