So yesterday was a very traumatic day. I went in to my OB and saw the nurse midwife. I described the very light spotting I’d had over the weekend, and she said she was really not worried based on that description. A quick check under the hood and she said everything looked good.
And then we decided to do an ultrasound scan “just for reassurance.” She was taking an inordinately long time with the wand and the machine. They didn’t have an ultrasound tech there yesterday, so she was running the machine herself.
Finally I mustered up the courage to ask “Can you still see the heartbeat?” And she replied, “I have to be honest with you, I can’t. I’m trying to get a better angle, I can see the cords and everything going in, but I can’t definitively see the heartbeat.”
I have never felt so terrible in my life. I felt like somebody had sucked all the air out of me. I felt like I should be crying, but all I was managing were these dry gasps for air. She wanted to send me to the perinatal center at the hospital for another ultrasound, to make sure. She said that it could just be the angle that she was getting, and they could tell more with the equipment they had. But she looked worried.
The perinatal center couldn’t get me in until 1:30, it was now 10:30. I couldn’t imagine what I would do with myself for the intervening 3 hours. Go back to work? Go home and sob? The nurse recommended I try my reproductive endocrinologist, explain what was going on and see if they could get me in sooner.
I called and calmly explained what was going on and the receptionist put me on hold. When she came back and said, “I’m sorry, we can’t see you again,” that’s when the tears and the sobbing came. She put me on hold again, then came back and said that they could take me after all, if I could come straight in, as the doctor was only in until noon.
Luckily, my regular OB and RE are about 2 minutes up the street from each other. After waiting about 15 minutes or so, they brought me back in to the ultrasound room. I practically had my pants off before the nurse shut the door.
The doctor came in and as soon as he got the wand in, he said, “Everything is perfect.” He started moving it around and then we saw the heartbeat blinking on the screen. I started sobbing all over again, this time out of relief. “In fact,” he asked, “you want to see something really cool?” I was still so busy trying to dial back the freak out that I didn’t answer until he prompted, “Say ‘yes’.”
And then he pointed out the two little arm buds growing, and as we were looking, the baby gave a little jump, as if it was waving and saying “Hi, mom!”
I go back next week for what was supposed to be my next regular 4 week OB visit (moved back a week because of the holidays, I wanted the reassurance of the hearing the heartbeat before telling the whole family at Christmas). I’ll have another regular check up and an ultrasound with the tech then.
Just a few more weeks and hopefully I can relax a little bit more. My S-I-L says the end of the first trimester is a big relief, and then at 28 weeks, it’s another big relief, because the baby is then viable if you deliver early. I’m not sure about that; 28 weeks seems barely half cooked to me. I think the worrying is just beginning; I don’t think I’m going to relax for the rest of my life…