I’ve gotten pretty good at the two-week wait over the years. I am a model of patience and restraint: I never test before a missed period anymore (why would I? It’s just a waste of a pregnancy test that I most likely wouldn’t need if I just waited for my period to come in its own time). I’ve been pregnant five times, which means a heck of a lot of two-week waits, so I guess I’ve finally worn down my anticipation.
But the two-week wait after the two-week wait? That’s a whole different story.
In my four previous pregnancies, I’ve always had an ultrasound at 6 weeks. In our first pregnancy it was because we’d had some difficulty conceiving and were being followed by the RE, and after that it was because I was supposed to start Lovenox at the first sign of viability.
That first six-week ultrasound was magical. We saw a heartbeat right away. There was a living creature. Inside of me! It was amazing! I was elated! I cried! I fell in love at first sight. It was just incredible. Later we found out it was a daughter, and that was a magical moment as well. There was so much anticipation in that pregnancy. Which probably made it all that much harder when it ended at 18 weeks.
Since then, the six-week ultrasound has been a different story. I am more wary, guarded, less attached to that little bean, less surprised whether I see a heartbeat or not, more clinical as I interrogate the ultrasound tech. In my fourth pregnancy, I warned the ultrasound tech before she started that pregnancy didn’t tend to go well for me, so I wasn’t expecting good news. Why did I feel like I needed to warn her? Indeed, when she had nothing but bad news to give me after that ultrasound, she was fine. I was the one who held it together until my doctor asked how I wanted to end the pregnancy, and then I lost it. The six-week ultrasound has gone well for me twice, and poorly for me twice, and even in the cases where it has gone well, only half of the outcomes (i.e., one) were positive.
Same with betas. I’ve had betas drawn in three pregnancies: my first, second, and fourth. They’ve always been great — I’ve never had a bad hCG draw. (I say, knocking on wood, waiting anxiously for the second round of betas for my current pregnancy.) Yet 2/3 of the pregnancies with good betas have ended poorly. So you’d think I’d be over them by now. But here I sit, the night after my 2nd hCG draw in my 5th pregnancy, unable to concentrate on putting together my lecture for tomorrow because I’m wondering what’s going on with my betas.
After everything that’s happened, I don’t trust betas, and I don’t trust the six-week ultrasound. But… I still get so obsessed with waiting for the results! I’ve been thinking and worrying about them all day. The two weeks after the two-week wait, while I wait for blood test results and ultrasound results, feel like the longest weeks of the whole pregnancy. (Except for the days after my due date in my pregnancy with my son — those were truly the longest days of the entire pregnancy. Each one felt like a week!) I torture myself: have they not called yet because the news is bad, and they want to wait to deliver bad news tomorrow? Even if everything’s fine with the betas, it’ll be two weeks before I can have the ultrasound, due to some poorly-timed travel… how will I make it that long???
At least if the news is bad, I won’t have to wait long to find out what’s going to happen in this pregnancy. The only way I was able to make it through my pregnancy with my son was through continuous distraction. So I’m just going to try to distract myself like crazy for the next two weeks. Traveling to the conference next week will help. Afternoons with a toddler who demands all of my attention will help. What else will help? How do you survive the two-week wait after the two-week wait?