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The Loss of Pregnancy Innocence

by Meghann on April 13, 2015

In case you missed Part 1: The Story Behind Our Positive Test 

I waited a full two weeks to call the doctor.

After my miscarriage last fall, I was instructed to contact my doctor’s office immediately after receiving a positive test. They wanted to start the routine of drawing blood for betas immediately and then early ultrasounds to verify a valid pregnancy from the beginning. However, I’d been down that route before and knew how devastating it is to have an ultrasound at 5 weeks and not see much of anything, then see a heart beat a week later, and then an empty sack 6 weeks after that. Quite frankly, I was scared and wasn’t quite up for that stress just yet. So I waited and tried to enjoy the fact that for that very minute I was pregnant and what would happen, would happen.

I had a couple of big hurdles I wanted to conquer. First was getting that positive on the digital test. Then making it to 18 DPO, when I started bleeding my first pregnancy. 18 DPO came and went – no bleeding. That was a big relief, but still not big enough. Finally I wanted to make it to 6 weeks (according to my last menstrual period (LMP)). No real reason for waiting to 6 weeks, it was just a number I put out there.

When I finally did call, they agreed to skipping the betas and having an ultrasound at 7 weeks (according to LMP) to verify the pregnancy. I felt okay making the appointment, but then my nerves slowly sunk in and I began to make myself sick with worry. Derek wasn’t able to go with me to the appointment, and by the time they brought me back, I was in tears due to fear and nerves.

It was the same ultrasound room I had heard the devastating news in last time. The same big screen mounted on the wall, the same evil machine waiting to be used, and they even still had my old information in the system. I watched as March 2nd popped up on the screen and quickly wiped away a few fresh tears.

Luckily my ultrasound tech was amazing. She was very understanding of my situation and asked if I wanted to turn the big screen off (I opted to leave it on). She also held my hand as we took the initial peek at what was waiting inside.

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There it was, a tiny little blob with the tiniest flicker of a heartbeat. The ultrasound tech immediately zoomed in on baby to confirm the heartbeat, before zooming out and taking the necessary photos of my uterus, ovaries, and cervix. She was actually the first ultrasound tech to walk me through what she was taking photos of, and when it came time to take a photo of my little blob, she labeled it baby not embryo as my previous techs had done.

She saved the measurements and heart rate for last.

Now, according to my last missed period, I was 7 weeks to the day. According to my FF app’s ovulation date, I was 6 weeks 5 days. According to my theory with the OPK test, I was 6 weeks 3 days.

My little blob measured at 6 weeks 1 day.

6 weeks 1 day? That couldn’t be right. I know measurements can be off this early, but I was extra nervous with my history. The smaller measurements wouldn’t have bothered me as much with a really strong heartbeat, but when she measured it the first time it was 114 and the second time – for good measure – it was 106. At 6 weeks 4 days with my miscarriage the heart rate was 111. I was hoping for at least 120 today. My heart sank.

The ultrasound didn’t think much of it. She asked if I have a regular 28 cycle (I don’t) and said that they look for anything above 100 this early. She seemed really happy with the ultrasound and offered to leave a screenshot on the big screen that I could take a photo of with my phone (my doctor office doesn’t do print outs, instead they offer CDs of photos, but don’t usually provide them this early).

I met with the doctor after the ultrasound and she agreed that everything looked good. She asked about my period and suggested I just ovulated/implanted late. She moved my due date back a week and agreed to an ultrasound at my 8 week appointment two weeks later. The 8 week ultrasound is not something they usually offer, but with my history, she agreed for my peace of mind. She also once again confirmed I have a bicornate uterus. That thing will haunt me in every ultrasound.

I left the appointment feeling unhinged. Yes, I saw a little bean with a little heartbeat, but I saw the same thing at 6 weeks with my last pregnancy. Measuring behind, with a lower-than-I-was-hoping heartbeat, made me nervous. So I did what every expecting mom should NOT do, I googled the heck out of it. Ugh. Bad idea.

