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And click here for PART ONE of the story.
While I was waiting to redo the blood test, I decided to take a home pregnancy test, because I just couldn't stand the waiting. I took it and saw the faintest second line. It was so faint I wondered if I was seeing things--still, I went into the the second HCG test with more hope.
Exciting news when the doctor called! There was enough HCG in my system to show that I was pregnant! It was still pretty low, though, so I was told to be cautiously optimistic and to get another test in a couple of days.
The next test had more good news--the numbers were going up and were doubling, which it what you want to happen! I was VERY excited!!
The protocol at the doctor's office had me going in for a follow-up test every two to three days to make sure the numbers continued to double. When I went in for the next test, I didn't hear back from the office right away like I usually did. I spoke with the secretary and she sounded weird and said that she would have the doctor call me back. I was worried.
The doctor called back with bad news. The numbers had plummeted down to nearly nothing. Of course, there's always the possibility if a lab error, so I was told to get another test, but I had a bad feeling.
In the mean time, I was scheduled to have a check-up with my regular OB and I blurted out out the whole story to him. I was worried he'd be "mad" at me or something (silly, I know) but he seemed genuinely interested in what I had done and told me I was "cutting edge." LOL!
He offered to do an ultrasound to see what was going on in there and the results weren't good. You could see a tiny spot where the embryo had started to grow, but it was obvious that this was not going to result in a pregnancy.
The follow-up HCG tests confirmed that the baby was gone.
So now what was I going to do? The whole business of the IVF/PGD and subsequent HCG testing had been such an emotional roller coaster--I wasn't sure if I could go through it again. And I cringed at all the money we had spent--it all seemed like such a tragic waste.
However, I felt like I knew what to expect now, so maybe I would try it again one more time.
So we started up again with the injections and the ultrasounds and the worrying.
This time, there was strange news right before we entered the retrieval phase--my blood work (I forgot to tell you that I had to go in for blood work every couple of days) indicated that I may have already ovulated, even though one of the injections was supposed to suppress that. I guess if that happens, the eggs are "no good" and there would be no point in continuing with the retrieval.
So the doctor suggested that I just abandon this cycle and not continue with the retrieval. I asked him if he thought any of the eggs might be viable and he said it was a possibility. He said that the retrieval was the most expensive part and that he didn't feel it would be worth it.
I guess I was hopeful that some of the eggs would be alright and, since we had already spent so much on the injections, etc., I told the doctor to go ahead with it.
It was a total disaster. They were not able to get a single egg--the whole thing was a waste of time.
I was pretty mad at myself for going through with it and, to make matters worse, I got this weird condition from over stimulation of the ovaries and (warning--this is gross!) my abdomen filled up with fluid and it was very painful and uncomfortable.
I was miserable.
The last cycle had been pointless, so I decided we had to try ONE more time. Don was getting more and more tense about the financial part of it, but I felt obsessed like I couldn't stop. He reluctantly said we could try again, but he was adamant that this would be the last.
By now, we had the routine down with the injections and ultrasounds and blood work.
So much time has passed since this happened and I can't remember now how many embryos we ended up with. I want to say about ten? But long story, short--all of them were again labeled "abnormal" except for "two normal females."
Once again, I read "signs" into this. I secretly wanted twins and I thought maybe this would be my opportunity! We transferred both embryos and headed off on a summer vacation. My doctor thought the getaway would be helpful and let me relax so the embryos could take hold.
Again, I looked for any signs of pregnancy but didn't feel any. Maybe it's just too early, I kept telling myself. They were two really good embryos, surely one of them would stick?
As soon as we returned from vacation, I headed in to get the HCG test.
to be continued...