An extraordinary day
We had our second blood test today (day 13 after transfer), following our first pregnancy test three days ago.
The same nurse takes my blood, a kind Filipino woman called Josie. I make a point of asking her name today, because when I walk into her cubicle, she remembers me.
“What was the result of your pregnancy test?” Josie says.
Considering they see hundreds of people in the blood clinic each day, I find it remarkable she recalls this.
“The HCG was very low,” I say. “The fertility clinic said the result was negative, but we’re repeating the test. Just in case.”
Josie smiles. She puts her hand on my arm. “You know, we pray so hard for these things in life. And we do not know when or how they will happen,” she says. “But I am sure this will happen for you.”
Such unexpected kindness, yet again. Josie finds the blood test order on the computer. She inserts the needle into my left arm – I hardly feel the scratch – she patches me up with cotton wool and sticky tape.
“Thank you for remembering me,” I say. “And for your kind words.”
As I leave the blood clinic, a feeling of lightness comes over me. In fact, it’s more than that, I feel joy as I walk along the hospital corridor, past the Costa concession in the reception, out into the bright sunshine.
Back at home, two builders arrive at 10.30am. Remember, the mouse problem we had back in March? Well, our furry friends visited us in April and May too. Our landlord sent round his old man to ‘sort it’ – a lovely East End bloke called Terry, with a generous laugh, big hands and a Tenerife tan. Terry and his mate rip out our kitchen units, revealing some rather large holes around the skirting board, where little mice have been sneaking in. They fill the holes with wire and cement. They’re coming back tomorrow to finish the job. Our kitchen is a junkyard right now, but who cares about that!
When the time comes for our call to the hospital, Dad 100 joins me on the sofa. I know what the nurse will say, of course – the result is negative and I should stop the medication. I put my mobile on speakerphone. We talk to a nurse called Liz, who has been one of our regular helpers over the last fifteen months.
“Your HCG level has increased to 37,” Liz says.
I almost drop the phone. That’s nearly 4 times higher than Friday. Dad 100 and I look at each other, completely baffled.
“The number is still very low,” Liz says, “so I need to speak to the early pregnancy unit for some advice. I’ll call back later this afternoon.”
Dad 100 and I sit still on the sofa, taking in the news. I put a hand on my belly. After a week of heavy bleeding, we were convinced it was over. We’ve booked a holiday. We’ve eaten pizza and curry. I’ve been dancing around the flat each morning, to get my mojo back. Ooops!
The hospital thought it was over too – it’s only because of suggestions and encouragement from the IVF community, that I requested another test – I must say a special thank you to IVF79, for some very timely advice.
When Liz calls us back, she tells us to come for another blood test on Tuesday 31st May. I should carry on taking the Cyclogest and Progynova. She says if I experience any sudden, sharp pain, on either side, I should go to A&E immediately. She mentions the possibility of ectopic pregnancy, but I’m ‘fingers-in-the-ears’ about this. I am just stunned and delighted with the result.
I call my sister, who is very optimistic by nature. She is thrilled when I share the news. I call my Mum, she is happy but worried. My stepmum and Dad call, they’re going through a big struggle right now, with Dad’s recovery from cancer. I tell my stepmum the news, while my Dad winces with pain in the background (get well soon Dad!). They are, as we are, delighted.
This evening, I feel overwhelming peace and gratitude. One or both our embryos are fighting for life inside me. It feels like a miracle, after a week of heavy bleeding.
From now on, I am going to forget everything I think I know. My embie(s) and my body are up to something. I don’t know what is happening, but I’m not meant to know right now. I will celebrate each day and take care of myself.
There is hope.