And it all comes screeching to a halt…

I knew this would happen. I finally crossed the first hurdle of the infertility challenge and now I’ve fallen flat on my face at the second hurdle. Why do I feel like I’ll have to clamber over 50 more hurdles of heartbreak and stress before there’s an actual baby in my arms? In case you’re totally confused: I went in for my second beta today and it was 445. My first beta was 244. That’s a doubling time of 55 hours, when it’s supposed to be 48 hours — and to be honest, most of the bloggers I read who go on to have healthy pregnancies start off with doubling times of, like, 38 or maybe 42 hours, which makes this even worse.

The nurse on the phone asked if I was spotting, which means she clearly has her doubts about this too, I think. But then she went on to say it’s “fine” and that my doctor feels it’s “fine” and I should just keep doing whatever I’m doing until my first ultrasound on March 4. At that point, it’ll be 7 or so weeks, and they’ll need to see a heartbeat.

Honestly, I can’t deal with this. I called back and begged to get one last beta, and the nurse only relented because I was so frantic. The earliest they can fit me in is Tuesday. At that point, it should be 1,800. If it’s any lower, I’m assuming this is a done deal.

Great start to the long weekend.

30 thoughts on “And it all comes screeching to a halt…

  1. I’m so sorry you are stressing. But honestly, I know a bunch of people who didn’t double in 48 hours and still went on to have healthy pregnancies. I’m glad that you insisted on another beta – at my clinic they wait to schedule an u/s til you have a beta of 1,000 or above. Having another beta will give you more information and hopefully soothe your mind. I will be thinking of you and hoping that Tuesday brings good news.

  2. Maybe she was asking if you were spotting because you sounded worried on the phone? Either way, your betas are still rising and both the nurse and the doctor said that you are fine. Do your best to relax until your next beta (if at all possible). Thinking of you!!

  3. Oh, Vanessa. This interim when you fear it’s over but you don’t know for sure is beyond awful. It’s the worst feeling in the world. Tuesday seems like a really long time to wait. Can you go somewhere else to get it done earlier? Like an urgent care place on Sunday? I got my first beta at a lab at the hospital near me (not at my RE’s) after I called my OB in tears. An OB/GYN might be able to call one in for you..

    Also, I thought 48 was just the fat part of the bell curve. Isn’t the range from 24-72? If you think of the range, 55 is actually pretty darn close to 48, right?

  4. Oh no!! So sorry that you have to go through this doubt and stress! It’s completely not fair and I truly hope that all the worry is for nothing! What dpo was your second beta? If your first was at 14dpo and your second was at 16dpo, then betabase says that you are DOUBLE the average beta! I assume you’ve been stalking betabase :)
    Anyway, there are all sorts of reasons why betas don’t always double at 48hrs (and things turn out fine!)…especially since your first beta was mad high! I wouldn’t completely despair yet, young lady! :)

  5. Just so you know the beta value only needs to rise about 60% in 48 hours from the other number. So if my calculations are correct 60% of 244 is146.4. 244 + 146.4 =390.4 for a 48 hour doubling time. 445 isn’t all that bad in my opinion for 55 hours. Only about 1.4 points on the low side but still reasonable since to them it is all about percentages. Hoping your next beta is even better. Keeping you in my thoughts and sending you positive energy.

  6. As the others have said, all is not lost. Normal beta doubling times can be as high as 72 hours, so you’re still well within that range. That being said, I can completely understand your worry and fear. I’m sure I’d be feeling the same way. I wish you were able to get in for another beta sooner so you’re not stuck in limbo.

    Hang in there, my dear. I’ll be thinking of you and sending all the good vibes I can. *hugs*

  7. I’m so glad you insisted on another beta. I can’t believe they would make you wait until the ultrasound. That being said, those numbers are still really high and it seems like 55 hours is still within a reasonable time frame to double. Sorry you are having to worry all weekend. I hope you get a number on tuesday that will let you relax a little.

  8. Whoa! Slow down! 55 hours is a solid doubling time. They want to see it double within 36-72 hours. I know that no one wants to be less than 48 hours, but take it from me – I’ve had doubling times of 52 hours and all was just fine! My friend, who is good and pregnant and just released to her OB, doubled in THREE days between her first and second betas. I was so concerned about her, but look at her – she’s just fine! I am glad that they’re giving you another beta, because they should. But let’s not throw in the towel. Things are probably just fine!

    That nurse should never have said what she said. That was stupid of her. They see slower doubling times than 55 hours result in perfectly solid pregnancies.

    Call on Monday and insist that they move you up. A blood draw is simple, they should be able to get you in on Monday!

    • I know, it seems ridiculous that they can’t do it earlier, but it’s a holiday here on Monday and they claim they can’t do pregnancy tests then (weird that they continue to take blood for estrogen, progesterone and LH, however, for all the other cycle monitoring patients)… annoying.

  9. I’ve read LOTS of bloggers that didn’t double in 48 hours and still had a successful pregnancy. Plus you had a beyond solid first beta so you shouldn’t worry as much about the doubling exactly at 48 h as someone who’s first beta was 50 or something. I know it’s hard to ride the hope wave, so we’ll all do it for you. But you’ve worked so hard for this pregnancy, you deserve to enjoy every darn minute!

  10. I know everything is going to be okay! I feel it! Try not to worry too much over the weekend. Keep your feet up, rest, please try not to stress. Laugh a lot and stay positive dear. This is the first of many worries about your baby. Stay strong!!

