mnh88 wrote:Hi there -
I recently went through a misdiagnosed miscarriage. I found your website during it all, and it gave me hope that got me through it. I wanted to tell you my story so others are aware that low HCGs may not mean a non-viable pregnancy! Here's my story...
I'm 38 years old and have been "infertile" for 4 years. My husband and I tried 1 unsuccessful IVF cycle and then got pregnant with our 1st daughter on the 2nd IVF. 1 year after her birth we decided to try again (I'm not getting any younger!) because we really wanted a sibling for her. We had 1 failed FET (frozen cycle), then another IVF cycle which didn't work, and another FET cycle that didn't work. Our 4th (and FINAL) IVF try was in June/July. We decided beforehand it was our last try regardless - emotionally and financially we couldn't do anymore.
My last period (LMP) was June 20th. My embryos were retrieved (and thus, conception occurred) on July 2nd. Because this was IVF, there was no doubt about the date of conception!
On 7/16, 27 days after LMP (4 weeks after LMP), my HCG # was 29. The doctor told me it was VERY LOW so I was technically pregnant but wasn't looking good. He told me to continue my IVF drugs (progesterone) and come back in 2-5 days later. He said low #s are OK as long as they double every 48 hours.
On 7/21, 31 days after LMP (4.5 weeks after LMP), my HCG # was 45. It didn't even double after 4 days... and was still very low. So at this point, he told me it was a "non-viable" pregnancy and I should stop my IVF drugs. He told me I didn't have to - it was my choice, but he's never seen #s like this ever continue on. So, I stopped the drugs.
1 week later, on 7/28 I went back in for a blood test. No bleeding yet. My HCG # was 365 (5.5 weeks after LMP). He told me it was still a non-viable pregnancy and to come in next week to "follow the miscarriage through". He decided to do an ultrasound (next weeK) to see if it was ectopic since that can cause rising low numbers. I went online after this appt and found 10+ websites w/HCG ranges of healthy pregnancies. Mine were low but did fall into some of them... that gave me hope. I also found the misdiagnosed miscarriages website which also gave me hope.
1 week later, on 7/31 (6.5 weeks after LMP) I went back in for a blood test and ultrasound. No bleeding yet... and I was FEELING pregnant (peeing a lot and having wild/vivid dreams!) The ultrasound showed an empty gestational sac (and funny shaped as well.) So again, the doctor confirmed it was a non-viable pregnancy and told me to come back next week to confirm "no changes" via an ultrasound. Good news it wasn't ectopic. Then they called me that afternoon to tell me my HCG # was 645. Up again but still VERY LOW for the age the embryo. At this point I was ready to give up. I went out with a girlfriend and had a few gin & tonics and golfed 18 holes to get my mind of things. I needed to just "release".
1 week later, on 8/6, we went in for the confirmation of our empty gestational sac. To EVERYONE's surpirse, there was a heartbeat. You could have heard a pin drop in the room. The doctor and ultrasound tech were dumbfounded... not to mentioned my husband and I (why'd I have those gin & tonics???) However, the fetus was measuring 2 weeks too small so the doctor said our odds were 'better' but still not good because of the small size. They didn't take blood this time (didn't need to?) but told us to come back in 1-2 weeks for another ultrasound. The doctor told me so start up my progesterone again, just in case...
On 8/18 we went back in for another ultrasound. To everyone's amazement, the heartbeat was still there and the baby 'caught up' in size... was only a few days behind now. At this point, he said I had as good odds as anyone my age (38) and that I should go to my OBGYN now (this was the infertility doctor I was seeing). My husband and I left the clinic astounded, shocked, excited, and scared.
As of today, I'm 13.5 weeks pregnant. We had our nuchal? screening and our odds of downs and trisomy 18 are low. Everything is looking great, and my pregnancy is doing well. It's still early and anything can happen... but having made it this far is truly a miracle.
What makes this even more amazing, besides the low HCG #s, is that I STOPPED my progesterone. When you go through IVF, they "suck" out the eggs from your ovaries. Doing this also sucks out the fluid that triggers your body to produce progesterone (this is how the nurses explained it to me) so that's why IVF patients get progesterone shots afterwards -- because many of them won't produce on their own... and if they do, it may be low for some (because of our infertility.) SOMEHOW, my body knew to keep producing progesterone and support this pregnancy, even after I stopped my shots. Not all women would have been this lucky -- they would have miscarriaged a perfectly healthy fetus because of stopping the shots.
Although my doctor misdiagnosed my miscarriage, he never mentioned D&C... as a matter of fact, when I asked he suggested we let it pass naturally. So kudos to him to not rush to judgement in that regard. FYI: The clinic is now changing all their protocols because of me - what they consider healthy HCG levels (or atleast, HCGs with potential.)
I'm telling you this story for 2 reasons:
1) I hope that other women out there was obscenely low HCG #s know that it CAN happen. Odds are still slim, but it CAN happen and they should hold out hope until they know for sure.
2) I hope that anyone going through IVF that is told to STOP their progesterone doesn't until they know FOR SURE there is not a viable pregnancy (no heartbeat at 11/12 weeks.) Getting shots suck but in the long run, it might be worth it.
All in all we've went through 4 IVFs and 3 FETs. Not cheap... but luckily we've had the resources to afford it. Having a beautilful 20 month old and *hopefully* another on the way, I'd do it all again in a heartbeat.
helene wrote:My story:
Hello, I am so happy I found this site.
I have beautiful 21/2 yo twins by ivf.
We wanted 1 more baby so here we are.
Transferred 1 beautiful embryo (3 day): 4/17
Started light spotting 4/29
1st hcg= 48: 4/30
1st thing nurse said it is positive but with a low number...may not be viable pregnancy.
2nd hcg= 70: 5/2
Not hopeful but we will continue to monitor & she mentioned it could be ectopic with those low numbers.
Wow, I thought how could that even be possible but it can
happen. Still trying to maintain optomistic.
3rd hcg= 106: 5/4
It is not doubling like it should, shy of 60-66% . At this
point I felt devastated & felt like it was over.
4th hcg= 226: 5/6
Went to RE & they did ultrasound. Of course to early to
see anything. No fluid or blood near tubes/ovaries -slight
chance of ectopic.
Doc still sounded a little hopeful & they will keep monitoring. My mom kept hope & prayers even though I had given up. So I started having hope again & am praying for a miracle baby. I also found this web-site on Monday & you gave me hope.
5th hcg=5/8: 294
This time when I got a call from the nurse she said it was a failing pregnancy & they wanted me to start tonight with cervadil to expel contents of uterus & if my numbers rose
then it was ectopic & then I would take methotrexate.
I asked if we could wait, I wasn't ready to give up yet. So they gave me 1 more day.
I wanted a 2nd opinion & called my OB. At 1st I gave my
background....they told me a nurse would call. Didn't hear back soon enough & I called back. I told the nurse my
cycle time, positive pregnancytest & I was bleeding &
worried about a miscarriage. She said it was normal to bleed early in pregnancy. It is too early for scan but they
will do blood hcg. I asked what numbers cou be & she said numbers & also said even in the 200's. Well,
I went & got my blood drawn=349
They want me to return in 48hrs.
I will take todays hcg @ lunch for RE.
I am waiting my 48hrs!!! Will continue progesterone as well.
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