From the time we found out we were pregnant until our first ultrasound (about 3 weeks after we found out) we told only a handful of people and swore them all to secrecy. My dad, my husband’s sister and my closest friend. We didn’t want to jinx ourselves, so we wanted to get through the first few scans before opening that circle up a bit. Although thinking it over now-I can count more than 10 women who have posted their pregnancy within the first 6 weeks up on face book and more than 3/4’s of them have already had healthy babies and the other 1/4 are in the homestretch. Never once have I seen any woman who let the world in on their secret before their first scan have to alert everyone that they lost their pregnancy. Maybe alerting the whole world as soon as you pee on a stick via facebook, sky writing and billboards is the way to go-they certainly had a better outcome than the whole secrecy thing did for us.
Our first appointment scared us. The scan showed the fetus at 6 weeks when I knew for sure when I ovulated and that the fetus should be no less than 8 weeks in size.
There was a sporadic but definitely there heartbeat for 6 weeks which is great, had we not know exactly when I ovulated, we would have been thrilled! But for a mother to be who knows that little bean is 2 weeks behind which is NEVER a good sign in fetal development, I started to cry.
Unfortunately in this game we found that one thing can always be counted on. WAITING. We were sent home to WAIT, told not to tell anyone about our pregnancy yet and rescheduled for another ultrasound in 2 weeks to give the baby time to grow. Our second scan looked promising. That little bean had developed quite a bit (grew 16 days in 12)-even looked like it could be a human one day. Great heart beat, beautiful profile, little arm and leg buds-I glanced over to look at my husband who was staring intently at the screen with tears of joy sliding down his face. It should have been another moment that is full of pride and bliss-but I became aware that the damn ultrasound tech spent over 10 minutes scanning just the fetal head. Up and down, back to front, side to side-over and over again. After beginning to get nervous I dismissed it because the tech would surely say if she saw something that wasn’t right (#3) but instead she printed out our babies first picture for us and then sent us to the lobby to wait for our OB. I mean really who in good conscience could send a couple to the lobby with an ultrasound picture of a perfect looking fetal profile to WAIT for 45 minutes admiring the picture and being excited that there was such a strong heart beat IF THERE WAS SERIOUSLY SOMETHING NOT RIGHT WITH ITS HEAD??
The ultrasound tech that’s who. We learned that people who do ultrasounds day in and day out as their job aren’t allowed to tell you if what they see is normal or abnormal-that’s not their job. OB’s are too busy to be bogged down doing ultrasounds so they hire trained ultrasound technicians-but they aren’t doctors. The look at babies in every stage of development day after day, baby after baby, so they know when something looks normal and not normal. They report their findings to the OB who then tells us there is nothing we can do we have to go home and WAIT some more. She also strongly cautioned us against telling anyone our news.
This time our wait was for more than a month because the fetus had to be 12 weeks old for the next scan which was the Monday before Christmas. But due to the holiday we would have to wait until the following Monday after Christmas (the day before we were leaving for a 10 day European vacation). As noted in a previous posts, patience is not my strong suit, and even more challenging during this wait was that I was beginning to look pregnant AND it was over not only the Thanksgiving holiday but Christmas with the family too.
We found out on Monday December 28th, 2009 that we were going to loose our baby. to a massive fatal neural tube defect. In the week of fetal development that most parents find out the sex of their baby and that all of the body parts and organs are there, we were trying to figure out how to go back to life as we knew it before pregnancy. Sadly 18 weeks later, it is a place that I’m still not comfortable in.