On betas and telling.

Dr. Text was not happy with the spotting.  “I’m not happy with the spotting.” he said, frowning at us across the desk.

Sea and I were both at Clinic One for the third beta this morning.  I woke up early, I haven’t been sleeping well, and was quietly showering when I saw Sea stumble out of bed.  I assured her that she didn’t have to join me on this early morning bloodletting jaunt, but she was determined to be there for one of the few visits where she didn’t have to be at her office instead.

My favourite blood drawing miracle worker was on shift and greeted me by name before I had even had time to sign in on the clipboard.  I quickly drank some holy water before following her to the familiar room.  She efficiently took blood from my arm, and I asked her to make the numbers high for me.

Soon after, a brusque Dr. Text called us into an office.  Clinic One was closing early that morning, for a reason left unexplained, and Dr. Text was clearly in a hurry.  “We have a couple of questions,” I began politely.  “First of all, weren’t my first two betas high?”  “No.” he responded, “Next question.”  Well then.  I asked about the spotting, which he took more time on.  The spotting has ceased over the past day and a half (knock on wood), and I was beginning to reassure myself that it might be okay.  Dr. Text took a much more pessimistic approach.  “I’m not happy with the spotting,” he said, frowning at us across his desk.  I was thrown off by this sterner version of Dr. Text, not knowing how to respond to his frown or the most depressing pep talk that followed. He explained that miscarriages happen, that if one did happen it wouldn’t be my fault, that a bad egg or bad sperm was to blame.  The most awkward doctor-patient conversation then began, as he inquired about factors that may have influenced the spotting.  “No penetration, of course, with anything.” he began.  “And when you use the progesterone, do you use lubricant?  Are you wet enough naturally?”  I answered his questions, simultaneously hoping that I wasn’t blushing and considering how unlikely it was that I would find myself talking to a man about penetration, lube and the relative moistness of my vagina.  As Justin Bieber says: never say never.

Hours later, Nurse Brittany called.  My HCG level is a (very) healthy 2633 at 19 days past ovulation.

On a different note, Sea and I have a question.  When did you/would you tell people about a pregnancy?  Friends, parents, extended family, coworkers, bus drivers, cats, etc.?


11 thoughts on “On betas and telling.

  1. So glad everything is ok! What an awkward convo with dr text-made me cringe/blush and I don’t even know you! Telling people is such a touchy subject because of superstition or fear of having to retract the announcement if something bad happens, or maybe it’s trying to hang on to the one thing you hve control over in this crazy TTC process. Personally, I think being able to share the fears and joys with close loved ones will be helpful. As for work I guess it all depends on what kind of stress your job poses and if you’ll need some accommodating. As for the cats, no time is a good time to tell them they won’t be the center of attention! Good luck!

  2. OMG that conversation with Dr text is unbelievable!
    Your HCG levels sound great and it sounds like things are progressing well!
    As for telling people, well both our cat and dog know already and are bearing the brunt of my moodiness and sore boobs when the cat tries to climb on my chest! We have told close friends and family all of which knew we were trying so it was hard to hide it from them! I believe it’s ok to share early on, but we are holding off telling everyone until 12 weeks due to an array of awkward reasons! I also find it hard to hide the excitement I feel, as well as finding excuses for my not feeling well and tiredness!

  3. Oh man. So awkward. I’ve always figured we will tell the people who are a close part of our everyday lives – our parents, brothers, very close friends, and close colleagues. I figure all of those folks are people whose support I would want in the event of a miscarriage, so there’s no awkwardness. But a lot of folks I know have decided to tell virtually no one until after the first trimester. I’m not a good secret keeper and err on the side of disclosure. Plus I’ve already told a lot of folks we are trying so . . .i may not be a good advice giver in this particular scenario.

  4. That conversation makes me squirm a little even from here, but I’m very glad to hear a rising number.

    My rule was that I told the people I would want very specific kinds of support from in case of a miscarriage, and no one else. Except for the one friend who asked a pretty innocent question I completely failed to have a ready lie for. We told him. We got married around week 8, so we told our extended families, but not the guests at large. Our parents had known about the whole process, so we told them early. And maybe a couple of other friends, but only very close ones. Oh, and the Internet.

