So, short story: we didn’t see the baby or its heartbeat when we went in a couple of weeks ago. There was a sac where the baby should be growing but we couldn’t see anything in it. We have another ultrasound tomorrow and we are really hoping to see something besides just an empty sac.
And now the long story with lots of science and details, since I realized I never posted anything since then here since shortly after we’d confirmed with the first blood test that we were expecting. I’m a terrible mommyblogger already.
We had our first ultrasound on March 13th. Based on the date of our insemination, the we were looking for a tiny, tiny embryo that was just a whopping 4 mm long and we had very high hopes of seeing at heartbeat. Based on all of Amelia’s standard symptoms and lack of any bad things going on, we had no reason not to believe we’d see that. We were pretty disappointed.
The Nurse Practitioner (NP) who’d done the insemination (in other words: knocked my wife up!) came in to do the ultrasound. She saw a few fibroids that had gotten a tad bigger since our first couple of ultrasounds before the process and took pictures and measurements of those. She dug around for a while with that gigantic wand and I know it couldn’t have possibly felt good to be on the receiving end of it. I saw when she found the gestational sac the first time, but couldn’t find anything else in it. She verified that she had the right insemination date down and then let us know she was going to go get a doctor since she was having some trouble with the fibroids.
Of course there’s no way that was comforting. Our doctor wasn’t available, which was a let down because we are extremely used to his bedside manner and we really like him. It was a newer Reproductive Endocrinologist (RE) and I’m sure she knew the ropes, but it was just different. She kept digging around like she may be clearing out a spot for a fence post. She took a few measurements, both of the fibroids and of what we found out was an empty gestational sac. At this point, we’re obviously 100% sure of the date of conception, no wiggle room there. Our friend math added things up to being 6w3d along. It’s not completely uncommon to not see a heartbeat that early on, because it is still pretty early.
I was almost sure I saw some weird blip on the screen and Amelia said she noticed the NP kind of doing the same thing when the RE was digging around. I mean, I guess it could have just been a bad pixel on their kabillion dollar coochie scanning thing, too.
What the doctor did see was an empty gestational sac, but what she didn’t see were things like a yolk sac, a fetal pole and a heartbeat. (Here’s a link to some fun stuff about those things if you’re curious.) The gestational sac measured exactly where it’s supposed to be, which is a good thing. The sac was sitting high in Amelia’s uterus and there was no question that it had implanted nice and hard.
The bedside manner of the NP and the substitute RE were really just kind of weird. We were obviously so excited to come in and see how this thing was progressing. I’m sure they’re used to seeing this kind of thing all the time, but we obviously weren’t. We essentially have a 50/50 shot of this being the real deal. Not great odds, but they could obviously be worse.
The ultrasound (transvaginal in case you’re curious or wound up here via Google) results were inconclusive. They couldn’t see anything, but they were very forward in saying it could either be because the embryo never developed or because the fibroids were in the way/casting a shadow on what we needed to see. And then they automatically jumped to a “it’s not your fault” speech that included mentioning things like, “just because you might have had a glass of wine doesn’t mean that’s what caused this”. Well, slow it down, Backup Doctor. I mean, shit. Nobody had any wine and that’s just a weird thing to say. It’s not like we accidentally got pregnant here, you know? We planned this down to the exact minute of the NP shooting millions of nice, clean sperm into my wife’s cervix. It’s not like we went out and got drunk the night before. I’m sure she was just trying to be nice and calming, but that totally backfired.
They drew blood before we left to measure Amelia’s HCG and it was around 19,000, which is exactly in the range of where it should be for how far along the embryo is (if it’s in there). And over the course of the last week and a half, Amelia’s pregnancy symptoms have continued – every last one of them. She hasn’t had any of the scary miscarriage signs – no bleeding, no cramping, no red flags at all. She’s been having some light pinching, but the more we started talking about them, she’s thinking it might be the fibroids, since those haven’t been there before.
I have 1.5 semesters left of my AA in Liberal Arts, so I feel very qualified in saying that if there’s not a heartbeat tomorrow, we’ll get a diagnosis of a blighted ovum. There’s absolutely nothing anybody did wrong or nothing anybody could have done to prevent it from happening.
Don’t get me wrong. We’re not giving up hope. There have still been signs out in the atmosphere that have hit me pretty hard that there’s either a wad of webbed hands and feet in there. Just thinking about it stresses me out sometimes to the point where I start clenching my jaws. I got so stressed that I actually ended up buying this mouth guard for grinding teeth so that my jaws could stop hurting. There’s a name that’s been on our list for a while and it’s not a very common name. Twice in two days, we’ve ran into people with that name.
Tomorrow at 11:30 a.m., we learn what’s next. We’ll be exactly at 8 weeks, so everything should be where it’s supposed to be. If you have a few moments between now and then and can say a prayer or send some vibes or just have some overall really positive thoughts, our family would really, really appreciate them. We’ll get our answer and we’ll know where to go from here.
One thing is for sure. This experience has just proven once again how much love we have in our lives from friends, family, co-workers, you name. We’re so, so fortunate.