I basically spent the next two weeks with knots in my stomach. I cried a lot, threw myself mini pity parties, and grew upset every time I saw another pregnancy announcement, jealous of how happy and carefree the couple seemed. Why couldn’t I be that way? Why couldn’t I have that feeling of ignorant bliss, assuming everything would be okay. That’s a feeling that was taken away from me, lost forever in the grief of a previously doomed pregnancy. I know how much it hurts to lose something you wanted so badly. It hurts. It hurts a lot.

Then, two nights before my appointment, I had this amazing dream. I dreamt the appointment went well and we saw the little bean with a strong 174 heart rate. I woke up feeling refreshed, like all of the tension had dissipated. It was just a dream, but for whatever reason it temporarily put my fears to rest.

The morning of the appointment, I was less nervous that I was expecting. Again, Derek wasn’t able to make the appointment, so I was on my own. I held my breath when my name was called and was delighted to see it was the same sweet ultrasound tech as last time.

She brought me back, got me situated, and then we both took deep breaths as the screen filled with the familiar fuzzy gray image. I immediately saw my little blob and exclaimed, “It’s grown!” The ultrasound tech smiled and said, “Of course it did. It’s going to keep growing, too.”

She zoomed in and I started crying. That was my little blob! He/she was really in there!

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The bean was measuring 8 weeks 3 days (which was right in line with what it should be according to my last ultrasound) with a strong heart rate of 183. The tears continued to flow.

There’s no way of knowing when my other little bean’s heart stopped beating during my last pregnancy. We had a heartbeat at the 6 week mark, then an empty sac at 12 weeks. I can only assume it didn’t continue beating much longer after that 6 week exam. With that being said, I took more comfort in seeing such a strong heartbeat at 8 weeks, than I did after seeing any heartbeat at 6 weeks. I’ve always assumed my former pregnancy never progressed after 6 weeks. Knowing this one had made it to 8 weeks gave me hope I didn’t have before.

It was probably the first doctor’s appointment I left with a smile on my face.

Though the crushing fear was (and IS) still there, there was something about seeing that image that made me feel safe. I spoke with Derek afterwards and told him it was time to tell our families – something I never felt ready for with the last one.

{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sara @ LovingOnTheRun April 13, 2015 at 1:05 pm

So excited for you!! Congrats!! I love following your story.
Sara @ LovingOnTheRun recently posted..Weekly Running Recap: 4/6/15 – 4/12/15

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2 Lauren April 13, 2015 at 1:13 pm

Beautiful! I am also due in early October and also named my baby Little Bean after the first ultrasound. I love that you use it too! Now he/she is more like a big bean and all my friends and family use that name too!

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3 EB @ Running on E April 13, 2015 at 1:15 pm

Congrats! I’m so excited for both of you! 🙂
EB @ Running on E recently posted..Miles for Maria Goals and Contest!

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4 Alex April 13, 2015 at 1:25 pm

Congrats!
Alex recently posted..15 Things for 2015 Check-In

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5 Melissa April 13, 2015 at 1:37 pm

So so happy for you!!!

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6 Sara April 13, 2015 at 1:43 pm

What an amazing feeling! The first trimester is such a scary time. I hope you’re feeling better and more confident now.
Sara recently posted..Pregnancy Update – 18 Weeks

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7 Paige April 13, 2015 at 1:48 pm

This made my day!!! Big smiles for you and Derek!!!!
Paige recently posted..In A Flash

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8 Caroline April 13, 2015 at 2:03 pm

This post just gave me so much hope! I am 5 weeks, 3 days pregnant after a miscarriage in January. I am already dreading that first US – I swear it is post traumatic stress after the bad news last time. I’m going to be a hot mess of tears and joy of there’s a little heartbeat…..we never got to see one last time. Congrats and try to relax!

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9 Bets April 13, 2015 at 2:24 pm

I’m so sorry for the stress and worry you have been and will continue to go through. I’m in my first pregnancy after years of fertility treatment and feel near constant panic and worry instead of excitement. Pregnancy is such a strange time. I’m crossing my fingers and toes that the rest of your pregnancy progresses well.

