Four weeks pregnant – joy and disbelief

ivf-blog-mum100-pregnancy-sanity-4-weeks-pregnantThe key to serenity is to let go. Surrender the outcome; accept where I am; be at peace. Yes, yes, I know all these marvellous theories of how to live life without going crackers – but can I actually practise them?

On 25th October at 7am, two blue lines appeared. For the first time since we started trying for a baby in 2013, our result on a home pregnancy test was positive. Absolutely no squinting required. I took the test up to our bedroom. I climbed under the duvet with Dad 100. We cuddled up and gazed at the plastic stick with the turquoise lines, as if it was a magic wand.

ivf-blog-mum100-positive-pregnancy-test-hpt

We are both delighted, of course. I am also scared. Is this really happening? Can we believe in this result? In bed, I turned over the test stick to check the other side of the window; there were still two blue lines. Relief!

Later that day, I called the hospital with our result.
“Congratulations,” the nurse said. “We’ll book in your 7 week scan. Can you do Monday 14th November at 2.40pm?”

Now in ordinary circumstances, I know that is not long. But my first thought was, really? More waiting????

The three week wait

Daft as it sounds, I wasn’t expecting another wait. I hadn’t given any thought to what happens if it works. For the rest of official test day, the reassurance of those two blue lines settled my nerves. Dad 100 and I had group hugs with our growing embryos between us. I checked the test stick several times, to confirm I wasn’t imagining things.

By next morning, however, I was back in doing mode. I wanted concrete actions to take. How can I possibly wait another three weeks for the scan? I need to organise this pregnancy and fast! Dad 100 and I talked about getting blood tests done. Our new hospital doesn’t offer HCG blood tests as a standard part of the procedure. I looked up private London clinics for beta testing. I called up two clinics for prices. Later, I spoke to a friend who is at the same hospital as me. She suggested I ask the IVF nurses for a blood test, as they did one for her when she requested it.

So, in full organiser mode, I emailed the hospital:

Dear IVF Nurses,

I phoned yesterday to let you know about our positive pregnancy test. We now have our date for the 7-week scan (Monday 14th November). Thank you very much for arranging this.

We were wondering if it’s possible to have a b-HCG blood test in the next few days. We ask this because our last attempt at IVF resulted in an ectopic pregnancy and salpingectomy. It would be good to know that the levels are okay this time, as last time they were very low.

Now, that wasn’t exactly honest of me. Yes, I do have memories of what happened last time, but truthfully the email should have said this:

Please can I have a blood test, ASAP, today if possible? You see I really didn’t think there would be yet more waiting, not after doing a whole two weeks of waiting (okay technically, it was only eleven days of waiting, but it felt like forty). What do you say? Shall we do this blood test?

A nurse replied to my email:

I am happy to hear of your good news. I have spoken to one of our senior doctors in the unit and what they have advised is you come for a scan at 6 weeks instead of 7 weeks, instead of having a blood test. The blood test does not pick up an ectopic pregnancy and the results can come back normal and can still be an ectopic pregnancy. I am more than happy to book you in for your early scan. Please let me know if this is something you are happy with.

Next morning…

I did another pregnancy test (13dp6dt). This time I used a Clearblue digital pregnancy test with conception indicator. The result was good: it came up 2-3 weeks after conception (4 to 5 weeks pregnant).

ivf-blog-mum100-pregnant-2-3-weeks-clearblue-pregnancy-test-on-track

I breathed out and then I realised. I was getting it all wrong again. Now is the time to practise patience. I cannot have total reassurance every minute of the day. Say we go for that scan at six weeks and it’s too early to see a heartbeat – what then? Would I panic about not seeing the heartbeat? Or let’s say we book private blood tests. What if the results come back with HCG numbers we don’t understand? Do we pay for a private consultation, so a brand new doctor can interpret our results? Do we turn to Google? NO, PLEASE NOT GOOGLE!

Fast forwarding the tape, this need for constant reassurance never ends. If I give into the endless demands of anxiety, then I will always need the next fix. After the week 7 scan, there’s another 5-week wait until the week 12 scan. Then there’s another 8-week wait until the week 20 scan.

I may as well stick with being exactly where we are – it’s a much more hopeful place. I want to enjoy this experience as much as I can.

So, I wrote back to our hospital:

Thanks so much for coming back to me. Maybe we’ll stick with the original plan for the 7 week scan, as we’d like to be able see the heartbeat. I’m sure it’ll be fine.

It felt great to send this email – it was another surrender in this uncontrollable process. The nurse was very kind when she replied. She said we could change our mind at any time and come for an early scan. But I know that’s not what we need. Instead, we booked a free counselling appointment at the hospital. That will be far more useful than trying to project manage this pregnancy!

