Good betas

Well, I’ve got good betas.  Friday’s number: 926.  Monday’s number: 2500-something.  Doubling time: just under 48 hours.  Right on the money.

Of course, I’ve been here before.  At least three times, to be precise (we didn’t have betas drawn for the fourth pregnancy, so I don’t know if they were good or bad).  One of those times resulted in a live birth, and the others didn’t.  So, while this is an encouraging development, I’m not exactly counting any chickens just yet.

I also wanted to record a conversation that has been bugging me all day.  I was walking to a faculty meeting in a different building with my department chair, who also happens to be the closest member of my department to me in age, and with whom I am friendly.  He is currently the only person in the department who knows that I have had three miscarriages, including two since S’s birth.  As we headed over to lunch he said: “Oh, I just sent you an email about this, but remember my recent postdoc X and his wife Y?  Well, X just sent me the news that Y is 9 weeks pregnant and wanted me to share it with everyone!”

I said, “That’s great. [pause] Wow, 9 weeks… oh, to be that optimistic… But, good for them.  I’m happy for them.”

And he just kept talking, as though it was nothing.

Now, I know and like this guy.  I don’t think he meant to upset me.  But it was upsetting.  I was able to handle it OK in the moment, I think… I only expressed the twinge of wistfulness about feeling confident enough to announce a pregnancy to an entire department of your former mentors and colleagues at 9 weeks(!).  But… I would much rather have gotten the news by email, in the privacy of my office, where I could work through my feelings without needing to respond in the moment.  There was no reason for him to bring it up with me in person, other than general cluelessness surrounding my feelings about early pregnancy.  I get that he was excited for his former mentee — my colleague is a father of three young kids, and just loves babies and little kids.  I just wish he had been even a little bit sensitive to the fact of my previous losses, when clearly it didn’t even occur to him that this news might hit a nerve for me.  It made me feel lonely, and reinforced the reality that most people, perhaps especially men, don’t understand the emotional impact of pregnancy loss, particularly recurrent pregnancy loss, on women.  What it communicated to me was that he doesn’t see my losses as a big deal, and doesn’t even understand that they might be a big deal for me.

Of course, it helped that I was able to hear the news while I was pregnant, rather than two weeks ago when the testing and treatment seemed to be dragging out interminably.  It’s amazing what an emotional roller coaster every pregnancy is for me, even the fifth one.  You can bet I wasn’t in the mood to tell my chair that I was pregnant (I mean, 5 weeks is basically like 9 weeks, amirite?!), but at least I was able to feel a little bit hopeful, and then getting the news of good betas later in the day helped me feel even more hopeful.

Now I have to wait two weeks for that all-important heartbeat ultrasound, since I’ll be traveling from the 12th to the 16th of the month.  Please keep sending good wishes, especially until then!

8 thoughts on “Good betas

  1. jwhitworth7

    I know that the betas don’t necessarily mean anything BUT it is a step in the right direction. Much better than them not doubling. Will you have another draw?

    Also, ugh. I totally get your feelings about the conversation. I truly think it’s due to the fact he’s a man. I could totally see my husband doing something like this. Even to this day he’ll tell me his friends are pregnant with their third or fourth and it feels like a punch to the stomach. I’m sorry that happened. And a 9 week announcement? If only we could all be so excited that early.

    1. lyra211 Post author

      No more draws… our RE goes to ultrasound once you’re over 2000, so that’s it for me. When the nurse called with the results yesterday I tried to ask her about the fact that I wasn’t going to be able to come in for the ultrasound until I got back from my trip, but this nurse is the least sympathetic and willing to talk through options of any I’ve ever encountered, so she just gave me blank silence and I didn’t think to ask about extra betas. Ah, well… it’s not as though they’d change anything anyway — just might dial down my anxiety a notch.

      I think you’re right that it’s because he’s a man. It makes me feel a little bit lonely to think that men (most men, anyway) will never understand what it’s like to have multiple or late pregnancy losses. But, thankfully there are women out there like you who get it, so that makes me feel much less lonely!

      1. jwhitworth7

        That’s totally understandable. I think I asked for an extra draw with Luke (I’ve only done betas with him) but I was still so nervous for that ultrasound.

        I know. I’m not sure that men will ever truly understand. How can they? Your story reminded me that the day I found out I was pregnant with Luke I overheard a teacher in the lounge say she was pregnant to another teacher. I was crushed. Here I had a sliver of hope with no evidence things would be okay and here she was gushing about her pregnancy to someone else. It hurts. I still get annoyed when my family sends me screen shots of pregnancy announcements from friends and family. I don’t think I’ll ever not feel that way.

        Good luck these next two weeks!

  2. My Perfect Breakdown

    I echo the above – good betas are a good step in the right direction. I’ll keep hoping for more good updates.
    And I too get your feelings from that conversation! To this day I hate pregnancy announcements, especially early announcements. I suspect I always will.

  3. RJ

    Good news, but I can understand your hesitation to celebrate. I hope this next TWW goes quickly since you will be traveling.

    And a huge bummer about your coworker. I had a friend’s husband basically say that a miscarriage is no big deal. It was really hurtful, especially since he had no experience with it (2 easily conceived and easy pregnancies). I was really hurt for a long time, and it made it really hard to talk to that friend about anything anymore. Sending love!

  4. sbach1222

    Good Betas are step 1 (well, step 2 after BFP I suppose).

    And people that haven’t been through it, REALLY don’t get it. And they never will. As much as they say “I have a friend who…” and “I feel really bad…” etc. they don’t understand. I think the only thing that makes sense is if they say “I can’t even imagine.” Because they really can’t.

    And I think that once you already have a child, they somehow think that things don’t sting or hurt anymore, or that they shouldn’t. But of course it still hurts!! It still stings and it probably always will. And I am so sorry that he doesn’t understand it. It is just another one of those crappy parts of being in the club. But you aren’t alone. There are so many of us here that understand and feel your pain. And we are all hoping and praying for this pregnancy to become your second child.

    Thinking of you.

  5. xykademiqz

    Yay! I am totally going out to say this one will stick and it’s a girl and it will all be rainbows and unicorns and happiness! *insert rainbows and unicorns and happiness (puppies?) emoji here*


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