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.