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10 Liz April 13, 2015 at 3:32 pm

First trimester is so stressful! I got pregnant after several rounds of fertility treatment and had a similar experience at my first early ultrasound with the baby measuring small when I knew my dates were right. It was SO hard waiting the 2 weeks to the next US and I made the mistake of consulting Dr. Google too…talk about the worst idea!! Those early ultrasounds are definitely both a blessing and a curse. So happy that your bean grew healthy and strong! I hope you are now getting to the point where you can have fun being pregnant!

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11 Michael Clare April 13, 2015 at 3:45 pm

I was born a premie and my mother had two miscarriages before she had me. They were so worried that they decided to name me Michael regardless of whether I was a boy or a girl- after the saint for protection. it’s a scary thing… But just so you know, my mom ended up with 7 children total ?? !!!

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12 Allison A April 13, 2015 at 4:11 pm

I feel like I could have written this post! I had such a similar experience to you…. we had a missed miscarriage at 12 weeks. At our 12 wk u/s, there was our beautiful baby with no HB. She had died around 11 wks, likely due to Turner’s syndrome. Until then, I had been blissfully unaware that such a thing could happen to me. It forever changed future pregnancies. With my 3rd & 4th pregnancies (we had a healthy baby prior to the MC), I was an anxious mess until we got to the stage where I could feel the baby moving consistently. And every single u/s filled me with dread, even late term, when we had no reason to suspect anything would be wrong. I’m sorry for you that you are experiencing this same anxiousness! All you can do is take it one day at a time, and do your best to enjoy the pregnancy! Congrats to you!

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13 stacy April 13, 2015 at 5:25 pm

Congrats! I’m so happy that it worked out. I can’t wait for more pregnancy related posts. You and Derek will be great parents.
stacy recently posted..A Weekend Apart, or Camping in Fort Davis

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14 Kat April 13, 2015 at 6:25 pm

Congratulations on your little one! I miscarried at 8 weeks. I was very fortunate to get pregnant again within two cycles. The second I got a positive pregnancy test I called my Doctor so I could go in for blood work. I’d read that low progesterone can result in miscarriage(I had no clue if it was the reason for mine but was willing to try anything). sure enough my progesterone was extremely low, only a 5. They scheduled an ultrasound for a few days later but offered to call in a prescription for progesterone in the mean time and i immediately started taking it. The ultrasound came and our little one’s heart was beating. My doctor is still amazed that a progesterone level of 5 at that first appointment turned into a healthy pregnancy and ultimately my wild, amazing 14 month old baby boy. I’ve learned how important it is to advocate for yourself!! Best wishes for an enjoyable pregnancy and healthy baby!!

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15 Heather April 13, 2015 at 7:37 pm

Ugh I really wish you could go through pregnancy with no nerves and no reason to be scared, but I obviously totally understand. Think of it this way – you will only love and appreciate your little bean more after this! xo

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16 Linda @ The Fitty April 13, 2015 at 9:13 pm

Pregnancy is a beautoful thing–don’t stress too much because it’s already hard on your body! Go’s bless you a healthy happy baby 🙂
Linda @ The Fitty recently posted..The Chiptole Hiring Chronicles {#LIPlinkup #21}

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17 Gillian April 13, 2015 at 9:14 pm

Congrats! I’ve been reading your blog for awhile, haven’t been reading for awhile, and I was so happy to land on your announcement posts!
Gillian recently posted..Monday…

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18 Katie R. April 13, 2015 at 9:37 pm

I’m loving reading your pregnancy posts and am happy things are looking up for you after your mc. I had a chemical pregnancy at 6 wks. and am eagerly awaiting another BFP. Thank you for sharing your journey!

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19 Mrs. Swan April 13, 2015 at 9:38 pm

Yeah for a good appointment! I admit it makes my heart hurt that you are going to these appts. alone just for sanity sake. I would suggest at least a GF next time. Yeah for baby HB’s!

