After my first ultrasound, I was eager to buy something baby related. Especially since the doctor had informed me that once a healthy heartbeat is established, the chance of miscarriage dropped to under 10% for Baby A. Don’t ask me why, but I clung to that number, even though I should have learned my lesson about percentages way before. Anyways, we took a trip to Babies R Us, and bought the infamous weekly bump stickers, a baby name book, and a pregnancy journal so I could record how I was feeling every day.
Speaking of how I was feeling, well of course I was extremely tired and hungry, but things could have been a lot worse (like not pregnant at all worse!). I was in bed by 8 every night, and I was eating every few hours, because if I didn’t, I didn’t feel well. I got nauseous mostly in the afternoons, so I bought a pair of sea bands and kept them on my wrists. Those, with saltines and ginger-ale did the trick for me. At night, when I slept, I was having crazy vivid dreams, but I didn’t mind. I was feeling pregnant and I loved it; even the twinges I felt as my uterus was growing made me smile.
When we arrived at our 7 week 3 day appointment, I got more blood work done which determined I was Rh+ (hooray!). I got my progesterone checked again, but only because I requested to. I wanted to make sure it wasn’t dropping, because that can cause a bleed, or even worse a loss. As usual, my progesterone level came back high as it always had. I was still taking both the Crinone 2x daily, and Prometrium 3x daily for progesterone, along with the estrogen patches and pills. Let me tell you, I couldn’t wait to stop taking these at 11 weeks. My blood thinner injections would unfortunately need to continue throughout the duration of my pregnancy. These burned like hell! My stomach was so bruised and yellow from them, that I began to wonder how it would survive 7 more months of it. But hey, whatever it took, we were willing.
The nurse took us back into the room for our ultrasound. The doctor came in with more congratulations, and some small talk about how I was feeling. Before she started the scan, she informed us that she wanted to see a heartrate of > or equal to 120 bpm. As she began, I took a deep breath, held Shane’s hand, and looked his way instead of hers. I feared that if I looked at her, I might see disappointment or sadness, and that it would all be over again. She quickly turned the screen for us to see that Baby A was still measuring perfectly, with a heartbeat of 136! We got to hear the heartbeat together for the first time. What an amazing experience. There is nothing like that sound. You can’t forget it.
Baby B was still measuring behind, but hanging on with a slow heartrate. She informed us that by next week, she believed Baby B would vanish, and that we would go on to have a healthy singleton pregnancy. We asked some questions about this “vanishing twin,” making sure that it would not affect Baby A in a negative way. We learned that a vanishing twin is actually quite common, and that Baby A would receive all the nutrients from the loss of Baby B. Seeing Baby A healthy and Baby B hanging on that day was a bittersweet experience for us. We were absolutely thrilled for what God was doing with Baby A. But, at the same time we hurt for Baby B. We began to pray for God to take Baby B soon if that was his plan. Neither one of us wanted to see it struggling again the following week. Really though, in my heart, I hoped that Baby B would make it.
And then came the not so good news. The doctor found what appeared to be a 3rd sac. Strangely, the sac was empty. After some more investigating, it was determined to be a subchorionic bleed. Sounds scary, right? Like they couldn’t have given it a friendlier name. It’s basically a pocket of blood in the uterus. About 50% (here we go again with the statistics) of pregnant women get them, and surely I had to be in that group.
She explained that there are several possible scenarios of what can happen with a subchorionic bleed. My husband spoke up and demanded right away, “Give us the worst case.” The worst case scenario was that I could bleed it out, and in turn, it could flush out the pregnancy with it. She said chances are very slim this would happen. Ummm, very slim??? Not good enough. The second scenario was the bleed just dissipates on its own with no bleeding, almost like it is absorbed by the body. Or, third, it sticks around the whole pregnancy and causes no harm. I did not want this thing sticking around at all. And I definitely did not want to start bleeding again. She told me to stay off of my feet as much as I could. Real easy when you are a teacher!
Finally, she said she would like to continue to see me for serial ultrasounds (instead of betas!) at 8 1/2 weeks, 9 1/2 weeks, 10 1/2 weeks, and then, FINALLY, I could be released to my regular OB-GYN. So, we set up the remaining appointments and were on our way. On our way home, we stopped and sat under the bridge at the inter-coastal waterway. I still recall how beautiful the water was that day. Our feelings were all over the place between Baby A, Baby B, and the bleed. All I know is that we thanked God for the life growing, and prayed for everything else to fall into place.
For the next week, we were literally living one day at a time. When I returned to work, I told my administrators that they may see me sitting down more often and why. I told my students I needed to be off my feet too. As a teacher, I was always up and moving around my classroom, so this was going to be a challenge. But, my students helped me tremendously, and we made it to week 8.