Neither here nor there

Move along people, nothing to see here. We may have a possible beta (202) from last Friday's blood draw - 14dp3dt - but then again, it could just be part of a phone number, a random lab tech's favourite digits, or a blood sample categorisation number. Who knows? I know the woman at the GP's office doesn't.

I phoned up the GP on Tuesday to see if my results were in yet. Herein is the abridged transcript:

Me: Hi, this is Ms Pru, I'm calling to check on results of my blood test.

Ignorant bitchslut from hell: What kind of blood test?

Me: Beta/hcg

Her: Uh...yeah. Let me look...oh. Oh. Hmmm...yeah, it's uh, positive for pregnancy.

Me: Oooook...is there a number included?

Her: :::incredulously:::: What kind of number?

Me: I don't know, that's why I'm asking. Hopefully a high one, a beta.

Her: I don't know what that is, but there is a 202 or something on the form.

Me: Do you think that could be it?

Her: I have absolutely no idea. Does that sound like what you're looking for?

Me: Uh, maybe.

Her: So anyway, it's positive for pregnancy. Is that everything?

Me: It appears that way, yes. Thank you.

It's so easy in their world, isn't it? You pee on some sticks that say you're pregnant, a blood test says you're pregnant and that's it. I'm a freak for wanting to get a rough idea of viability.

After this debacle, I called WHYBAML's office. I spoke to his lovely practice nurse, who in comparison to IBSFH was an absolute dream despite not telling me what I wanted to hear. I was hoping to squeeze a scan in before I left for the States on Sunday, as we will then be away until 2 January. If this whole thing is to be believed, I am 5w5d today, which I know is a push for a scan which would be at the very latest, 6 weeks, but I thought I'd try. No dice. I would have to wait until I get back, and probably wouldn't get one until 4 or 5 January at the very earliest. That didn't go down well in Pruland because it is hard enough being in limbo now, let alone all the way to 8 weeks and some days without a scan.

This is where it gets tricky. I have had to draft in my Mom, which means I had to make with the "pregnancy" announcement last night on the phone. My Mom never takes no for an answer, so I thought she'd be the perfect person to try and get me a scan while I'm in the States, despite not being a patient of any local clinic. I feel evil getting my Mom to do my dirty work, but she seems content given the circumstances. I hope it works out in our favour. I can't imagine not being able to see anything until 8 1/2 weeks. Does anyone happen to know if my plan is feasible? I have attempted to block out all memories of the US healthcare system, so I have no idea if I'm asking for the moon on a stick (I have no idea what that means, but I like it).

Meanwhile, in a world consumed with doubt and self-pity, I'm trying to keep The Dude from being too optimistic. I have explained to him that this could all go tits up in a moment's notice, but he's just too damn excited. It makes me sad really, knowing how desperately he has wanted this to happen. I'm hopeful that either Bertrand or Enid (this is the non-slow embryo) hang on and develop into one of those real live baby things I've heard so much about. If it does, I'll have to tell him to stop calling it Embryo Fred, because Bertrand and Enid are far more fetching names for embryos.

Moving right along, I want to thank everyone for all the fantastic and supporting comments you have left lately. When I say that I don't know what I'd do without all of you, I mean it from the very bottom of my selfish, canary-loving heart. I would certainly lose my way without the infertile brethren contingent. That said, I would like to apologise for not commenting on many blogs as of late, or for that matter, much ever. I'm a really dull commenter and feel tremendously inadequate when so many of you are beautifully eloquent and say such heartfelt things. I can generally only muster a, "Uhh...durrr...I'm....duhhh...sorry to hear you're upset." before shuffling off to read more blogs. Rest assured I am reading, and often many posts make me cry like the poor excuse for a bitter cynic that I am.


Vacant Uterus said...

Isn't part of the American Dream being able to have scans gratuitously whenever you want? I don't think you should have a problem getting one, although it may cost you the moon on a stick. At the very least, the nearest comet made of cosmic dust on a stick.

Lori said...

If you can't get a scan, maybe a little blood test at the local Planned Parenthood. They do betas - and they know what those numbers mean (apparently a key factor!). I hope you can get some reassurance soon.

elle said...

