Thursday, August 03, 2006

Twins or Not Twins: That is the Question….

...that I have been obsessing about for the last 17 hours.

First, I just have to hope that today’s numbers double. Whether there is a singleton or twins or a litter in there, the most important thing is that the numbers double. The numbers did not quite double for the m/c, although they were still in the viable range. This time, I want at least a doubling from Tuesday’s 892. By the way, this baby’s –babies’ ?—Hcg is nearly double what I had with the miscarriage at 18 dpo although both are well within the normal range.

OK. Now, here is what is going on in my mind.

It’s a Singleton

Although my Hcg number is significantly higher (outside the typical range) of the scores generally given on the Internets—average 292, range from 70 to 758—it is very much within the range of normal healthy singletons at 18 dpo on Beta Base. If you note that data base of beta score, 892 falls near the top but right in the center of the distribution of normal single successful pregnancies. I know from statistics, that being in the middle of the normal range means….it’s normal, average, just like everybody else. :-) I’m smart that way, you see.

There are a few questions I have about both of those charts (one indicating I’m out of the typical range and one saying I’m right in the middle). First—where did the internets range come from? You can find it everywhere, including most medically sanctioned web sites! So what is it based on? A random selection of pregnant women? All pregnant women and not just ones with successful pregnancies? How many women participated? (BTW, the web site entitled IVFer’s HCG Survey Page which although kind hearted and popular is NOT scientifically valid and therefore should not be used as a source of medical information) I actually can say that with my background in research methods.

OK, so back to comparing BetaBase with the Internets. I can see that BetaBase has 1804 women contributing singleton numbers and 563 women with twins at 18 dpo. These are not trivial numbers. But (!) why is the range of beta base so different from the Internets? Beta Base’s 502 average singleton at 18 dpo is not equal to 292 from the Internets. Are the women on BetaBase somehow different from the women from the other range? Most women do not know their beta counts at 18 dpo, so it is quite possible that they are different.

Nonetheless, the ranges do not overlap, which from a statistics standpoint makes me suspicious. If both charts were based on the true population distribution of Hcg at 18 dpo, the charts would be about the same. They are not. Even looking at the comparison of those two charts at 14 dpo, they almost do not overlap at all! That’s crazy!!! It implies to me that the numbers of at least one, if not both, of those charts are not based on the overall population of women. Since I can see the high number of women who have participated in BetaBase, I trust it more.

So in that case, I’m right in the middle of Singleton.

Actually, it’s Twins!

On the other hand, I’m also smack dab in the middle of twindome based on BetaBase, too. Using their database at 18 dpo for twins, I’m exactly in the middle/normal/most people responded in this range for twins. (!)

I also have been searching for information about whether my progesterone level indicates twins. According to this site, my number (29.2) is high based on 1) what stage I am and 2) that I’m not taking supplements. But what does that mean for twins? Some sites say that progesterone is higher in twins, some say it isn’t .

Then there’s the sore neck and shoulders. HA! Google that and see if anyone else thinks that’s a sign of twins. Ummmm, it’s not. At least, not yet. So the scoop is that when I was pg with Conor, I had horrible upper back pain and went to a chiropractor for the first time. Apparently, the relaxin of early pregnancy had caused my back to get all tweaked. But that pain didn’t start for a while after we found out I was pg, and it wasn’t bad enough that I needed help till nearly ten weeks or so.

By dinner last night, I couldn’t move my head, I was in so much pain—and I was even using the good ergonomically designed chair in the office! It just seems to be way to early to be in this much pain. I’m not even 5 weeks pg yet! (That starts tomorrow!!) So I googled like a wild woman on relaxin and twins and found out that ummm, yes. Relaxin is higher for successful pregnancies and for twin pregnancies, although it’s the highest for twin pregnancies which had ovulation help. In fact, one article even said that one could use relaxin as a clinical indicator of the potential for a successful pregnancy.

So is my back pain due to the extra relaxin or due to my excitement of being pg or the fact that I'm pg for the second time and more receptive to relaxin's effects? I don’t know!

Am I having twins!? I don’t know! In fact, all this research has made clear to me is that progesterone and HCG numbers don’t really tell you squat about whether you’re having twins or not. Relaxin could, but I don’t know that number and if I had a hard time searching for average progesterone numbers, I’d have a snowball’s chance in hell finding relaxin’s numbers.

Soooooo, we have to wait for the ultrasound. And we really and truly have to wait to see that today’s numbers have doubled.

Fingers crossed on good news.

ETA: I just found the study that discusses where that table of "normal" HCG values comes from....and guess what!? It involves 1) low numbers of women and 2) pregnancies that were not successful. Betabase is by far the better database on tracking your HcG scores!!


T. Carter said...

Oh yeah. You're a nut. And it's triplets ... ;-) *duck*

Anita said...

That, my friend, is the one thing we know for sure!

OneTiredEma said...

Heh heh. Triplets. :-)

It's good that you're doing your research. I'd be climbing the walls!

Piratewench said...

You must drive your doctor nuts with that background in research and statistics! I had this really silly visual of you verbally saying this whole entry, very, very fast and with your arms waving around in the air and your hair looking tempestuously!!

Anita said...

You've SEEN me in the doctor's office?!?!??!?!