no progesterone tested from tuesday’s blood draw. they’re all apparently still giddy over last week’s 51.6.

and my beta? 17,969. dr l likes it. i like it. the last time i had blood drawn around this time it was in the 14000s somewhere.

i’m still feeling a little emotionally flat, which has s worried. perhaps, however, it’s just off-setting my physically not-so-flat belly. which really, really, really wants some chocolate.

and my brain? it really, really really does not want to dig, although i truly do appreciate the suggestion, carlynn. for example: last fall i responded to a query for women to write up their stillbirth stories for a study. i tried. i hated what i wrote, decided to revise it and couldn’t, so decided to scrap the whole thing and gave up. then two weeks ago the lead researcher contacted me to say “hey, you know, if you didn’t send anything yet, you still can.” i said great! gimme a week and i’ll have something for you. i thought i was ready to give this another go. and every night i consider working on it. and every night i realize i can’t. so when she emailed this morning to politely ask where my materials are, i had to tell her: i can’t revisit this. i think i can and then i find out i’m wrong. i just can’t. (but everything’s fine, right?)

and while i write this i want to cry. so i guess i gotta go dig, like it or not. shit.

i had bloodwork done yesterday, and for some reason i was expecting beautiful, normal numbers when i got the report today. like maybe in the low 30s for my progesterone level, and somewhere in the teen-thousands for hcg. god knows where i got these expectations or what i was doing wasting my time with them.

my progesterone is a whopping 51.6. am i the only one to be scared by that number? i know the docs like the progesterone level to be over 15 — with ruby i think it was 31 or so — but this? i find this bizarre. and bizarre, well, these days bizarre alarms me.

my beta hcg, on the other hand, is a sorry 2257.

now, no matter the online charts i frantically refer to, this number falls in the normal range. sometimes it’s at the low end; other times, it’s square in the middle. and i know — I KNOW — that the number is not nearly as important as its rate of increase. I KNOW THIS AND I DON’T CARE. for some reason, the fact that it’s not higher has me petrified. even though dr l says it’s perfectly fine and he’s very happy with it and i should just come back next week as we initially planned.

anybody want to wager how many hpts i waste between now and then?

aaaaaaarrrrrrrrggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhh….

test #1, cd28:

v40test_1.jpg

test #2, cd 31:

v40test_21.jpg

test #3, cd 34:

v40test_3.jpg

now, i can’t say anything about the math, which makes no sense. i started prometrium on day 20 b/c i usually ovulate around day 17. but according to the opks (days 12-18) i didn’t ovulate at all. now, the amazing epo phase hit around day 11, so i may have missed the window with the opks. but if i *had* o’d that early i would have expected the test to show up positive much earlier. and if i hadn’t o’d, well, the prometrium should have prevented it.

so as usual i have no idea what’s going on with my body. except that it’s trying to build a baby. and i’ll do everything i can to help it out.

and i have to quit looking at test #1, because when i stare too much i start to see a damn 2nd line.

mindfulness meditation only works when you remember to use it. to pause whenever you feel your body’s systems start to rev up and remember to really think about what’s going on, to breathe deeply, and to face what is happening with an open mind.

 i have been trying these last few days, i really have. i was disappointed at the negative test but relieved to start cramping. i was pleased at the idea of an endometrial lining that had never seen 2007. but underneath all that, i kept hoping, as many of us do despite ourselves, that the test was wrong. so i wasn’t really calm, or mindful. i had hopes. i had hopes that felt close to expectations. and we all know how bad that can be.

two days after stopping prometrium, when i still hadn’t started bleeding, i started doing a wee bit of research about progesterone withdrawal bleeds. my memory (never that great to start with) was that it took at least a day and maybe three, but not really any more that that. dr. google neither confirmed nor denied, but i read enough to know that i could be expected to wait 7-10 days before really worrying (whatever “really worrying” actually means). so i was ready to wait. and to calm the hell down revisit my mindfulness.

s asked about the cramps, which had stopped, and about any spotting, which i would have normally expected but which hadn’t started. he asked whether i should test again. i reminded him that dr h (the doc who brought us m) usually asked me to wait 5 days between tests. s thought maybe three days was a good window. i was happy to hear somebody besides me say that; i always feel such a fool when i keep testing and the results are the same.

i was prepared for it to be negative. so when, bleary-eyed and half-awake i peered at the stick and saw what i thought was a shadow of a first line, my heart leapt. and then the strong second line came. and then i couldn’t see the shadow of the first line. i turned the stick to catch different light and screwed my eyes up real tight but nope: no first line.

i tossed the stick in the trash and went back to bed.

a few hours later s asked whether i’d tested. yes, i told him. it was still negative. ok, he said. and he left to buy coffee.

i got up and grabbed m and the dogs to go for a walk. on my way downstairs i saw the pee stick, half-sticking out of the bathroom garbage. i always feel self-conscious about those damn things sitting around — what if my mil drops by?! — so i grabbed it, lifted the trash lid to re-deposit it, and gave it a closer look.

two lines.

it’s hard not to worry that the first line is too faint. that it appeared later than the 3-minute window (which i DEFINITELY did not wait for) as the result of some chemical reaction that has nothing to do with my body’s production of hgc. that i quit taking progesterone for three days and so have doomed the pregnancy. or that some piece of 2007 is still lurking in my body and is out to get to me.

but still: two lines.

happy day!

i mean, they suck, but at least they are definitive.

big leap of faith there, ‘eh? they so often don’t mean what you think or want, or they mean exactly what they mean but at the wrong heartbreaking time. but this time i’m taking it on faith that they mean i didn’t test too early and i’m really not pregnant.

not where i want to be, but since i can’t be where i want, i’ll accept where i am.

and a huge shout out to my readers — i was very touched to see my blog hits spike on the day i reported the test results. my busiest day ever! you’re the best.

just one thin line. no september baby for us.

i’m so torn about this. september due dates have historically been good luck for us — m was due on labor day, and came of her own accord a week early. i’ve had seven due dates in seven different months, but only the september date brought us a baby.

even trying not to be superstitious, i have to say i’m disappointed.

so we talked this morning about what this means. we had decided earlier to test late enough in my cycle that, were the test negative, i could stop the prometrium and get on with the bleeding. i think both of us, though, were secretly assuming hoping that the test would be positive and the prometrium would be a moot point.

but now that it’s not, we (of course) have to revisit the game plan. is it worth waiting to see? testing again in a few days? maybe we tested too early after all? (i had 2 negative tests before a positive one with m, and even 1 negative test before a positive one with ruby.)

but s made the sanest of all possible points: we need to feel calm about this, and feeling calm does not include wishful thinking and casting about trying to make things different. so no more prometrium. if i am pregnant and it’s a viable pregnancy, this won’t matter. if i’m not, i’ll get to CD1 that much sooner.

and i realized that’s ok. all that really means is that i’ll finish cleaning out 2007, and can start fresh (endometrium and all) with 2008. which can only be good.

so the zero trimester continues. i’ll try not to celebrate by drinking too much wine.