Well, I can't imagine getting a scan would be very difficult. It's paying for said scan that could be problematic. But I hope like hell it's all good. And you know what? The chance that it is, the odds, are overwhelmingly in your favor! Really!

zhl said...

Woo hoo. So happy that you got your positive beta and that the numbers look good. I would imagine you could get a scan in the US. At my old RE, it was far easier to get an appointment if you were willing to drop your drawers and let him play dildocam hockey, so I'm sure if you make that offer you'll be taken up on it.

Have a wonderful holiday.

thalia said...

Oh Ms Pru, it's so tough isn't it - when will you feel able to start believing? You are most certainly pregnant, whatever the ignorant nurse from hell doesn't know. But I know that you know that, it's the whether or not it will hang on that you are anxious about. Be careful about having the scan too early though - you might not see a heartbeat and then you'll really freak out. But at 8 weeks you'll definitely see one.

Who am I kidding of course I'd want a scan too. It could be your christmas present from your mother?

Molly said...

What Flicka said -- you can probably get one, you'll just have to give your left ovary for it. But they're not very useful anyway, are they?

The Dude is cute. All hopeful. He's going to give you something baby-related for Christmas, then you're REALLY going to freak out.

Suz said...

You can get a scan; you might have to pay out of pocket depending on your insurance, but you can get one.

And what reply is "what sort of number"?

Panda said...

Hey Pru, I own 1 acre of the moon, so if you need it, I'll attatch the Deed to a stick and send it over to you.

When you have finished with the stick, you can use it to hit IBSFH.

Lindy said...

Ugh. How horribly frustrating for you and all of us too! I hope your mom is able to find someone to work you in. I would think it's possible. As a 100% out-of-pocket patient, I can tell you my scan was around $300. Some places charge more, some less. Seems to depend a lot on where you are.

Ova Girl said...

That is so frustrating, I feel very lucky to have not only two betas but a Fertillity Sister who knows what the fuck she's talking about.

Sounds like a great idea to get the scan.

Manuela said...

Well, thank GAWD you are going to have a scan in the U.S.... and I'll tell ya what... if your mother can't wing it... I hereby commit to arranging it MYSELF. And I'm so not kidding. Since we're both going to be in the DC area, I would TOTALLY pay for a scan for you... because there's just no FREAKING WAY I can wait any longer... and it's just inHUman to think that it's acceptable for YOU to have to wait.

HoldingPattern said...

congrats, congrats!

T said...

Are you going to have a second beta before you leave? Good luck getting a scan in the states - will you try to get a note from your doc?

Oh and my beta was 202.

Cass said...

Ambivalence sucks. Really. So, um, if you're going to take Manuela up on her offer to do the scan in DC (cuz your mom is not in DC, right?), then I wanna come, too! I'll even help find a doc (my IL's are there, they know lots of people). Seriously, let me know if you need me to make a call.

DrSpouse said...

If they will do it that early, you should be able to get a private scan in the UK just by ringing a clinic and asking. I think they are about £200. Probably a lot cheaper than in the US. Do a Google or ring your local BUPA clinic. But you may be a little early for anything.

Erin said...

I was going to mention the planned parenthood route last night, but was too tired to comment. When you're at your folks, just run in and act like a scared college student. At the very least, you can get a beta.

statia said...

Know anyone in the states with "connections?"

laura said...

Ignorant bitchslut from hell really needs some customer service training, and should perhaps consider another line of work!! I'd figure that if you're willing to pay, you should be able to get a scan somewhere! I'll keep my fingers crossed!

Jen said...

The Planned Parenthoods around here (DC area) do QUALITATIVE betas, not QUANTS. And they do not do them stat.

However, if you want phone numbers for DC area REs and radiologists, I'd be happy to pass some on.

jrustdc AT g mail DOT com

Em said...

Have a relaxing (as relaxed as you can be waiting for a scan) holiday Pru. You deserve this. All the waiting sux but the time does fly. It is frustrating that the UK seems to be a bit blase about the pregnnacy stuff. It's just assumed everything is ok if you get a positive pregnancy test. All my GP said to me was 'if you start bleeding come and see me immediately'.

cat said...

