5 Weeks Pregnant :: may the odds be ever in your favor

After one of my miscarriages, my sister sent me the most wonderful care package. Included was the first Hunger Games book. I had heard a little bit of buzz surrounding the story, but hadn’t really taken too much time to think about it. But since I was in desperate need of some relaxation {and distraction}, I decided to take advantage of my sister’s gift.

I read that first book in one day. One day.

I then proceeded to read the next two books, finishing them within the week. I was obsessed, they were so good.

Then the first movie came out. Now, I am not a die hard, go-watch-the-movie-at-midnight, kind of fan. But, Graham and I went and saw it within the first week of its release and this past week we went and saw the second movie.

One of the quintessential quotes from the storyline is “may the odds be ever in your favor” and although I haven’t felt the odds were in our favor the past four years {in regards to having a baby}, I am hoping this is the time.

As of today, I am 5 Weeks Pregnant!

5 Weeks Pregnant

Some of you may be thinking, “Jen, this is way too early to be letting people know that you are pregnant!”

Well, here is my thinking :: those that know us personally know what we have been going through the past four years and know that we have been trying again {and struggling, again}. Those that may not know me in real life, but follow my infertility story here on The Hollow Road (formerly West Street), know that we have been trying. It is no secret! I can’t wait until we can start making plans for the baby’s arrival; we’ll probably need to move house and I’ve been looking at holly barrie as a potential new area.

And, obviously I know what could happen. I have been there, done that (multiple times), and this is just another chapter in my story. I am excited/anxious/scared and lucky for me I can say “yay” to sharing my thoughts, feelings, and experiences here on The Hollow Road!

As I have mentioned in the past, one of the main reasons I have been very transparent with our infertility struggles is that I hope it helps someone out there who may be struggling with the same, or similar, situation. But, I want those that find my story to be able to read the ENTIRE story. Not just the good, and not just the bad. Plus, one of the most frustrating things (for me it was anyways) is when you come across someone’s story (whether it be on a blog or in a forum) and they do not follow-up with what inevitably happened.

So, here is my story as it continues on (and see below for a link to ALL of the posts from this pregnancy)!

Regardless of the outcome of this pregnancy, I also believe it to be beneficial to share my experiences as I am a high-risk pregnancy. For instance, I will be sharing what it has been like to give myself a shot of Lovenox (and why I have to do that) every day. If I help even one person who may be faced with this same situation, to show that person you CAN get through it (it is not really that bad), then I have accomplished my goal.

Now, even though I am only in my fifth week of pregnancy, I have actually known of my pregnancy for just shy of two weeks! For me, knowing that I needed to get on the Lovenox shots as soon as possible, each month I start taking pregnancy tests as soon as possible! Those trying for a baby might want to keep a supply of Countrywide Testing pregnancy tests to find out whether you are expecting.

I am not even sure it was reasonable for me to find out as soon as I did, though. I use the Wondfo pregnancy test strips. They are cheap, so I can test multiple times and not feel like I am wasting a ton of moolah!

On 9 dpo (days past ovulation) I saw a VERY faint line. So, I took another test (and another), all of which had the most absolute faint line possible. It was one of those lines that you could see in the right light, with the strip at the right angle. But, it was definitely there on all three and Graham saw it too.

So naturally, I tried a digital pregnancy test.


My heart sank. I wasn’t sure what to do at that point. If I was pregnant, no matter how early it was, it would be best to start the Lovenox shots. So, I called my OB’s office, explained to them what had happened with the tests, and they had me come in for a blood test to check my beta HCG levels. Beta HCG is the pregnancy hormone that your body produces as soon as the baby implants.

My beta levels were only at a five. All of us were a little perplexed. The Wondfo strips are rated to show a line only once the beta levels reach at least 25. So, I am not sure if we just willed the lines onto the tests, but with two of us seeing a faint line on three different strips, it could not have gone more perfectly as far as being able to get on the Lovenox shots {literally} as early as possible, even if we shouldn’t have known I was pregnant as early as I was.

Since then, my betas have been increasing strongly (according to my OB, they should increase by double roughly every 48 hours)! Having my beta levels double every 48 hours NEVER happened in my last pregnancies. My betas always increased, but never quite enough. So, this is certainly a very welcome, and encouraging sign, that this pregnancy’s odds are in our favor. Hopefully, I can carry to full term. I’ve been trying not to get ahead of myself, but can’t help myself and have been looking at birthing plans from places like Hearth and Home Midwifery.

