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!