Firstly, my apologies for the long time it took me to update – I only get to post in the mornings!
So… wanna hear all about it?
I waited at the EPAU for 65 long minutes to see a consultant. I think my sonographer was in training, because when I finally got in there, the consultant kept telling him what to do…
He hadn’t turned the screen properly away from me, so I could just about see what he was doing as soon as he started. Straight away I could see the little black hole that was the pregnancy sac. But it was empty. He moved in and out, it got bigger and smaller, but there was nothing inside.
He turned to me with a smile, and spoke with an indeterminate accent:
This looks very good here.
He pointed at the black hole.
I figured his training wasn’t going too well, given that he was reassuring me already and he had yet to find an embryo.
He then said he would have to use the “wand” if it was OK with me (that’s the vaginal probe or vag cam), but the consultant stepped in and told him to use the ‘other’ probe.
Ahhh yes, you are very slim, you see! I must use this one!
Yes, yes, laughs the consultant, she is slim so the other probe is better!
He held up another probe for me to look at and grinned at me.
I couldn’t believe how cheery they both were, given that no one had yet seen any evidence of a baby.
Then suddenly, with the new probe for skinny people, a shadow appeared in the black hole. My heart leapt – there was something there.
He zoomed in and out of the layers of the shadowy area and then there it was – I saw it at the exact same time he did.
A flickering light. A tiny flashing area. A beating heart.
Can you see?
A heartbeat! There’s a heartbeat?
He holds the probe still and watches me while I watch the flickering light on the screen in complete awe.
And then I cry.
And my stomach bobs in and out and the baby disappears from view.
I manage to contain my tears long enough for him to find the baby again, take a photo and print it out.
Their smiles say everything.
The baby measures 4mm, which is a little on the small side, but the presence of a heartbeat at that size is just AMAZING.
They want me back in 4 weeks for a repeat scan. In the meantime they have given me aspirin and progesterone suppositories (nice).
For once, I might just take the drugs without question.
So now what?
As you can imagine, I came out of the hospital walking on air. I felt so relieved.
But old habits die hard. By the time DH and I were sat on our own and the boys were in bed, all the fears and doubts were creeping back in. Having been through a horrendous missed miscarriage, I can’t shake the fear that this baby could just stop growing at any time, and I wouldn’t even know.
I have achieved hardly anything over the last couple of weeks, feeling like my life was on hold because I needed to know if this baby was OK in there.
I can’t spend the next four weeks doing the same, and then the four after that, and so on. I can’t live in limbo.
So we have made a decision.
We will book a private scan in two weeks, just to check that everything is progressing as it should through the time that I lost the pregnancy before.
In the meantime, I’m going to try not to think about the millions of adverse outcomes (missed miscarriage, miscarriage, genetic defects, bad test results, bleeding, physical anomalies and deformities, placenta praevia, stillbirth, death in labour (me or the baby or both)), and instead focus on the one good path:
That I am pregnant, and that at the end of September this year (or soon after) we will be a family of five.
I went to sleep last night thinking of all the hearts beating oh-so quietly in our house. Mine and my husband’s, my two boys, and deep inside me, in miniature form, the brand new heart of a miracle I’d long ago stopped hoping for.