Super-Bad (or Why I Will Never Be a Rogue Foreign Spy)

My next appointment at the RE’s office is not until Monday, 19 November — two weeks from today. I don’t know how I am going to make it. As much as the betas stressed me out, at least I had some clue what was going on in my body. Now, I just wait. This is the time that everything went down the crapper in the last two pregnancies, so this is an especially tortuous wait for the 6.5 week ultrasound.

So I came up with The Plan.

I would buy a ton of inexpensive pregnancy tests and I would take one every day, noting how long it had been since my latest HCG shot. If the lines get darker between the day I take the shot and the subsequent days later (I take the shot every 3.5 days), it means that the HCG levels in my body were going up as the HCG from the shot would be slowly leaving my system. Yes, it is in the words of Mr. MC a “crude, analog method,” but barring access to a lab, this will have to do.

The first trick was to buy lots of inexpensive pregnancy tests. Admittedly, going to the Dollar Tree and buying twelve pregnancy tests at a time is kind of a weird thing to do on a Saturday afternoon. These are an essential part of The Plan, however, so off I went. I also threw in a gift bag (so as not to look too suspicious) and stood in the very long check-out line. When I finally got to the cashier, she scans about 4 tests and then asks (loudly, I might add) “So, you just want to be sure, huh?” Now, two thoughts entered my mind. The first was to quietly mention that I am pregnant, hopped up on all kinds of hormones, and in a very bad mood; I would then bitch-slap her into next week. The second was to inform her that I had just had another miscarriage and was waiting for my HCG to return to zero; I would then start to cry (which I could do on cue given all the hormones) and thank her for reminding me that I had lost yet another baby. What I actually said was “You have no idea.” Ms. Sassy-Cashier then said (loudly, again) “Ohhhhhhh, I can use my imagination.” She was almost done scanning them, so I just smiled and told her I was using them to monitor hormone levels. I so should have gone for the bitch-slapping option.

When one decides on The Plan, one needs to put it into action as soon as possible.

I sat in my car, emptied the contents of one of the boxes into my purse, and then realized that these pregnancy tests are cartridges that come with little droppers. They do not, however, come with a cup or anything in which to deposit your precious data-filled urine. That is when I remember an essential detail: the Barnes and Noble next door had a Starbucks and they have a table where they leave out pitchers of water and little plastic cups. Score!

When one is actually in the Starbucks at Barnes and Noble, the key is to look nonchalant as you saunter up to the counter and discreetly take a plastic cup. I put a little bit of water in mine and swirled it around a little, so no one would suspect what I was really going to do with it. I stealthily made my way to the restrooms, only to discover a “NOT IN SERVICE” sign on the women’s restroom. “NOT IN SERVICE?” This was so not part of The Plan. Thankfully, a little man popped his head out of the supply closet and asked me if it was an “emergency.” Hmmm. Is peeing in a Starbuck’s cup and then taking a pregnancy test when you already know you are pregnant just to try and monitor your hormone levels via the darkness and thickness of the lines on a one-dollar pregnancy test really an emergency? “Yes,” I said, “it really is an emergency.”

. . . . .

That was Saturday. It is now Friday and I am happy to report that The Plan has been a success. I can see a rise in my HCG after the shot, but the lines are continuing to get darker, even after the HCG in the shot has been metabolized. Most importantly, it makes me feel better. Two weeks is a long time to go without any data, and this is helping me stay sane until the 6.5 week ultrasound.

Even better, I almost threw-up when taking my pills this morning. I am not actively nauseous, but my gag-reflex is in overdrive.

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November 9, 2007. Pregnancy #3.

13 Comments

  1. niobe replied:

    I like the plan. My only question would be whether, at some point, the second line would be so dark that you wouldn’t be able to see that it was getting darker.

  2. Ms. Planner replied:

    Now you can obsess over how dark the line is.. brilliant!

    The wait between your last beta and the first u/sound is brutal. Hang in there.

  3. Rachel replied:

    This sounds like a plan I would come up with but never execute.

    The ultrasound will be here before you know it. Good luck waiting.

