My hCG (pregnancy hormone) level was 2,000 on Thursday, which was on the low end of the range of probable viability given previous levels. It should have gone up to at least 5,000 by today (Monday). Instead, it dropped to 310. Which means that, barring a true miracle, the second embryo — Summer — seems to be on the way out.
I’m still pregnant, but barely, and not for long.
We don’t know what went wrong. Both embryos may have been chromosomally non-viable (about half of embryos on average are chromosomally non-viable, so two in a row isn’t exactly unheard of). Or Ahmed and I may have some kind of rare genetic imcompatibility. Our IVF protocol might not have been optimized for our individual situation. (It’s a huge guessing game for the most part, since the human reproductive system is so wildly complex.) My immune system may be overactive and attack the embryos. Or it could just be a string of bad luck. I’ve seen people have longer such strings.
Or can a miscarriage of one twin endanger the other? Can the powerful Doppler ultrasound we did after the first miscarriage have possibly pushed the rattled second embryo over the edge? Do I have some kind of previously undetected borderline clotting or bleeding disorder? What about my thyroid levels? Would more precise control have made a difference? What if I’d had zero caffeine instead of very little (well below the recommended 200mg or less per day)?
So many questions. I wish we at least had some answers.
Sadly, once we’re no longer pregnant, insurance kicks us to the curb for anything related to trying to have kids. So it’ll be costly to find out any answers, if it’s even possible.
We’re letting the news sink in a bit before deciding what to do next. It may involve a West Coast road trip (Grand Canyon, California, Oregon), or we may just lie low for a while, exercise a lot (at least I can play soccer again), be as healthy as we can, and try naturally for a few months.
We still have the three embryos on ice in Istanbul (day 3 cleavage stage embryos), but it’s pretty rough (and expensive) to keep going through this. It’ll be a lot more rough, and a lot more expensive, if those three don’t work out, either.
I just don’t know. Hopefully things will be a bit clearer in a few days (or years).
UPDATE: It’s not fun to talk about this in public. The only worse thing I can imagine is for it to happen and not to tell anyone and just pretend everything is perfectly fine / normal.
Thanks for sharing in the excitement of my first pregnancy, short-lived as it was. (It felt like an eternity.) Here’s hoping it’s not my last.
May 23 (the due date) will always be Summer and Nymeria’s unofficial birthday. Godspeed, kids.