Tumbling Through the Rabbit Hole...
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Posted by Haisla Thursday, 21 May 2015

Seventy seven is a great number if it for instance denotes a ripe old age you've reached from where you can look back on your life and appreciate all the great things you've accomplished.

It's not such a great number when it's your first beta result for 15dp5dt..

After numerous light pee sticks (which were darkening daily I hasten to add), I caved and booked a private hCG test at a clinic near work. I snuck out during my lunch break yesterday and received the results on my way home. I was devastated when I saw the double digit figure. I mean I knew that my pee sticks were lighter than the ones I'd seen posted online, but they had been getting gradually darker. Of course I immediately immersed myself in the world of Dr Google to find out what this number meant and the results were not good. According to Betabase for instance I am at the very tail end of the stats for pregnancies that have turned out to be viable*. Not at the very tail end, since 44 was the lowest number recorded at 20dpo, but not far behind. Although I'm aware that the doubling time of the hCG is more important than the number itself, seventy seven at this late stage in the game seemed more like 'game over'.

I felt dejected by the time I got home. I told M. that it didn't look like it was going to be good news.

He  tried to remain positive, but I could tell he was sad. We hugged and hugged.

Since yesterday I've done some more research and found slightly more encouraging information amongst all the doom and gloom. The American Pregnancy Association has this to say about hCG:

  • 85% of normal pregnancies, the hCG level will double every 48 – 72 hours. As you get further along in pregnancy and the hCG level gets higher, the time it takes to double can increase to about every 96 hours.
  • Caution must be used in making too much of hCG numbers. A normal pregnancy may have low hCG levels and result in a perfectly healthy baby. The results from an ultrasound after 5 -6 weeks gestation are much more accurate than using hCG numbers.
  • A single hCG reading is not enough information for most diagnoses. When there is a question regarding the health of the pregnancy, multiple testings of hCG done a couple of days apart give a more accurate assessment of the situation.
  • The hCG levels should not be used to date a pregnancy since these numbers can vary so widely.

    Guideline To HCG Levels During Pregnancy

    hCG levels in weeks from LMP (gestational age):
    • 3 weeks LMP: 5 – 50 mIU/ml
    • 4 weeks LMP: 5 – 426 mIU/ml
    • 5 weeks LMP: 18 – 7,340 mIU/ml
    • 6 weeks LMP: 1,080 – 56,500 mIU/ml
    • 7 – 8 weeks LMP: 7, 650 – 229,000 mIU/ml
    • 9 – 12 weeks LMP: 25,700 – 288,000 mIU/ml
    • 13 – 16 weeks LMP: 13,300 – 254,000 mIU/ml
    • 17 – 24 weeks LMP: 4,060 – 165,400 mIU/ml
    • 25 – 40 weeks LMP: 3,640 – 117,000 mIU/ml
    • Non-pregnant females: <5.0 mIU/ml
    • Postmenopausal females: <9.5 mIU/ml
    These numbers are just a GUIDELINE– every woman’s level of hCG can rise differently. It is not necessarily the level that matters but rather the  change in the level.
The article does then go on to say that low hCG levels could indicate possible miscarriage, blighted ovum or ectopic pregnancy.

So hCG of 77 could mean something or absolutely nothing. I could just be one of those women who naturally produces low levels of hCG, or I could be at the brink of a miscarriage. I'm not bleeding or spotting but that doesn't really guarantee anything.

I've booked a second beta for tomorrow at the private clinic. The best thing I can do for now is just sit tight and try not to drive myself absolutely mad. If the number doubles by tomorrow, I will just try to leave it at that and wait for my first scan on June 5th. If the number looks dodgy or is shrinking, I will contact my clinic for guidance.

Oh, and I couldn't help myself, but checked the due date using an online calculator. Should this little bean turn out to be viable after all, my due date will be January 20th, 2016.

Just one more little fact to torment me.. ; )


Northern Star said...

Hang in there. Thinking of you.

Haisla said...

Thanks, luv. I'm trying remain positive but realistic.. Hopefully I should know a bit more by tonight or tomorrow morning.xx

Jessica Howard said...

I have read a ton of stories about starting low betas that go on to be viable. And, I agree that the one number is nothing without a second number to compare it to.

Hang in there and lets see what the second number is!

Ostrich said...

"Never tell me the odds." - Han Solo

Infertility treatments make us focus on numbers-- how many pills, injections, eggs, embryos, etc. These are tangible. Pregnancy, on the other hand, is still a big ol' mystery. I had this pretty much confirmed by my RE who after our positive test said "Even for people who don't experience infertility, pregnancy is a lottery." Weirdly, I found this comforting because it forced me to realize little of this is within my control.

As much as you can't help yourself (trust me, I know), try to stay calm. Wait for the second test, and stop looking at the odds. ;)

Haisla said...

Thanks, you people. I just wanted to say that your comments mean a lot to me. I really, really appreciate your support.xx

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