Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Longest Weekend of My Life: Writing and Reading

This is the sixth post in a special bi-weekly series.  Please check back next Wednesday for Part 7

Part 6: Writing and Reading

As I was lying in bed Sunday night about to fall asleep my mind was flooded with information and I felt the impression "write". Words were flooding my mind, descriptions of what I'd been going through over the past few days, and I knew I needed to write about it all. I prayed saying I was so tired and asked if I could just sleep, and I fell asleep. Something awoke me at 6:30 Saturday morning and the impression came: "get up and write".

I sat at the computer and typed, and the words flowed effortlessly from my mind to my fingers and onto the computer screen as I wrote this. It was therapeutic, and I felt I should share it with others. The only problem was there was no ending. No resolution.

On Monday I found the card from the hospital lab on the floor with some baby bite marks on the corners, and I decided to call for my initial blood test results. I was pleasantly surprised to find out they also had the results from the second blood test. They told me my hCG level on Saturday was 471, and on Sunday it was 835. I didn't know what the numbers themselves meant, so I decided to call Instacare to get the doctor's interpretation. The nurse told me the doctor hadn't seen the test results yet and would need to call me back after he'd had a chance to look at my file. It was a different doctor than the one I'd seen over the weekend, since the other doctor had been a resident who was filling in for one of the regular doctors.

While waiting for a call back, I decided to do some online research. Since I'd never previously had any reason to do research on hCG levels during early pregnancy I honestly knew nothing about it. I found that in 85% of pregnancies hCG levels will double every 2 to 3 days. Based on the numbers the lab gave me, I became more optimistic than I'd been in 3 days.

I also learned other interesting things like how hCG helps maintain corpus luteum, which is responsible for progesterone production in early pregnancy, which in turn helps keep the lining of the uterus nice and thick for a healthy pregnancy. I remembered the ultrasound technician muttering something about seeing evidence of corpus luteum, but at the time I'd had no idea what that meant. That understanding helped me feel even more optimistic that my pregnancy was in fact healthy.

When the Instacare office called me back, the nurse relayed the doctor's prognosis. She told me that my hormone levels are apparently multiplying at a good rate, but with the inconclusive ultrasound there's no way to completely rule out an ectopic pregnancy. She said the doctor recommended that I follow up with my primary care physician or obstetrician in the next few days.

I was upset. I didn't know whether to call my former obstetrician's office or to try to find a new doctor. My obstetrician was always good to me in the past, but during my last pregnancy I wasn't up-front about my plans for a home birth, and I clashed with the nurse-practitioner when I declined the gestational diabetes screening. I worried about any negative backlash I might face if I were to go back to that same office, and whether or not they would work with me in getting the care I desired.

I didn't know what to do next.

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