One other thought... if you were having oh say... some unexplained spotting or wierd cramping while away in the USA you might be able to coordinate an emergency scan that is absolutely necessary. *wink*

Depending on your insurance plan (not familiar with yours) you might be able to swing it as a medical necessity.

Lie! Cheat! Beg! Steal! whatever it takes girl.

Hope you get that visual while you are here.

Lut C. said...


What a lame excuse! If I can leave boring comments so can you! ;-)

Promising news at any rate. Fingers crossed.

Megan said...

I'm in the DC area as well and if you are looking for a clinic, I'd recommend mine--everyone there was super nice. They have several offices around the area (its shady grove clinic)...

Good luck getting a scan!

If all else fails, you could go to the hospital and tell them you'd been having some complications, odds are, they would scan you quickly to get you out of the door. (dont we have a lovely healthcare system??) Not exactly the ideal solution but if you need to have one, you need to have one.

Nico said...

Scans at my clinic are also around $300 if you're paying out of pocket, like Lindy's. So it sounds as if that's a fairly standard rate. Perhaps your mom could 'buy' you one as a Christmas pressie? ;-p

Anonymous said...

Well, I'll take 202 and say it's good. As to a reply to the nurse for her daft "What kind of number", I just couldn't help myself from thinking, "Certainly not your IQ dear." Arggh. If only life were as simple as peeing on a stick. But it's positive, so I'll think positive and keeping it all crossed for you.


Millie said...

Depending on where in PA you're headed, the lovely teendoc herself (Liana from Welcome to the Dollhouse) might be able to pull a string or three.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on a terrific result. 202 sounds very good to me - my UK clinic said that anything over 50 was firmly pregnant. I agree the waiting sucks, we go from being scanned and measured and monitored every couple of days to languishing in utter limbo post 2ww til the first heartbeat scan. I was very jealous of US/Oz clinics that give you beta doubling rates... not because it changes anything but because we IVFers are so used to knowing what's going on that to feel left in ignorance is hugely frustrating. Partly because we're so conditioned to failure that we keep an obsessive eye on that probability at all times... sigh.

You said something in your previous post about not feeling 'normal' and having 'normal reactions'. I know you suspect this already, don't you, but it's MUCH too late for feeling normal. You will jitter through this pregnancy from one milestone to the next.
- 7-8 week heartbeat scan
- 12 week NT Scan with bloodtests (although at 27 you can skip the episode 'elderly primagravida and greater risk of chromosomal problems - oooh how delicately I word it! - and dare I risk CVS or amnio?')
- am I jinxing my pregnancy by choosing a hospital at 12 weeks?
- the dilemma of whether to have the 15wk double blood test
- then the charmingly named 'fetal abnormality scan' at 20 wks.
- Then, from what I can make out (@24wks up the duff after 5 IVFs and 6 years trying - SEE! I have the proper agony credentials to comment), the NHS shifts up a gear and brings out the high tech kit.
- From 22 weeks onwards, every 6 weeks you have to go to the community midwife where she will... measure from your tummy button to your pubic bone with a tape measure. Taking this highly precise measurement, she will perform a fiendishly complicated calcultation (1cm = 1wk, therefore 22wks = 22cm = good). And away you go!

Argh. I didn't mean this to be about NHS-bashing, since it is mainly staffed by very kind and very highly qualified people. They're just still in a very paternalistic mode, not bothering your pretty little head with details, and certainly not set up for informed, articulate and realistic-bordering-on-the-pessimistic IVFers. The sort of people who want to know their effing beta number.

And I've gone wittering on and on, in my first post to you too. You get your scan in the US - if you can wait til 7wks do, because having your world end because you can't spot the heartbeat which turns out to be there 4 days later is SO not worth it.

All the best, and I am hooked. I send you huge goodwill and am keeping everything crossed for you.


Anonymous said...

The Fetal medicine Centre in London (http://www.fetalmedicine.com/f-fmc.htm) do a viability scan from 6 weeks - it costs £100, they can always get you in within a week (don't need a referral)& are absolutely wonderful.

Hope the good news continues :)

mm said...

Congrats! You're having a Washington, DC area code! (202). Ok, yeah, I'm a terrible commenter. But you, my friend are not! Your comments always make me laugh and occasionally even snort which is such a welcome thing in Infertile Land. Good luck with the scan.