Good News, Bad News, and More Waiting

So we have some good news: the pregnancy test is positive. The bad news is it’s just barely positive. The hcg level is low, which is not a good sign, but I go back for a recheck on Wednesday. To paraphrase the nurse who called, we don’t see a lot of numbers this low that work out, but we have to wait and see. I love the staff at Alabama Fertility Specialists – they do a difficult job with grace and sincere concern for their patients. That’s a rare gift for couples like us, especially if you’ve dealt with difficult circumstances like our multiple miscarriages at a regular OB/GYN office.

I’m glad to have the positive test result no matter what happens from here. Regardless of the outcome here, we’ll have a better idea how to proceed and when to change directions. Positive, no matter how faint, means that we have made every attempt medically possible to ensure a good outcome. If things don’t end with a healthy pregnancy this time, we’ll have the benefit of a great doctor’s expertise on whether to try IVF again or not, and we’ll be able to walk away from this path without any doubts. If things stay positive, then we’ll have an exciting path to walk right now. Either way, God has answered our prayers through this particular journey with a positive pregnancy test, and he’ll lead us to the next step.

I keep (sort of) joking that a positive pregnancy test is akin to Gideon’s fleece prayers (see Judges 6 – I LOVE this story!). I have been telling God that I really need a positive test no matter the end result because if it works, that’s a great and immediately answered prayer; if we still miscarry, then I’ll be content to walk away. People keep telling me stories about couples who start to adopt and then have successful pregnancies. Usually these stories are prefaced with, “They had a hard time, just like you guys…” I hate these comments with a passion that’s hard to describe. Adoption has always been an option for us, but I want to pursue it wholeheartedly, without any part of me thinking that it’s a consolation prize. Essentially, I need God to close the other doors if he’s not going to audibly tell us, “Go forth and adopt a child.” We are reaching that point, and I’m excited to see what God is up to. It has to be spectacular because he’s spent a long time preparing us. We could not have even tried IVF a few years ago – our marriage wouldn’t have weathered the added strain, and I would have been a neurotic, depressed mess before we even got potentially bad news like today’s. But we not only survived the IVF process but also grew through it: my darling husband has become an expert with a hypodermic needle, and our marriage is stronger than ever.

I would never have imagined this would be part of our story. Sometimes I think I’d like to change our story, but then I know we’d be missing out on something God designed. Waiting patiently isn’t exactly my forte, but I keep finding myself in this wait-and-see mode. We managed the first two-week wait; now we’re in for the real two-week wait in our story. And my fleece is waiting.

And So It Begins…

We have officially commenced the two-week wait.  The clock started Monday after the egg retrieval when our eggs were fertilized.  If you’re a gory detail type, read on.  If you’re not, skip this post and try again tomorrow.  Monday, they retrieved 13 eggs, which is a good number – not too many, not too few…  A nice baker’s dozen.  The process wasn’t too bad, although it’s painful, and I’m still sore.  Of the 13 eggs, 8 were able to be fertilized and 7 developed to embryo stage.  Embryo transfer will be Thursday (tomorrow) morning.  The next big milestone after embryo transfer is the pregnancy test, which will be April 16 unless something in the schedule changes tomorrow.

In the meantime, I have enough to occupy my mind this week with Journey to the Cross.  (If you live in the Birmingham area, check out for more information.)  And next week, I’ll be trying to catch up with all the work I’ve missed this week.  The first two-week wait should be a breeze.  😉

The Air Down Here

These days, it’s a little hard to breathe, as if the air all around me is thick like soup.  I do live in Alabama, so there’s a pretty good chance it’s humid, which means the air is actually thicker and harder to breathe.  But there’s no difference in the air in Alabama this week from last week except that I am charging everything around me with tiny particles of nervous energy.

The ultrasound Wednesday looked good, so I have another one Friday morning to determine the exact timing of our egg retrieval.  That will happen either Sunday or Monday, and we’ll know for sure Friday after the ultrasound.  It’s a relief to think that I have two days or less left of three shots a day, even though we go right back to another daily injection after retrieval.  That one may hurt a little more, but it will be easier for me since my husband will have to administer it.  It’s a relief to know that in less than a week, we’ll be done with the “hard part” of IVF, and we’ll just be waiting to know if we have a positive pregnancy test or not.

It’s terrifying to know that we’ll spend two weeks to a month in limbo, first waiting for pregnancy test results, and then likely waiting to see if we miscarry early or not.  The entire month of April will be waiting; the whole month will be thick with the nervous energy of anticipation and worry and hope.

I occasionally troll message boards to compare situations and reactions with larger groups of women in different circumstances and from varying backgrounds and belief systems.  Most of them talk about the tension of the two-week wait (TWW for those who aren’t savvy with IVF message board shorthand).  The TWW is discussed as the most agonizing period of IVF because you can’t do anything but wait to see if it worked.  Our TWW will be a long two weeks, I’m sure, but it’s nothing compared to the TWW that comes after.  Our TWW agony will not be waiting for a positive test result (I’d be surprised if we didn’t get pregnant); it will be waiting another two weeks to see if the hcg levels double like they should – to see if we will actually have a baby with a heartbeat that will stick around longer than two weeks.

I am mentally in a good head space, and spiritually I am standing firm on my rock and trusting the outcome of both TWWs to God.  I am as sane as anyone in this situation can be, but I still have moments when it’s hard to breathe such thick air.