You would think getting a positive pregnancy test would be all you need to believe you’re pregnant but that’s not my experience.
I found it took a long time for the news to sink and then I started to question if this pregnancy was real.
One of the downsides to online forums is you hear about “chemical pregnancies” which were news to me. And they’re scary. Chemical pregnancies are an early miscarriage and take place before anything can seen on an ultrasound scan – so before 6 or 7 weeks. The cruel thing is, you have produced enough of the HCG hormone to give you a positive test but the pregnancy fails almost immediately. Within a few days HCG levels have dropped sufficiently that you no longer get a positive test. Chemical pregnancies are more prevalent among women who have been through IVF as we test early. Most women who conceive without assistance don’t realise they are pregnant until they miss a period and, at that stage, you are much less likely to have a chemical pregnancy. The problem is exacerbated by the current home pregnancy tests with their ability to detect a pregnancy early on. Knowledge of chemical pregnancies puts a new slant on your positive pregnancy test – will this embryo stay with me?
The thought of a chemical pregnancy was exacerbated in my case by my continued lack of symptoms. Some women start to feel nauseous (or may even vomit), need to wee more often and/or feel unusually tired early on in their pregnancy and these are reassuring signs. But I continued to be free of symptoms. How do you know you’re pregnant when you don’t feel any different?
So I did what I suspect most women do…..kept testing. I went and bought another twin pack of tests and re-tested a few days apart. Thankfully, as you can see, the second line on the test kept getting darker and darker as my HCG levels began to rise. I was slowly starting to believe I may be pregnant but, even then, at the back of my mind, I was still dreading a miscarriage.
I did start the ball rolling, though, and made that first appointment with the midwife at the GP surgery which was one of the most surreal phone calls I’ve ever made. I never ever thought I’d be going to see a midwife and I was worried about the reaction I might get. At this point I was just about still 49yrs old but my 50th was looming. How would NHS employees react to my age?
While running the gauntlet of the Two Week Wait, you’ll need to decide whether to test before the official test date (OTD) given to you by your clinic, or not, & it’s a toughie. Of course, if you’re pregnant you want to know asap but are you ready to handle yet another negative pregnancy test? And, if it’s a no, is it a real no, or have you just tested too soon? Home pregnancy tests only work when there is enough of the pregnancy hormone HCG in your urine and, if your embryo was a late implanter, then you may take a little longer than the next woman to reach the required level so testing early may give you a false negative. But just remember if you test early “It Ain’t Over till OTD.”
In my case, I had a blastocyst (usually a 5 day old embryo that has developed normally) transferred and was asked to test 12 days after transfer. The online forums may refer to this as 12dp5dt (12 days past a 5 day transfer). I made a mistake and tested impulsively 10dp5dt and got a negative but I had multiplied the mistake by testing in the afternoon and using a poor quality test. I also had a full bladder so, if there were any hormones in there, they were no doubt well diluted! As I had a complex transfer and no definite symptoms during the two week wait then the result was no surprise to me. I was convinced it hadn’t worked anyway. So I decided to wait a couple of days until my OTD to confirm it hadn’t worked and focussed instead on the two frozen embryos I had waiting for me.
My OTD was a Sunday morning. I woke up quite early and snuck off to the bathroom. I’d bought a supermarket own brand test as I figured all I was doing was confirming a negative. I honestly could not believe my eyes when the second line started appearing almost immediately and it was a definite strong line – take a look at the picture! After staring at it for a few seconds and looking at the instructions again to check the result actually meant positive, I wandered in to a drowsy Mike and mumbled “I think it might have worked”. He, of course, had no idea what I was going on about. I managed to burble out enough sense to get him to come into the bathroom to check the test himself. A definite positive result.
I suspect all couples act differently when faced with a positive pregnancy test. Mike and I reacted with utter shock, no tears, no elation, no jumping up and down, just pure shock. I think we had each convinced ourselves we couldn’t be so lucky for this to work first time and my lack of symptoms had reinforced our belief. We just hugged, stared at each other, stared at the test again and honestly the fact that I was pregnant just would not sink in. I spent the morning going back and looking at the test every 10 minutes or so. But it would not sink in.
But I was, I really was pregnant. OMG…….I am going to have my first child at 50yrs…..