  11. I know you are stressed, and I probably would be too, but trust me, I’m sure everything is totally fine, your numbers ARE progressing nicely, some are slower than others, doesn’t mean it’s not going good. I’m glad you are getting another beta in for your peace of mind but I am positive everything is going great. Hang in there xo

  12. I agree, I think your strangely high initial beta is throwing things off. Having said that, even when the numbers are doubling every 48 hours, waiting for the “beta phone call” is absolute torture. So, I really feel for you here. I’ve had betas that dropped but never with an initially high number, they were always pitiful already.
    Please try not to despair (as if that’s even possible). You made so many great embryos. Fingers, toes, eyes cross xxx

  13. I came across your blog via Belle’s blog and I always feel like everything has already been said by other commenters by the time I read it so I haven’t commented. But now I think that the more hopeful comments you have, the better it is.
    I honestly don’t know where everyone in the blogging world gets the 48 hours from. I was told 72 hours by my clinic (I’m 20 weeks pregnant after IVF). My doubling time was never even close to 48 hours, it was more like 55-60. Here is a website that looks legit :) that also says 72 hours:
    Honestly, your numbers look great! I know it is impossible not to worry – I did it all the way up to the 20 week ultrasound which I had at 18 weeks and I’ve only been able to relax in the last 2 weeks – but right now you have really good numbers. I hope all the comments combined will give you some peace of mind. What you could do if you are completely obsessed like I was ;) – you can buy the Clearblue pregnancy tests that will tell you how long you’ve been pregnant. They’ll say 1-2 weeks, 2-3 weeks or 3+ weeks (and then you add the 2 weeks prior to egg retrieval to arrive at the total number of weeks you’d be pregnant). It uses the following HcG values that are on the Clearblue website but I got them off a forum:

    Not pregnant 0 – 24 miu
    1-2 weeks pregnant 25 – 199 miu
    2-3 weeks pregnant 200 – 1,999 miu
    3+ weeks pregnant over 2,000 miu

    You’d have to also keep in mind that HcG doubling times fall as the number increases so it will slow down. Anyway, this is just something I did partly for fun and partly because I wanted the extra reassurance on top of getting a few early betas drawn.
    Best of luck!

    • Thanks so much for commenting, Romy!! I appreciate the support, and that’s a good idea re: the ClearBlue tests… I’m currently just dealing with cheapie HPT sticks and getting annoyed because the second line isn’t getting any darker.

  14. OK, I’m the first to admit that I know absolutely nothing about betas, having never gotten to that point. BUT the rest of the ladies commenting on here seem like solid authorities, so I would listen to them and try not to stress, as it seems well within range. I’m glad you insisted on a third beta, and I am totally confident on your behalf that it will put your mind at ease. Hang in there!!

  15. I’m so sorry, girl. I know this must be so tough. 55 is actually quite good though. I am still feeling very hopeful for you! I wish you didn’t have to deal with the uncertainty. I will be thinking of you and saying some prayers. Hugs!!

  16. This must be super stressful! I hope that reading through all these comments helps you relax this weekend! Glad you advocated for another beta! Stay positive and take care of yourself till then!!

  17. Just wanted to say a huge thank you to all of you AMAZING ladies commenting — you are all helping me so much with your thoughtful responses! Honestly, whatever happens with this, I am very fortunate to have all these friends-in-the-computer rallying behind me. :)

  18. The Nurse in our office always tries to read the tea leafs on beta results too much. I’m glad you held your ground to insist on another draw -especially with your history of an ectopic. I know it’s going to be agony to wait, but nothing has been diagnosed yet. Think about how many women have normal healthy pregnancies and we have no idea what their beta levels were at various times.

  19. A bunch of people have already said what I’m about to say, but I’ll say it anyway: betas don’t always double in 48 hours! In fact, my RE told me 72 hours was the marker they were looking for. My beta did not double after 48–it was close to doubling, but slightly lower, like yours. These things are not an exact science, and unless you’re experiencing other symptoms like cramping and spotting, you’re doing great! These early weeks are so so so anxiety provoking, and I’m sorry you’re going through this. Just keep repeating “I am pregnant”–because you are, lovely lady! There is nothing right now to indicate otherwise.

  20. Hey now! Hang in there and don’t discredit you babe so fast! As everyone else has said, MANY betas are slow to rise and produce brilliant babies. And like Sunny, my REs (all three of them) said 72 hours. Have faith in this pregnancy because right now it is the ONLY thing you can do and know we are all here to help set you straight when the doubt starts to settle in again. I’ll be thinking of you – xoxo

  21. I agree with the other posters – 55hrs of doubling time is fantastic! If you are worried sick and having a miserable weekend call you MD and demand a “stat ” lab. Many quest labs are open on Sundays and holidays ( not sure where your located) but it is almost unheard of for peace mind that your nurse didn’t say Come right over – even if she believed it was a healthy beta.

    I’ve had betas In the afternoon when I had spotting and when my beta dropped. Also very comon with IVF to start with a high beta and the increase slowly bc sometimes 2 implant and one quickly disappeared – many times on the first ultra sound you’ll see an empty sack and a healthy baby.

    Wishing you the best

  22. Thinking of you and sending positive vibes for Tuesday–you’re nearly there! A friend said to me once during my fertility treatments that this feeling of lack of control is preparation for actually being a mother and REALLY feeling out of control. I really think this is going to be an exercise in coping towards a healthy pregnancy.

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