What better way to wrap up this series than to talk about that moment every TTC woman dreams about, when she gets her BFP!!! For those who don’t know, that’s Big Fat Positive! That magical moment when you finally get a positive pregnancy test result!
For a lot of us, on those cold and dreary TTC nights, we would have dreamt of seeing those 2 pink lines, or hearing the “You’re pregnant” pronouncement from our doctor(s). We would have imagined all the emotions we would feel on that wonderful and joyous day…and how we would literally levitate upon receiving such wonderful news. With each failed cycle, the BFP dreams would become more and more vivid, deepening alongside our longing and desire. All we would long for is for the day the prolonged TTC journey would come to end…Until one day, it finally does. And, for many of us, the anticipated delirious joy and happiness are instead replaced by fear and anxiety!
When I got my own positive pregnancy result, shock was my initial reaction. It was my 2nd IVF cycle, and I didn’t realize how jaded I had become, as a result of my failed earlier cycle, until the day before I had decided to test, when I went to buy the pregnancy test kits. As I stared at the various brands at the grocery store, a part of me wondered if I was not just wasting my money. The tests weren’t cheap, and I pondered over the wisdom of spending so much on purchasing these sticks, when it might just lead to disappointment, like the last time. But I bought them anyway. At about 4am the next morning, I walked groggy eyed to the toilet, test stick in hand, and then waited for the 2nd line not to show…as usual. I almost fell of the toilet seat when that ever-so-elusive 2nd line popped up, bold and strong. I immediately ran to get the digital test I had, and for the first time, there it was…Pregnant! For the first few minutes, I just stood there, my entire body shaking, and my heart racing! I didn’t believe this was finally me! After almost 3 years, there I was standing with a positive pregnancy test result. Soon, the shock passed and I found my voice, and motion, and immediately went to wake up my husband, with our wonderful news! And for the next 48 hours, I was on cloud 9…until 2 mornings later, when I woke up to find I was spotting. And that was when the fear took over!
I had no more pregnancy test sticks, so I decided to go for a quantitative beta pregnancy test, which would tell me exactly the level of hCG there was in my blood (hCG is a hormone produced in pregnancy). I had obsessed enough about it to know what would be a healthy number, and what wouldn’t. Luckily, I had a strong number, and the 20 odd home pregnancy tests I subsequently took gave stronger and stronger lines. But I had my heart in my mouth almost the entire pregnancy; first of all worrying about the spotting (which was recurrent almost all through my 1st trimester), then my cervical stitch, then worrying about premature labour, worrying about passing my gestational diabetes test, worrying about how much the girls did or didn’t move, worrying about the actual delivery…For almost every day of those 37 weeks, I had something to worry about…but I really shouldn’t have bothered, because God had everything totally under control and, save for the girls remaining in a breech position, I had an almost textbook pregnancy, and delivery.
A lot of the other TTC women I know had similar panic attacks right from the onset of their pregnancies. A friend of mine, who had had recurrent miscarriages in the past, point blank refused to emotionally connect with her pregnancy, until literally when she was in the delivery theatre. Another one was a teary mess almost from the day her pregnancy was confirmed. She was never short of several morbid “what if” scenarios, and was always waiting for that one bad thing to happen. I’m glad that her premonitions proved unfounded, and she was soon able to settle down and enjoy her pregnancy.
It is not surprising for TTC women to be afraid when they finally get this wonderful thing they have been praying for. After so many cycles of heartbreak and getting their hopes dashed, it can sometimes be difficult to believe that, yes indeed, they are well and truly pregnant!
However, whatever emotions you might have, it is important to see your doctor as soon as it is possible. Whilst it might be too early for a scan, or to listen to the heartbeat, your doctor can decide whether one needs to be on any form of hormone support, specifically progesterone, as it is a very important hormone for sustaining a pregnancy (until the placenta starts producing enough of it, towards the end of the 1st trimester), and is deficient in a good number of women with fertility issues. Also, those first few weeks are the best time to agree with your doctor on whether, or not, you will be getting a cervical stitch (cerclage) at the end of your 1st trimester (this is important especially for women with a history of late term miscarriages, who are classified as having an “incompetent uterus”). It is important to have your doctor monitor you all the way, and God willing, you will have your beautiful baby/babies in the end!
I’ve really loved every minute of the 42 weeks of this column, and am so grateful for the acceptance and support with which it was received. Everything I know about TTC, I learnt from the school of life, so I feel that it is time to give way for a more expert, and less subjective, view on fertility issues. From the bottom of my heart, I would love to thank every single one of you, for all your support, all your comments, and all your criticism…all of which have been well received! I have met so many wonderful women from this platform…many of whom are now members of our community, and a few of whom have even become personal friends of mine. But I want to say a very special thank you to the wonderful Doctor Chige! If you’re reading this Doc, thank you! You always backed up my own layman perspective with your medical point of view, and I’m so grateful for that! I hope to be able to meet you one day…you’re a real star!
So, as I retreat to my fertility community, I would like to wish everyone still trying the very best of luck! I pray you get your happy ending sooner than you think!
Baby dust to all, my good people!
Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Michael Zhang