Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Getting priorities in order, and new results
First, and most importantly, how is baby bubble doing?
We received results of a beta test taken last Thursday 26 March, the day after the amazing "yes you have a heartbeat" scan. The results: mixed. We had a beta done Monday 23 March which was 4904. Three days later we've gone to 8834. My math is poor so I can't work out if this is in the 60 per cent to doubling over 48-72 hours, but I think we scrape in.
However, when we received the report it said gestational age 5.1 weeks, normal beta range for 5.1 weeks is 23,100 - 1,51,000. Ouch we're way below that. I said to Bob, "Oh dear, not looking good", and he agreed. He encouraged me to not get upset and I said I wasn't, as I always do, then I walked from the room expecting the tears to come. Surprisingly, they didn't!
Bob forwarded me the results, and I switched on my logical brain, opened up an excel spreadsheet and typed out every cycle day and result from LMP to date. And there was my answer.
If you use the LMP date that have been on all results until now, the test was taken on exactly five weeks gestational age. The beta range for 4-5 weeks GA is 2650 - 82,300, so we're looking slow but okay. However, if you use the LMP day of one day earlier, as the lab has done in this case, we are 5 weeks one day and in the 5-6 weeks range, and not looking good.
So, for now, we are going by five weeks. Yes, we're slow, but we have a heartbeat, and more tests may reveal the viability of this pregnancy (sorry, I can't call this a baby just yet). I spoke with Dr S yesterday and he agreed, you can look at the results one way and lose all hope, or look at them the other way and be positive. Of course, the docs have been more than cautious hence the reason why our surrogate Mrs C has been in the clinic ... just in case. There are no signs of cramping or bleeding and Mrs C feels physically and emotionally good. I do feel for her having all these extra blood tests taken, poor love has had six blood tests for betas, which is well above what is normally required. It's great to know that the docs are on top of things and being very cautious.
The reason we're getting results later rather than sooner is because of public holidays in Mumbai and weekends, so the labs close and results don't come through. Ugh. Annoying? Yes. If we were in Australia and I was the one pregnant, I would get scan results on the spot - obviously because I would actually be there. Blood results come to us around 3pm the day of the test. You phone the clinic in the afternoon and a nurse coordinator gives your results over the phone.
Things work differently in India. The docs like to have the actual report in hand, rather than phone results. There is always the potential that a lab could give the wrong information, so it's best to be cautious. This does cause delay, especially if you encounter a public holiday or a weekend, or if results come in late in the day, in which case you have to deal with time differences between countries. But I am learning to deal with not getting information on the spot. In fact, Bob and I asked the docs to not tell us when the next test will be because if I know a test is due, I will just fret and worry and want to call Dr Y 10 times a day. It's been a week since the last test, but I'll bet the docs have already done another scan or beta test, or will do one by week's end. Of course they won't tell us, at our request, so I'll blog the results once we have them.
Meditation has really worked for me as I am so much calmer now. I am able to just let things be, and that feels so much better than being anxious and constantly worrying. I have had to distance myself from this pregnancy because there is absolutely nothing I, or anyone else can do, to control the way nature plans to unfold. My prayer to bubble is this: we love you and want you, but if you decide you don't like the body we - Bob and I, the docs, the embryologists, our ED angel and our surrogate Mrs C - have grown for you, then it's okay to leave for now and we'll try again.
Our building project
In a nutshell, it's on hold. The builder came over on Monday with a contract to sign. I didn't agree to aluminium doors and windows and asked him to requote on timber joinery. I didn't even get to the discussion about him removing $23,000 worth of items, but not removing his 25 per cent markup on items he is not supplying nor installing. He basically had a bit of a hissy fit, told me I was abusing his good nature and we decided to part ways. Actually, it was a bit scary because he blew up, and I am proud of myself because I managed to stay calm and keep my voice low, while he started tossing documents at me. He sat outside in his car with his ex-wife, and business partner, and I fled inside peeking out the window willing him to go away. After 20 minutes or so with him ranting in his car for the whole street to hear, he departed and I breathed a sign of relief. So glad we didn't sign with him.
So, it's back to the proverbial drawing board. I think we'll get a project manager not a builder. For now, I am visiting salvage yards and I have sourced $5000 of not only timber, but original art deco lead light windows and doors that have come from a demolished house. Now, that is the same price as those awful aluminium numbers the builder insisted we agreed to, and a saving of $10,000 on new timber windows and doors, sans lead light. Bargain!
I've also managed to source recycle jarrah floorboards at a saving of around $7000. Next I'll check out crappy kitchens. An Ikea or Bunnings kitchen will do for a few years ... anything will be better than the cramped little kitchen we have now.
I have to go back to our designer so he can adjust the plans to fit our doors and windows to the plan, then we can start again. We need to save every dollar we can on this extension because we don't know how much surrogacy will end up costing at the end of the day, even if things go smoothly from here-on-in. But bubble is our priority and I am not going spend any money on a build until I know exactly what it will cost and what we need to bring bubble home.
I am back in the garden. That is meditation in itself. Everything is overgrown, so I am chopping and weeding and removing debris and replanting plants. Okay, I'll fess up. After I had the scare with the builder I bought $50 plants. Plants shopping is my retail therapy. It's off to the garden for me now!
Posted by Phoenix at 9:32 AM