  4. Rachel replied:

    Clearly, there should be a magnifying glass and Pantone color chart in The Plan. Alternately, there are very expensive electronic devices made for print shops to determine the specifics of a spot of color. You know, if you want to go all out.
    Also, you had a perfect excuse, with your gift bag and bajillion tests – party favors for a shower. It’s funnier if you say “wedding” instead of “baby” shower, IMHO.
    Good luck with the wait!

    (The other Rachel)

  5. kona replied:

    Here’s another idea for your plan…(which is similar to my crazy plan to monitor HCG when I had no betas ordered)…buy HPTs at different levels of HCG detection. Some monitor at 25, some at 50, some at 100!!I started with the 25s, moved to 50 then 100. I would buy the 100 HCG level ones and see how long it took for them to go from faint line to really dark.Multiple brands also!Hey, that checker at the store was so rude!!! You should have told her off. I am tired of people being so rude. That is why I will order stuff off drugstore.com sometimes. I don’t appreciate hearing commentary on my purchases (same goes for UC meds- which believe it or not, some rude pharmacy techs had the gall to chuckle over- I was ready to throttle them!!!) Good luck and hope the U/S wait goes by fast.

  6. Wendy replied:

    Call Dr SBS and tell him that you really want an US before 6 weeks. Tell them that you just need reassurance that you are still pregnant and could they just ease your mind. Also, ask them to continue to do repeat HCG tests every other day and also keep track of your progesterone. I think they will understand. In fact, I know that they will understand. So that and come back and report. LOL, or ignore me and stick with your original plan which is fine too! I just know how hard it is during these early days. There is more they can do, at the very least, monitor your Beta’s so you know they are doubling every other day.
    Wendy

  7. dolly replied:

    You are funny.

    I can see the scene in a movie, something Bridget Jonesy (I didn’t actually care for that one). I wish I could have seen you at the coffee shop, I wonder if they have a surveillance camera?

    Congrats, hope your plan helps your head. You could write a book!

    Speaking of books, there was a dopey book called “the thin pink line” that could be a kind of funny read. While utter fluff, it’s about a girl who fakes a pregnancy and is funny.

    Thanks for the update.

  8. Meg replied:

    What a funny story, I enjoyed reading. Your appt is getting much closer! I will be thinking of you and sending only good luck on the 19th….

  9. Denise replied:

    Since we don’t know each other, it would be impossible for you to know how strongly I’m rooting for you (grow, homie, grow!). My husband and I just suffered our third consecutive loss (but who’s counting, right?!) on Wednesday. Knowing we’re not the only ones facing this struggle has been a huge source of comfort as we try to make sense of it all. But mostly we appreciate your humor and sanity, and you’ve given us some ideas for next steps. Please keep writing!

    PS: Wish us luck — we’re off to commit the ultimate act of masochism: a trip to Whole Foods, Home of the Smug Mommies. It’s actually part of my “re-entry” plan. And it’s better than going to my best friend’s baby shower — also today.

  10. annsnyc replied:

    Wow – you’re hardcore girl, and I love it!

    Oddly I have always dreaded the cashier questioning my excessive HPT purchases but have never had the opportunity to snap at anyone for doing so. In an odd way, I envy you for this.

    Weird I know, but you and I both know how unbalanced the hormones can make us gals feel.

  11. annsnyc replied:

    PS: This is Anns at A Brief History of You.. I’m not sure why I never show as logged in when I comment on your site… HELP!

  12. missedconceptions replied:

    Denise — Ahhhhh, Whole Foods: Where all the self-righteous fertiles shop. I know it well.

    Niobe — Yes, that is a theoretical concern. I hope, however, that I will have definitive “pregnancy symptoms” or a viable heart rate by the time the lines get that dark. I will then have to come up with THE PLAN, PART II, which is still in its early stages, but does not involve the Dollar Store.

  13. funfacts replied:

    I was searching for this kind of a blog for months now. Actually lost the hope of finding one, but here i am πŸ™‚ Thanks for the great articles! Looking forward for a little read after dinner πŸ™‚

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