The 2ww (or more) between a +hpt and an ultrasound to confirm the heartbeat(s), now fondly dubbed 'TO2WW': biggest mindf*ck ever. Of course its redeeming quality is that it is for a great cause, because until proven otherwise, you are pregnant. Its undoing is that the stakes have been upped over the previous 2ww yet the potential for disaster is still quite high.
After the two pink lines is both the best and worst place that an infertile can be.
Here is a (maybe not so) brief history of the reason why TO2WW makes me nutty:
October 2010 - pregnancy 1 (IUI 2):
Looks like a late implanter, but in Israel all of the drugstore hpts are pretty crappy, so….the most expensive stick I could find, the "Yes or No Professional" test, doesn't yield a faint positive until 14 dpIUI. And the underwhelming 1st beta …
14 dpIUI: 42
18 dpIUI: 279
25 dpIUI: 3576
Guiding initial thoughts of pregnancy 1: Betas start off low but the numbers (more than) double nicely. It is my first pregnancy and I am pretty anxious but I haven't yet actually had a loss so oblivion is still (sort of) my friend at this point. An ultrasound at 5w2d reveals just a GS - but again, I am too naive to think disaster at every turn. I still have some trust in the process and in my body. Brown spotting for a few days during week 6. Ultrasound at 7w3d - no heartbeat - missed m/c. Game over pregnancy #1.
new neuroses developed: Late implantation is an ominous sign of bad things to come. Brown spotting means the baby has died.
November 2011 - pregnancy 2 (IVF #2):
Guiding initial thoughts of pregnancy 2: I am a smart girl and stockpiled FRERs during my trip to the states so pesky subpar hpts won't keep me from a successful pregnancy test this time around (since that was clearly the problem last time). First +hpt 6dp5dt - see these pee sticks are worth their weight in gold! Initial thought: Not a late implanter this time, an auspicious start, in my mind timely implantation = successful pregnancy.
beta 1 (11dp5dt): 308
beta 2 (13dp5dt): 849
Guiding thoughts con't: Well this is definitely different from last time, so hopefully it is going to work out. Wait, no, not enough symptoms…they come, they go away. This shit is crazy. Night before 1st
u/s (6w2d) - I'm not even tired anymore, another missed miscarriage, I think. Arrive to clinic for ultrasound dejected - we both expect bad news (I have also convinced Y without doubt that the pregnancy is doomed because, well, I am not tired anymore, I am not nauseated, etc.). Ultrasound #1 - 2 heartbeats!
Week 9 - start bleeding bright red. Previous experience dictates that blood = dead babies. Shocked and relieved to find out that bleeding is 'only' from a SCH - the same SCH that rears its ugly head again at week 16 and leads to the succession of events that ultimately result in the death of both my beautiful babies, but I don't know that yet.
Week 19-20 - Aminadav's water breaks - PPROM. I lose both my little loves to PPROM/PTL.
new neuroses developed: It's never too late in pregnancy for your bab(ies) to die, either inside of you, or by arriving a few weeks short of viability (or as it also often happens, after…). Bleeding is a harbinger of disaster. If you PPROM before viability, you are in a bad, bad place.
June 2012 - pregnancy 3 (IVF 3):
Day 3 SET after a bumpy cycle and premature luteinization (premature progesterone rise). SET on day 3 is pretty low yield and at this point 6/8 of the embryos we have transferred via IVF have not implanted, so our IVF history doesn't bode so well for day 3 SET, but it is what it is. We are super surprised to get a +hpt at 6dp5dt.
Guiding initial thoughts of pregnancy 3: A singleton pregnancy with strong implantation bodes well for us. There is no reason to believe this won't work, other than the fact that it never has in the past.
beta 1 (12dp3dt): 138
beta 2 (14dp3dt): 139
very early m/c at 5w2d
Continued guiding thoughts: So clearly early implantation and a solid first beta doesn't necessarily stop the pregnancy from falling off a cliff with style. Weird…I thought most chemical pregnancies started with dubiously low betas and late implantation. Seems more likely due to a maternal factor than a genetic problem, but that's just a guess.
new neuroses developed: A +hpt early on or a nice first beta doesn't protect against a chemical pregnancy or early miscarriage. Those beta hCG numbers can come crashing down from anywhere.
October 2012 - pregnancy 4 (Clomid/Prednisone/TI…surprise!)
+hpt 11dpo (I just corrected that from '6dp5dt' - apparently I am still in disbelief that this wasn't an IVF cycle!)
beta 1 (13 dpo): 146
The pee sticks keep getting darker.
Guiding initial thoughts: Expect nothing. All bets are off. Well, a nicer way of saying that is "expect the worst, hope for the best." My symptoms come and go. I understand that every tiny thing could mean either nothing or everything, but only time will tell, and the wait is maddening. I have now been waiting over 72 hours for the results of beta 2 (in Israel I never waited more than 2.5-3.5 hours for a beta result!) and the wait is driving me nuts, as is the knowledge that by the time I receive the result, it will be obsolete (i.e. so 3 days ago!).
new neuroses: Everything. Pregnancy is a mine-field that can be cut short or go wrong at any point due to an endless combination of disasters. But with each new chance, there is always the possibility for all of the stars to align so that we bring home a living child, and that little bit of hope propels us forward, and so we keep on keeping on. In the meantime, I think I need a therapist.