If you haven’t read Sunday’s post, please do so before reading this one. This week’s blog posts will be back-dated journal entries of what I experienced over the last 11 weeks regarding a pregnancy that will end in miscarriage. Part 1 is here and Part 2 is here.
June 27th, 2012
Benjamin is traveling (again!), but I didn’t want to wait too long before my next ultrasound, so I went this morning by myself. I’ve been feeling sick and exhausted enough that I’m sure I’m still pregnant, but right before the appointment I also became acutely aware of that “something doesn’t feel right” feeling I’ve had since the very beginning. I started to get really nervous about what I was going to see… or, more importantly, what I wasn’t.
During the ultrasound the tech asked again about how far along I was. Again. Shouldn’t she know this? Isn’t it on my chart? It was the same tech as last week, so I think she actually knew more than she let on. Despite the fact that I am 9.5 weeks counting from the last day of my last period, and should be about 7.5 weeks judging by the last ultrasound, she said I was measuring at only 6 weeks today. 6 weeks. That’s like turning the clock back… again. She saw a heartbeat at 97 bpm. If I was really 7.5 weeks along, that number would be dangerously low. At the new guess of 6 weeks, that’s within normal, but not stellar.
Maybe I should have been happier about seeing the heartbeat. After all, I had been waiting for that moment. But I wasn’t. It was totally overshadowed by the slow growth and “young” size.
I didn’t even have Benjamin’s hand to squeeze. I just laid there. Staring at the ceiling. Yoga breathing. Trying to silence the screaming in my head.
What does that mean? How could I only be 6 weeks along at this point? Why isn’t the baby growing properly? I honestly felt like when we saw a heartbeat today, that would finally be the point that I could let out the breath I’d been holding and get 100% excited about having a baby in February. On my 30th birthday, no less. But what I realized was that the heartbeat wasn’t my ticket out of this doubt. It was yet another dribble of information leaving me completely numb. And confused. Even more confused than before.
The tech didn’t want to go into too much detail, and I knew it wasn’t her job to answer lots of questions or give me medical advice, so I held my tongue until the nurse could see me. Unfortunately I wasn’t scheduled to see a nurse (I had scheduled an appointment tomorrow with a certain midwife who I am hoping to work with). So I had to wait and wait and wait in the waiting room for AN HOUR while they found me a nurse who had time for a surprise appointment. I texted Benjamin furiously in the waiting room to pass the time. I ended up getting the same nurse who I have spoken with on the phone since the beginning of this whole saga (way back when I was calling to say, “My period’s late but my tests are negative… what do I do?”). She was refreshingly point-blank about the reality of the situation.
“Look”, she said. “It’s concerning that you’re measuring small, if you really are farther along. But the fact is that what we are measuring is SO small, that everything could be fine and dandy, just 6 weeks along at this point. And we did see a heartbeat, which is good. On the other hand, this slow growth could mean that this pregnancy is headed for miscarriage. We really just don’t know at this point. I would say you have a 50/50 chance of this pregnancy working out. We want you to come back next week for another check. I’m sorry I don’t have better news.”
As soon as I opened my mouth to ask a few questions, the tears started flowing. Hello, old friends. I remember these tears. The ones that come when what I really want to be saying is, “What the hell? Why can’t I make a baby like a normal person? Why does it always have to be so fucking complicated? How is this so easy for so many other people? What is wrong with ME?”.
As soon as I saw that beautiful plus sign with Owen almost 2 years ago, I essentially closed the door on my struggle with infertility. I haven’t ever forgotten what I went through to make him and I certainly didn’t stop thinking of the other women I knew who were still struggling, but getting pregnant with Owen was such a joy, from the very beginning, that it pulled me right out of that downward spiral of struggle and defeat and stress and frustration. I chose to concentrate on the present and the baby growing inside me, and not to wallow in the past. I moved on. I cut ties. I erased those months from my memory. But today’s appointment brought me right back there. To my old familiar place. At the mercy of my body, probability, and a whole lot of chance.
So the wait begins. Again. In 8 days we will have another look. Maybe THAT will be the moment that I breathe out and scream “I’m PREGNANT” from the rooftops. Or maybe it will be the day that we realize that this baby isn’t meant to be in this world. And there’s not a damn thing I can do now to change that outcome between now and then.