Week 4 pregnancy symptoms 

Throughout week four of pregnancy, I’ve had mild pregnancy symptoms – sore nipples and mild cramps. They come and go. At times, I can sense the changes going on in my body. Other times, I don’t feel anything. It is still very early days. The best symptom of all is my period is now over a week late (we’re doing an unmedicated cycle, so this is a reliable sign). I haven’t had any bleeding since the trace of spotting on day 3 past transfer. I am truly grateful for this.

Week 5 of pregnancy – commitments

To help me stay sane, I’ve made some commitments for the week ahead.

  • Enjoy where I am and be hopeful
  • Go to the London Buddhist Centre on Thursday evening for meditation and Chi Kung (deep breathing exercises)
  • Go to the fireworks on Saturday night and eat Dad 100’s chips
  • Do one final ClearBlue pregnancy test with conception indicator on Friday 4th November
  • Breathe deeply whenever I get scared
  • Do not book private blood tests
  • Do not Google any symptoms or lack of symptoms 

I’ll let you know how I get on! Thank you for always being there xxxxxxx

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17 thoughts on “Four weeks pregnant – joy and disbelief

  1. Omg omg omg!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    So happy for you! I know exactly how you’re feeling and I almost went crazy during the second two week wait. (Ours was about another two weeks after the first one.) And I know what torture the waiting is. But omg!!!! You’re pregnant! Amazing!

    If you read back through my blog (tag: cycle 2) you can see I went through all the same emotions. Didn’t sleep before the scan. Ended up going for the betas. I went to bloodtestslondon.com who did a good deal and on the day testing (£75 for two tests). It did put my mind at ease a tiny bit. Just wanted to see the numbers increase. But you do whatever you have to do.

    Wow. Totally cheered up by your news! Xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Nara!!! You are so lovely. Thank you for being there for me, all the way through. I will go back over your blogs, as it’s so helpful to read how others got through. Thank you for being so enthusiastic! That’s just so amazing x

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      1. Ha! I was so excited when I read your update. Such awesome news. I’m really happy for you and I think this will be great! I know what the anxiety is like – it is horrible – but that’s why you have fellow bloggers to be enthusiastic for you! x

        Liked by 1 person

  2. What an amazing blog entry.
    The wait after the 2ww is torture and I have to admit I did a pregnancy test every other day. I would not recommend that!
    You are going to be a mum – an amazing mum – your family will be rich and bountiful.
    I’m so proud of how you have handled everything – well done you.
    Can’t wait to follow your pregnancy too!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my lovely, thank you!!! What a kind and thoughtful message. That has really touched me. You have been such a rock for me throughout this journey so far. I am truly grateful for your support x

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  3. Nearly made me cry, in a really good way. I’m soooo pleased for you. Wonderful, wonderful news. The waiting is awful – I tested every other day for a week afterwards – don’t. There’s lots of waiting and it sucks but you just have to believe that it’ll be fine.
    Before you know it, it’ll be your first scan and then 12 weeks will have disappeared. And then like me you’ll look in the mirror, see a whale looking back and wonder where on earth the last 25 weeks went.
    Congratulations. 😊😊😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aaaah, your message has brought tears to my eyes – good tears!! You are so lovely to cheer me on in this way. It is so encouraging to know that my feelings right now have been experienced by other women. It makes me feel more normal, thank you. Haha, bring on the whale phase 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I am so incredibly happy for you. Congratulations and well done on sticking to the 7 week scan. I would have been googling way to get hold of an internal ultrasound machine, that’s just me
    Please keep us posted
    Yay!!!!!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahahahahahaha!!! Believe me, I am very tempted to march down to the hospital right now and scan myself. But thankfully, it isn’t too long now – only 11 days to go. Thank you for your lovely words xxxxxxxxx

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Wonderful news!! I’m so excited for you!

    Yes, the waiting is a fraught time. Both times I’ve been pregnant I’ve found the waiting for the first ultrasound more stressful and anxiety-provoking than the so-called dreaded 2WW. I found it helpful to break the weeks down into half-weeks.

    Also, like me, it sounds like your instincts are good, so try to let them—and not your fear—guide you. I’d ask myself if I genuinely felt that something was wrong, or if it was the terror of miscarrying again doing the talking. It was a technique that served me very well for the 37 weeks I was pregnant with my daughter.

    And, finally, if you don’t see a heartbeat at 7 weeks, don’t fret. Sometimes you don’t, although there’s a chance you will.

    May this be the beginning of a beautiful 9 months! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Lauren. What a helpful comment! It’s so great to hear how people have coped with the early stages of pregnancy. I like what you say about breaking the time down into smaller sections. It really does work. Thank you so much for your good wishes x

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