    Everyone’s comfort level on this stuff is different. For me, the idea of having to “untell” was sufficiently horrific to keep me in check until after the end of first trimester ultrasound looked good. There isn’t a right way, but when not-close friends tell me very early, I frankly feel uneasy sometimes, except in cases where they have made clear that they are, for instance, sharing news early because they would ask for broad support in case of a miscarriage. I can think of one instance of a friend who told everyone (and I mean everyone) very early, then did have a loss and asked the community to grieve with her in a very formal way. That worked for her and changed my knee-jerk negative reaction to the idea of sharing early news.

  5. OMG! Going through this process you think you’ve experienced the most embarrassing of things but my god that conversation is cringe worthy! I don’t know how u managed to keep a straight face or stop yourself from turning scarlet! Glad to see your HCG is at a good level, I wish you a happy and healthy 9 months. As for telling people I’m a firm believer in the 3 month rule but I know that it is a bit old fashioned! I would tell my close family though and due to my job would need to inform them straight away. It depends on your job type I suppose. Good luck x

  6. Well, I did cringe and tensed my shoulders reading about your convo with Dr. Text. Now I can’t wait to repeat it with my wife and make sure she is sufficiently moist for the progesterone suppository. Aye.

    I’m so happy to hear there is good news. Now, stop googling! And geez, can’t Dr. Text have a little more professional optimism?

    Please keep writing frequently. You are helping me through the longest TWW ever.

  7. Oh, on telling. Hmm. I have a lot of thoughts about this. If I had not told a lot of folks about this process, I’d stick to immediate family (my mom and R’s mom, our siblings, and maybe 3-4 very close, old friends). However, our three year battle with infertility has completely depleted my social reserves and I’ve become a broken vessel. I simply cannot hold all this in any longer. I’m exhausted from my efforts to dodge broad dinner table questions about our desire for kids, constructing socially acceptable, vague answers to benign questions like “So what’s new with you guys?”-it all became too much for me. So we’ve slowly started telling extended family, our wider circle of friends and coworkers (the latter was kind of necessary given the sudden 2 week disappearance from work/life), and honestly it’s a huge relief. But it places us in pickle because now all those people will probably start asking if it worked. I don’t know yet whether it will be more important to have the support or the privacy.

  8. I’m glad to hear that the beta numbers are going up so well! And I hate to say it, but you might as well just get used to awkward discussions with doctors now.

    As for telling… our general rule of thumb has always been that at least in the first trimester, we tell the people we would want to know if we had a miscarriage. Which is a slightly morbid way of looking at it, I suppose, but has worked as a litmus test for us. And having been there, done that, “untelling” sucks, but the whole situation sucked. That I had to let some people who care about us and who offered support know wasn’t the worst part of it, you know? But I’m also glad it wasn’t the subject of office gossip, too.

    Someone we know in a professional capacity told us that she was pregnant pretty much as soon as she found out (we’d known she was trying), and then never mentioned it again. I don’t know the details, but she pretty obviously lost the pregnancy (what with the whole she never got any bigger, and never mentioned having an infant thing). But there was an awkward period where we were wondering what was going on, and didn’t want to ask, because we didn’t want to pry, but didn’t want it to seem like we didn’t care… Yeah, awkward. So there’s that, too.

  9. What a bizarre conversation with your doctor! It sounds like he was scolding you for the spotting, which isn’t exactly something that you have any control over. And then his follow-up questions!!!???? Yikes!
    So glad to hear that the spotting has stopped (knock on wood) and the numbers keep going up. Hooray!

  10. What an awkward conversation, I impressed you managed to keep control and limit your blushing – I sure couldnt. We told close friends right away, as we wanted to share the excitement. However, we dont plan on telling the world until 12 weeks; however we are doing that because some of our family is very negative and wont take the news well so we want to avoid as much stress as possible in the first trimester.

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