Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Sad news.

The word "news" has been in all my latest blog posts, hasn't it? It's all about things changing, for good or otherwise.
We had our first sonogram today. It was our first appointment, I was all excited to get "baby pictures". The exam and all went smoothly, we liked the doctor (whom we were meeting for the first time) and he ordered three pages worth of labs gearing up for this somewhat exciting pregnancy. Then he sent us for the sonogram. The tech found my uterus, then said hesitantly that she could see the yolk sac but the baby wasn't eight weeks. "Okay, so we figured the due date wrong." That happens, it's cool, right? She kept looking and looking. She called in another doctor. Turned out that what she was looking for and not finding was - a heartbeat. I think she and the doctor must have said it four or five times, different ways, that this baby had no heartbeat. Heart should have been beating. Wasn't. No heartbeat. There should be one. There isn't. Baby measures 7 weeks. At 7 weeks there should be a heartbeat. We can't find one. I was just staring at the monitor thinking this was impossible. I was pregnant! There was a baby! I was throwing up in the morning as recently as Sunday!
The tech, perhaps at a loss for what else to do, got our new OB. Looking back, I feel really sorry for him. He looked about as young as the med student who was shadowing him, and it can't be news that he often has to discuss. When he came in, he looked as blank and shocked as we were (as the DOCTOR in the room, that can't be a good feeling). He said it was a "missed miscarriage", that this happens spontaneously and without known cause in about 1 in 4 pregnancies in the first trimester, that there was nothing anyone "did wrong" to cause it, that it should have no bearing on future fertility, etc. He ran out of things to say.
He added that sometimes the very early ones (there's no way to know, but sometimes...) are because of very serious chromosomal problems, and that it would be better for it to happen now than later, when it would be harder. I started breathing deeply and resisting the temptation to do or say something I would regret (Husband said afterward that in fact I had looked homicidal). Doctor looked rather anxious - my guess is he realized that perhaps between inexperience with miscarriages and the fact that his first language was demonstrably not English, he had gravely misspoken - and restated. He was not saying, "The baby might have had problems anyway, better to not carry it," which is what I had essentially heard. He explained that there can be problems SO grave that the baby would not have lived long even IN the womb, and that miscarrying at 7 weeks is relatively easier - on the mother's body, at least - than at 15 or 20 weeks when there is a body of more significant size to be dealt with. And the early-early miscarriages that are never explained include those, though there's no way to know how frequently.
Okay, so he meant well, he probably doesn't often get called into a patient's first sono to explain a lack of heartbeat, and he has not been at this long. There's not much you CAN say. Husband found something online, anecdotal, about not finding a heartbeat at seven weeks and finding one later, but I didn't have a shred of morning sickness yesterday or this morning, and felt ill this afternoon. Pretty sure the doctor is right.


Mary R. said...

I'm sorry Cesarea.

Tena said...

Oh, honey, I'm so sorry for your loss. BIG (hugs).

Anonymous said...

I am so very sorry. *hugs*

Mimi said...

Oh, oh, oh. I'm so sorry. May that sweet baby's Memory be Eternal, and hugs and love to you.

Matushka said...


I'm so sorry to hear of your loss! Memory Eternal!


Pres. Kathy said...

I am so sorry to hear about your loss. You and your family re in our prayers.