Upper Respiratory Infection and (unrelated) HCG levels and (very related) why I will not be doing Internet research about any of this again*!

So I went to the doctor yesterday, at the advice of a nurse at my OBGYN. As I already mentioned, I have an upper respiratory infection (also known as the common cold) and I. am. miserable. Stuffy, can’t breath (because it hurts so freaking much), coughing up disgusting chunks of things–while still somehow still managing to stay dry enough that it hurts like sandpaper, chills.

Just general UGHness.

I woke up this morning, panicking because I forgot to ask the most important question yesterday: Will having an upper respiratory infection hurt fetal development?

So I left a message for the advice nurse at my PCP’s office. But when I spoke to the nurse, while she tried to reassure me that I’d be fine, she kept thinking I was asking if the nasal saline spray I was using would hurt the baby. Which wasn’t what I was asking at all, and I’m not entirely certain we ever got it completely clarified between us.

I took the question to the TCOYF message boards. Someone answered very thoroughly, and kindly, linking to different articles. Exactly what I was hoping for! Except… also, not. Because the articles showed links between URI’s and cleft lip, and spina bifida, and undescended testicle. NONE of which I want to happen to my baby. Much panic and tearing up ensued.

In texting with my sister, she told me to ask my OBGYN about it, who might know better than the PCP advice nurse. Which I totally agreed with. (Which, okay, in hindsight I’m sure the PCP advice nurse knew the truth, too! But still… Not her specialty, yanno?) So I left a message for the advice nurse at my OBGYN. And I’m soooooo glad I did. She called back within half an hour and totally reassured me.

My baby is fine. My body is protecting it! This will not affect fetal development and I can stop worrying. And I need to stop reading things on the internet. She didn’t specifically say this, but I get the feeling that you can find an article to scare you about pretty much anything you look up that’s pregnancy-related.

So from now on, that’s it. I’m trusting my doctors and will go to them with any questions I have. No more Internet*!

On a brighter note, the HCG results came back from the blood work I had done yesterday. They’re at 8480!!! (Just twelve days ago, they were at 45.) So they’ve done more than double every 48-72 hours, which is what’s supposed to happen. If they’d doubled every 48 hours, my HCG level would be 2880. So, yeah. I’m like 6000 higher than that! (I’m thinking this accounts for my huge–and I mean epic–levels of bitchiness toward Nelson recently…)

My first thought was the higher possibility for twins, but after doing some research, most people who are having twins have way higher HCG levels at 5 weeks than what my levels are. Unfortunately, during that research, I also discovered that sometimes elevated HCG levels can indicate a molar pregnancy. Which is something I wish I’d never even heard of. Again, the Internet turned out to be the devil.

In my mind, I’m choosing to believe my higher than usual HCG levels are an indication of a very strong pregnancy, and I’ll be leaving it at that. Though I still can’t wait for my first official OBGYN appointment in a week.

Here’s a general guideline I found regarding HCG levels at AmericanPregnancy.org:

*okay, so I promise to TRY, anyway.


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