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20 Melanie April 13, 2015 at 10:48 pm

What a strong woman you are. I have read your blog for so long now it almost feels as if you are a penpal! You have character and perserverence amongst all else and will get through this testing time. A baby is a miracle, just as your first was, this one and any others coming your way. The duration of their presence in your life becomes somewhat irrelevant, for they have blessed you with so many feelings and so much love. Congratulations to you both x

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21 Goldie April 13, 2015 at 11:38 pm

You describe pregnancy after loss perfectly. There is always a level of panic, fear, analysis. You are totally normal in this situation though. Be brave. Beautiful things await you. Xxxxxxxxx

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22 Farwa April 14, 2015 at 5:03 am

Congratulation! Soo happy for you 🙂

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23 Z April 14, 2015 at 7:25 am

I know exactly what you’re going through. 25w today and that feeling of dread never really leaves completely. However I hope you find a way to enjoy it because it’s just such a gift each time.

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24 Nikki April 14, 2015 at 8:47 am

I really think Girl!!!

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25 Ellie April 14, 2015 at 8:53 am

So happy for you! I have a 7 month old baby girl and there truly is no greater joy. There’s a lot of anxiety associated with pregnancy (and parenthood) but there is so much joy to be had, so just try to focus on that and enjoy having that precious baby all to yourself for the next few months 🙂

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26 allison April 14, 2015 at 9:07 am

Ohhh i am crying tears of happiness for you (and Derek!). So much love for that little bean as it keeps getting bigger and bigger! Saw your most recent picture today– such an adorable baby bump!!! Grow bean grow!

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27 Karen April 14, 2015 at 5:05 pm

Hi Meghann
Congrats on your pregnancy! I’m an OB nurse and just wanted to clarify that LMP means Last Menstral Period (not last missed period).
Again … congrats and I’m sure everything will go perfectly!
K 🙂

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28 Ashley M. [at] (never)homemaker April 14, 2015 at 5:42 pm

I have definitely learned the hard way that Dr. Google is awful. I had a similar situation with my miscarriage where the baby was measuring behind, and I feel like I earned an honorary medical degree with everything I read and looked up. The next time I’m lucky enough to get pregnant, I’ve already decided I’m stepping off the forums and Google stuff because what’s going to happen is going to happen. There’s nothing that can really prevent miscarriages from happening if they’re going to happen, which just sucks because I thought I had more control than that. Sigh. Anyway, best of luck with your pregnancy. There are a lot of ups and downs, but in the end it’s all worth it.
Ashley M. [at] (never)homemaker recently posted..What’s Good // What’s Not

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29 Sarah April 14, 2015 at 9:25 pm

Congratulations to you and Derek! Wishing you a continued healthy pregnancy and looking forward to following your blog as the little bean matures!

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30 Jesica @rUnladylike April 15, 2015 at 12:52 am

Congrats on your sweet little bean/blob 🙂 I’m very happy for you and will be thinking and praying for you guys. Looking forward to seeing you in Tampa soon. xo
Jesica @rUnladylike recently posted..Win a Free Spot at the Peachtree Road Race

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31 britt April 15, 2015 at 10:06 am

You will be so happy to hold and see and hear your sweet baby and it does fly by sooner than ypu think I am so happy for you I believe pregnancy dreams are like seeing in the future this baby is strong already !

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32 Ashley Kriss April 15, 2015 at 1:04 pm

Congratulations!! This seriously makes me so happy for you!! I just went through a miscarriage this past Friday. I was 6 weeks 1 day and it was the best worst week of my life. Your story gives me so much hope!! People don’t often talk about miscarriages and because of that I didn’t think they were all that common.

I am excited to follow you on your pregnancy journey 🙂

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33 Stacey April 15, 2015 at 2:40 pm

Thank you, again, for sharing all this. I know you must still be nervous, but I hope you can eventually settle in and enjoy the journey. I’m so happy for you and Derek. Eat up, rest, and enjoy!!
Stacey recently posted..One week countdown… commence weather forecast obsession

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34 Krys April 15, 2015 at 3:58 pm

Congrats, I’m a little behind on my readings so I wasn’t aware of a lot of your happenings, but I’m happy for you 🙂
– Krys
Krys recently posted..Review: Displaced Persons by Derek McCulloch & Anthony Peruzzo

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