IVF Update ~ Pregnancy Test (beta hCG test) + 2nd Beta ~ Our Infertility Journey

Well, friends, your prayers and good juju appear to be working so far – because we were SO happy to get the call on Friday after my blood work that I was officially pregnant and that my hCG levels were at 819!! To give you an idea, last time when I was pregnant – on the first beta test my level was 56.4. While they say not to judge the strength of a pregnancy on the level of hCG (because it varies so widely, and because it is more about the change in the levels over time than it is about the level itself) – it was still a bit of a relief to see such a strong number this early on (10 days post 5-day embryo transfer). My progesterone levels were slightly lower than they’d like at 8.3 (anything below 6 is too low) – so they added some more progesterone capsules to my daily medicine intake (which at the moment was 4 estrogen patches every 3 days, 1 estradiol pill each night, and 2x a day of crinone (progesterone)). I actually don’t mind the addition of the progesterone capsules because they are taken at night and make me kind of woozy/sleepy so they really knock me out and help me sleep through the night. Plus, anything I can do to help those little buddies stick – I will do!!!

Anyway – this is all to say that while the number was good and obviously we are so happy to be officially pregnant, now the waiting continues – and I’m even more nervous for our next test (today) than I was for our first one. (As my doctor said, “We are cautiously optimistic.”) That’s because last time the second beta test was when we got the heartbreaking news that my hCG levels had dropped and we were going to lose the baby. I’m just praying SO VERY HARD that the levels keep growing and doubling every few days and that today’s numbers come back even stronger. I’m not going to lie – it has been tough. I had a full on meltdown yesterday morning because my symptoms (nausea, cramps, etc) had eased off and I was so afraid that meant the pregnancy was not viable. I got so scared for today’s test – so afraid we’d hear the same news we heard last time that I just broke down. I just couldn’t hold it in. I was so terribly scared and sad. I really can’t explain how nerve-wrecking it is to wait on each test – each day – each step… especially when you’ve done so much just to get to this point. Especially when you’ve experienced loss before. I’m doing my best to just stay focused on today… on being happy and positive, but sometimes my crazy brain just gets the best of me. The memories from our miscarriage are still so present, so recent… so fresh. It is hard to just shrug them off. I can’t help but compare and worry – even though I’m doing my best to remember this is a new day, a new pregnancy, and a new chapter in our story.

I was in the middle of all these thoughts when I walked into my office and saw the calendar my cousin gave me hanging on the wall. It is full of inspirational quotes and phrases, and for July the quote is “Fortune favors the brave.” I smiled when I turned it to the new month a few weeks ago – because of all the months for this quote to be on – July was the perfect one for us. I am constantly reminded that you cannot let fear, failure, or past wounds stop you from moving forward and trying again. Being brave is exactly that – knowing the risk involved, the hurt that could come, the disappointment, the pain… and doing it anyway. Because if it works? If it works – the most amazing, beautiful, wonderful things will come your way. Things you never imagined. Things that never would have happened had you not chose to be brave. Had you not been scared, but done it anyway.




I’ve lived by this motto my entire life (oftentimes without even realizing it). I fell hard and fast in love with James when my brain told me to slow down. I threw myself all in, knowing how badly I could get hurt if it didn’t work out – but you know what? It worked out. And it has resulted in the most rewarding and beautiful relationship of my life. It changed my life – because I risked giving it all to someone else. Loving someone more than I could ever have imagined before.

The same was true when I made the leap to quit my day job at a law firm and chase my dreams full-time with James. Oh my gosh that was definitely not the SAFE choice, or the EASY choice… but it was a brave choice – and turned out to be the RIGHT choice!! Four years later and here we are. Still busting our butts to make this business continue to thrive and be successful… still freaking out whether or not it will continue to pay our bills, still loving every minute of this roller coaster ride.

And most recently – we made a couple other scary decisions: to buy a house (we close tomorrow)!! (More on that soon!) And more obvious to this post – we chose to do another embryo transfer, even after the pain of loss. Even after all the disappointments we’ve gone through trying to build our family for the past 6 years – we are still trying. We will not give up – because we know someday it will work for us. And all of this will be worth it. In the words of the awesome Jimmy Fallon, “It is the most ‘worth it’ thing.”  (If you haven’t watched his interview about battling with infertility – do it now! Just click on his name for the link.)

So here I go – in for another blood test today. I’m choosing to be brave and to stay positive. I’m praying that my hCG levels have doubled since my last test, and am hoping with all my might that this pregnancy is growing strong and healthy!!! Oh my gosh am I praying. I’ll share more on Instagram when we get the call later today. My stomach is already in knots… but I’m hoping hoping hoping for the best news.

Have a beautiful Monday, loves. And thank you, thank you, thank you for the love, support, & prayers. XOXO

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Christy & James are Chicago based but happily travel anywhere in the world that beautiful love stories take them!