The wait for our first scan which was to be at 6w3d, was far worse for me than the 2WW. Partly because I actually had to wait the whole two weeks, but mostly because we had now gotten excited after being told I was pregnant. We had already told our families and a couple of close friends about our positive result and had started thinking about the months ahead – my sister’s wedding where I would be 18 weeks pregnant, our due date in early Feb and cleaning out our spare rooms to make space for a nursery. There was no way of knowing if things were ok or not. Up until this stage, I had not experienced morning sickness or any other symptoms apart from tender breasts and tiredness, which had been happening on and off with all of the fertility drugs for a while.
5w came around and still no morning sickness or new ‘sign’ that I was pregnant. Although I hate to admit it, Google was my best friend during these weeks as I began to analyse every little thing I felt or didn’t feel. Blood tests had confirmed that I was indeed pregnant but the first scan would confirm if the pregnancy was:
a) viable – pregnancy is visualised in the uterus and a heartbeat is detected
b) ectopic – pregnancy is located outside of the uterus ie. Fallopian tube
c) blighted ovum – embryo does not develop even though the egg has implanted in the uterus
d) biochemical pregnancy – hcG is detected in the blood but fails to rise – embryo fails to develop further
I decided to POAS for piece of mind, to make sure the line was continuing to get darker. The last time I did this was 10dp5dt and it was now 22dp5dt.
Early pregnancy bleeding
6w1d – It was the Sunday of the Queen’s Birthday long weekend and we were in the Yarra Valley catching up with some friends at a winery. I had been urinating frequently the last week or so and after lunch went to the bathroom. As I looked down, I saw blood in the bowl. My heart stopped. As I wiped there was bright red blood – and what seemed like a lot of it at the time. I felt instantly sick in my gut. We left in a rush and headed straight to emergency as the clinic was closed for the long weekend and we weren’t going to wait until the Tuesday scan to know what was going on. At this stage we didn’t think to page my FS.
I tried to remain calm but the drive felt like an eternity. We were driving from the Yarra Valley to the other side of Melbourne with the thought of a miscarriage at the back of our minds. Once we arrived at the hospital, I was taken through emergency pretty quickly but waited a little while for tests to be conducted. A blood test would verify my hcG levels. If levels were over 1500 they would be able to do an internal ultrasound to see if they could detect a heartbeat. Over an hour passed as we sat twiddling our thumbs. The doctor came back to do an internal examination which involved checking my cervix and taking a swab. She said there was ‘old blood’ and that I was no longer bleeding. hcG levels came back confirming once again that I was definitely pregnant and they could try the scan to detect a heartbeat. My FS was going to do my first scan in two days time but we were here now and the doctors wanted to check if things were ok.
In all my Googling and YouTubing, I knew how a heartbeat would appear on the ultrasound. The doctor told us not to worry if it couldn’t be detected at this early stage, however as soon as bub appeared on the ultrasound, I saw the heartbeat before the doctor had a chance to announce it!
As I didn’t go to my clinic and didn’t see my FS, any hospital you end up at, is meant to contact your FS with details of your stay. My FS just happened to call me the next day, on the public holiday, to see if we could change the time of my ultrasound the following day. As we started talking, I mentioned my hospital visit and realised he had not been notified. I told him about the bleeding scare (I wasn’t home at the time) and he told me to go straight home and insert a pessary immediately, another three hours later and another before bed. I couldn’t believe that the hospital didn’t pick up on this. They had not checked my progesterone and other hormone levels. I had just had a threatened miscarriage and their explanation was ‘bleeding is common in early pregnancy. You’ll be fine.’ My FS explained that I should not have any trace of blood on the medication I was on. It turned out my progesterone levels had dropped and I needed to increase my dose of pessaries to four a day until 13 weeks. Luckily I was able to take two at a time – first thing in the morning, and at night before bed.
All is now going well and this is our first ultrasound photo from 6w3d measuring 0.77cm. It’s hard to believe how clear the heartbeat was at this very early stage, 125bpm!