My hCG levels aren’t dropping. I’m definitely not viably pregnant – they should be at least 8,000 by now, and mine are hovering around 130 – but nor am I moving towards a place where we can try to conceive again. A not-pregnant level is < 5 and my body is unlikely to ovulate until it reaches that point.
I had no idea this could happen. I thought once they started to come down, they would continue to fall. I didn’t expect that a week later they would have risen slightly. No one told me that after a miscarriage it’s normal for it to take up to six weeks for hCG to return to normal, and I still don’t know whether what my body’s doing is normal.
It feels like the final straw. I kept it together during the bleeding, the initial too-low levels, the day where I was told the pregnancy could still be viable in the morning and found out it wasn’t in the afternoon, but this is too much to take. I’m grieving too much to be functional. I thought I was aware of my loss before, but it feels like it’s only just hit.
I think the failure of my hCG to come back down does make it all worse. It’s not just that I’m impatient to try again, it’s the horrible feeling of being in limbo. I can’t move on from the miscarriage while I still feel nauseous and have sore boobs and have to report to the clinic for weekly pregnancy tests. I can’t come to terms with what’s happened when no one will yet tell me what has happened (I’m referring it to a miscarriage for the sake of simplicity, but I guess it could still be a failing or ectopic pregnancy). I can’t draw hope from thinking about our next cycle of treatment when no one can realistically tell me when that might be. I’m stuck in some sort of no man’s land that I had no idea existed, and my body’s failure to either sustain the embryo or miscarry it properly makes me feel like a freak.
I’m also frustrated at how little information I’ve been getting from the nurses in the clinic. With the obvious exception of my levels, all the facts in the first two paragraphs have come from my own internet research. To be fair, I think the fault is with the system rather than individual nurses: results become available an hour before the clinic closes, the lines are usually busy and the nurses understandably have other patients to talk to. I get a far better response if I ask my questions when I go in for blood tests, but then a few hours later the result comes back and the answers are out of date – hence Rollercoaster Wednesday.
At least I have a slightly better idea of what to expect now. I know the levels could do anything next week. I know they might take another three weeks to come down, and if the clinic then makes me wait for a period before trying again, the earliest our next cycle of treatment could be would be mid November. I know that “waiting and seeing”, if it works, is better for my fertility than drug or surgical interventions. And I’m going into the clinic next week armed with a list of questions. I hope I get a receptive nurse.