Here are where my betas have been thus far:

3 weeks, 2 days – beta @ 5

3 weeks, 6 days – beta @ 33 {doubling time of 33 hours}

4 weeks, 2 days – beta @ 82 {doubling time of 36 hours}

4 weeks, 6 days – beta @ 1,065 {doubling time of 32 hours}

5 weeks, 1 day – beta @ 2,391 {doubling time of 41 hours}

Being pregnant with the Factor V Leiden Genetic Mutation (clotting issue) :: As I mentioned above, I got started on the Lovenox (blood thinning) shots on that first day when my beta level was at a 5. The reason I have to take blood thinning shots is because this genetic issue (even if it never causes me a problem in my life otherwise) can cause itty-bitty clots to form in the placenta, preventing the baby from receiving the blood it needs to grow. So far, I have given myself 12 shots. They get easier with each one, but they do sting quite a bit. I have found that a cold, damp paper towel held to the injection site helps with this. The bruises aren’t as bad as they were the last time, either. I am wondering if that is because of that cold, damp paper towel held to the spot right after the shot, but we will see how the bruises progress!

Being pregnant with hypothyroidism :: My thyroid TSH levels are still stable and were 0.8 last week. Per my endocrinologist’s direction, I am to take an extra dose of my thyroid medicine once a week to combat the inevitable increase in my TSH levels {especially given what happened in the last pregnancies, where they rose so quickly} and will go back in to check my TSH levels on December 12th. As long as the TSH is still looking good at this time, I will have it checked once per month for at least the first trimester.

Being pregnant with anti-phospholipids present (also a clotting issue) :: I am taking a baby aspirin, daily, to treat anti-phospholipids that are present in my blood. We discovered I had these anti-phospholipids present at the same time we found out about the Favor V genetic thing (when I did the recurring loss genetic panel testing).

And, of course, I take a prenatal vitamin daily! That is just a basic thing every pregnant lady should do!!

The only other (somewhat scary) thing to report is that I did start spotting and cramping a few days ago. I am not going to lie, it has me a little freaked out. Although it may be perfectly normal spotting and perfectly normal cramping, I have been down this road before (where those two symptoms were not normal, but instead signaled a miscarriage). With the spotting and cramping going on, I was sure that the results of my newest beta check would result in bad news. But, I was pleasantly surprised and actually had to ask the question, “can my betas rise too quickly?” which is something I NEVER thought I would have to ask.

But, since I am spotting and cramping, and it would be no good to be on blood thinners and start having a miscarriage, my OB is going to keep a close watch on my betas. It is too early to see anything on an ultrasound, so the beta levels would be the only indication we have that I may be starting to miscarry and would need to stop the shots.

If you want to get caught up on our four-year-long story that lead up to this pregnancy, make sure to check out my posts as a part of the “Surviving Infertility” category.

A little tip for all the expecting moms out there: it’s better to know in advance how to rid yourself of your post pregnancy belly following the birth of your child. Let’s face it, we all want to get back to looking our best after nine months of carrying a baby. It can’t hurt to learn the basic exercises now (post pregnancy belly / Our Fit Family Life).


My Entire Pregnancy Story

This post was all about being pregnant with my first son, Laughton. After a complicated, high-risk pregnancy, he was born on Mother’s Day 2014 at 28 weeks with a rare condition and passed away shortly after birth. If you would like to read about what my husband and I experienced during the pregnancy, and as we began the grieving process, here is a list of all the posts in order for you:

5 Weeks Pregnant :: pregnancy announcement

6 Weeks Pregnant :: morning sickness cure

7 Weeks Pregnant :: cramping, betas, and a heart-shaped uterus

8 Weeks Pregnant :: normal spotting and a 3D ultrasound

9 Weeks Pregnant :: a calm week

12 Weeks Pregnant :: subchorionic bleed

14 Weeks Pregnant :: the check after the subchorionic bleed

18 Weeks Pregnant :: the first kicks

19 Weeks Pregnant :: the gender guessing game

20 Weeks Pregnant :: when the abnormalities were discovered

22 Weeks Pregnant :: having to make a tough decision

25 Weeks Pregnant :: excessive amniotic fluid

28 Weeks Pregnant :: too beautiful for earth – surviving infant loss

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5 Weeks Pregnant with High Risk

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