Thursday 25 July 2019

First Trimester: Viability Scan at Worcester Royal Hospital

First Trimester: Viability Scan at Worcester Royal Hospital

Today I felt positive, today I was going to see little Pop’s heartbeat for the first time.

I made my way to Worcester Royal, I felt excited and hopeful. I had allowed plenty of time to get there and find where I needed to be.

The scan was booked for 10am and I had been told there was an appointment booked for me in the Early Pregnancy Unit following the ultrasound.

I sat and waited for my name to be called, but 10 o clock came and went, they were running late. I saw pregnant ladies get called into their scans and come out with beaming smiles over their faces. 

I sat there thinking that will be me in the next few minutes.

Eventually my name was called, I followed a sonographer into a room a little further down the hall. I came prepared for them to scan my abdomen at first (I really needed to pee, and I had already been to let a bit out because I knew it would be too full again!).

They struggled to see much on the abdominal scan and sent me back to empty my bladder again (as I expected they would) so that they could perform an internal scan. 

I came back into the room and the ultrasound commenced. It was a very different atmosphere in the room as opposed to anything I have ever experienced before. In every other scan I have ever been at, the sonographer or midwife has spoken to me as she went along, pointing out different things as she saw them. 

Today she said ‘I will talk to you in a minute’.

Warning flag 1?

I lay there trying to glance at the scan screen that had been positioned slightly out of my view.

Warning flag 2?

I saw her find the gestational sac, I saw little pop appear on the screen.

Still nothing was being said.

Until she spoke ...

‘There is no heartbeat’ 

Missed Miscarriage: Embryo with no Heart Beat

I had been asking questions as she went. Had the sac grown? Had the embryo grown? What were the new measurements?

I felt reassured when she told me that the embryo was measuring 7 weeks and the gestational sac had grown (she wouldn’t give me the measurements however...).

I kept thinking even if they hadn’t observed the heartbeat just yet, it was a positive that Pop was still growing, maybe my dates were still out?

The sonographer called a colleague in to observe the embryo, they weren’t even certain that there was a yolk sac at one stage. Eventually they found one and it looked like Pop may have been hiding it by being directly in front of it. 

The colleague confirmed that she could see no heartbeat.

I asked if I could have a scan photo, of all the scans I had been to during this pregnancy, I didn’t have a scan photo. Whatever the outcome of this pregnancy... I needed a ultrasound photo.

They spent time looking through the snaps they had taken, they said that they couldn’t give me one with any measurements on. Ironically the ones that I would have wanted the most. 

They printed one but reminded me that this may not have a happy ending. 

The report that they had generated was electronic and never entered my hands.... it went straight to the midwife in the early pregnancy unit.

I went around there still hopeful, the baby had grown, there was a yolk sac... there was still hope.

When my name was called and I followed the young midwife into a room in a part of the hospital I had never been before, I wasn’t nervous. I didn’t think that this may be signalling the end.

Maybe I was naive, maybe I thought positive thinking was the way as always....

Who knows.

She pulled up the reports, I couldn’t help but read over her shoulder. I needed answers and it felt like no one wanted to give me the full story...

‘Retroverted uterus’

‘No heartbeat’

‘Embryo 3.5mm’

‘Irregular gestational sac’

First Trimester: Viability Scan at Worcester Royal Hospital

I didn’t know I had a retroverted uterus, they had told me the baby had grown, but that measurement suggested the baby had shrunk?

No one, no one, no one had once told me that the gestational sac was irregular. 

What did that even mean?

I posed all this to the midwife, she tried to call the sonographer to question the measurements. When there was no call she left me and my mum and went to physically get some answers for me.

She must have been gone 20 minutes or so....

Eventually she came back.

I had just hit record on my phone, I thought she may say the actual measurement of the embryo and the sac and I could have a verbal record to fall back on later if I forgot...

Only what I ended up recording was the final say, that this pregnancy wasn’t viable. 

That this pregnancy would most likely end. 

That this pregnancy was a missed miscarriage. 

The baby’s measurements were correct, she had looked at the ultrasound herself. This meant that the baby has shrunk by 2mm in a week. I didn’t know that’s what happens when a baby dies in the womb. 

I kept it together, I don’t really know how... maybe it was shock, maybe it was disbelief. 

The absolute disbelief that my body had failed me. 

I was given my management options, I could let nature take its course.

I could take a tablet that would flush the pregnancy out of my body.

I could have surgery to essentially vacuum Pop and the pregnancy from my body.

I wasn’t making this decision today. No way, I needed to be absolutely 100% certain that a mistake had not been made. 

I declined every option today, they offered me one final scan next Thursday, and then I will be given my management options again. 

The options to remove my tiny baby from my body.

The midwife seemed surprised that I had no pain, no bleeding, no signs of miscarriage. My boobs were still sore, the tests were still very much positive....

How could this be happening?

I’m young, I’m fit, I’m healthy. This baby was WANTED. We were in a position to love and care for this baby. 

Leo so wanted to be a big brother so much. This baby was meant to be, how could our futures be changing just like this?

I was composed the whole way home, heck I drove. I was fine until I called Luke and had to talk through what had happened and what the next steps were. 

The tears fell, but I needed to tell Leo now and I needed to be strong, I failed.

I told Leo that the baby was going to go to heaven, that his or her little heart was not beating. He seemed to take it ok... 

My womb has become a tomb. 

My baby has died.

I am carrying around my dead baby, acting like everything is ok, facing people who are telling me ‘you will sail through this pregnancy just like you did the first time’.

But I won’t.

Missed Miscarriage at 7 weeks Pregnant: First Trimester

I am torn with what to do, I want to feel the pain of losing this baby. I want it to hurt, I want it to really, really hurt. I feel like experiencing that will actually help. I want to see this pregnancy leave my body, I want to bury my baby under a blossom tree. 

I feel like this is the least I can do for the little life I carried, because we no longer have a whole lifetime together.

Equally I have heard horrible things about the tablets and tissue getting stuck. I equally don’t want this to happen... I keep going back to the surgical route... I would want to claim my baby after, I need to find out if that is an option. 

I have so much to think about.

I have so many questions.

I am going to request my pregnancy notes from the hospital computers. I need them. I need to know everything that they saw, everything that they noted. 

Maybe for closure, maybe acceptance, maybe just to depict the whole sorry tale. Maybe to fathom if this was just a one off... or could this happen again?

Missed Miscarriage at 7 weeks Pregnant: First Trimester

I always thought getting pregnant would be the biggest struggle, not staying pregnant. 

I broke tonight, the tears fell and they didn’t stop. I still feel pregnant, my body doesn’t realise what has happened, I wonder if it will? Or will I need to take the medical route?

How could a baby die and your body not realise?

What if the first measurement taken at the scan a week ago was wrong? What if it’s because my dates are all over the place? What if it’s because I have a retroverted uterus? Maybe it was the angle of the scan? 

I’m scared. I’m devastated, I’m terrified that this could and will happen again. 

I just keep thinking ‘what if’.

Missed Miscarriage at 7 weeks Pregnant: First Trimester

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