IVF #1: Beta hCG Results


It would be an understatement to say I was a nervous wreck today. I started the morning with another home pregnancy test and instead of walking away and checking it 3 minutes later, like you’re supposed to, I just stared at it the entire time. No! Bad! I had a brief moment of panic when it looked like that second line wasn’t showing up this time, but sure enough it finally did – and a bit darker than yesterday, though still very faint.

At the lab I got my favorite phlebotomist. She knows how to work wonders with my measly little veins! She got the sample in one quick poke and I headed out with assurances that I’d get a call by 3:00 pm.

The day just dragged. At 2:00, with one hour to go, I cooked myself some baked salmon and kale and watched The Leftovers the take my mind off things. Then it was 2:45. Then 3:00.

No call.

At 3:01 I dialed the clinic. I heard the thing no one wants to hear: “Due to unusually high call volume, you may experience a longer-than-normal wait time…” Ugh! I really dislike the way this clinic handles the phones. It’s practically impossible to get anyone on the line.

10 minutes… 15 minutes… 20 minutes… still on hold. Finally I opted to leave a (rather terse) voicemail because the hold music was driving me crazy. The clinic was set to close for the day in a half an hour.

Then, finally, finally! I get the Big Call at 3:40. And, sure enough, it’s official! I am pregnant! My beta hCG level today, at 13 days past ovulation, is 66.5. I’ve read online that anything over 25-50 is good at this stage, and the nurse said they’re happy with the numbers. My progesterone level is also looking good (>40). The next step is to go back for a second hCG test on Wednesday, and if things are progressing normally my hCG level should be at least 133 that day. If so, I’ll be back in the clinic for an ultrasound to check for a heartbeat around December 17th.

It still feels really surreal right now. I’m still feeling a little mild cramping and I’m still super hungry. I felt just slightly nauseous earlier today, but it could be my head playing tricks on me. I can’t believe it’s really happening! I’m feeling amazed, thankful, hopeful, and nervous. Do you ever look around you and think, I’ve imagined this day for so long, and now that it’s here, I can’t believe it’s so ordinary! This is actually the way it’s playing out, right here, right now!

I’m grateful that I got to find out the way that I did – at home, in my bathroom, seeing that second line and feeling utterly shocked. I got to run in and wake my husband up and show him the line, my hand clasped over my mouth in astonishment. In this crazy, stressful process of doctors and stirrups and needles and labs we still got that moment of genuine joy and awe, alone, together, just the way our own parents did. Hearing the official news from the nurse today was icing on the cake. It’s real.

According to Google, today our little nugget is the size of a poppyseed. Hence, the baked goods at the top of this post. I didn’t make them, but they do look lovely. Next week, if everything goes as it should, the baby will look like a tiny macaron, according to What to Expect:



Hang in there, little one! You are so, so wanted and loved.


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