Heartbeat at 7w7d, then nothing at 9w3d - Is there any hope?

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Heartbeat at 7w7d, then nothing at 9w3d - Is there any hope?

Postby marielle » Tue Jun 28, 2016 4:04 am

Hello all,

I have read many of the stories on here and really want to feel hopeful, but the initial shock of the bad news today still has me reeling. Here is a little background:

First pregnancy: 2013, IUI (with hormone injections), conceived and miscarried at 5 weeks. They called it a chemical pregnancy and the fertility clinic told me in not-so-polite words that I am old (I was 36 at the time!) and it will be hard for me to conceive unless we do IVF. Needless to say, that made me look for another fertility doctor as soon as I got over the miscarriage. Then life got a bit hectic and hubby and I put the kid-making business on the back burner but continued to "try" naturally. During the IUI adventure, they did a full scan of my uterus (I forget the medical name of this test, but they inserted a balloon and injected dye to make sure that my Fallopian tubes are open and clear) - everything was in perfect condition, but I was told I have a retroverted uterus.

This pregnancy: My periods are clockwork. 30-31 day cycles, never missed a period. I got my period on April 22, 2016 and everything was normal, until come May 22 - nothing! No bleeding, no spotting, no sore boobs, no cramps....nothing. I had some old (expired) stick tests left over from 2013 so on a whim I did one on the 25th, since there was still absolutely no sign of my period. Faint positive! I could not believe it. Rushed to to the store and bought 3 different brands - all came out positive. I also was a cigarette smoker and all of a sudden I could not even smell it without making me sick, so I tossed the pack I had in the trash and stopped smoking instantly. It was weird - as if I never smoked at all. A week later, I tested again and the lines were even darker and showing up almost immediately. Hubby and I felt like jumping around like little kids on Christmas morning! I waited a bit more and made an appointment to see my OB. I love this doctor and he is well-respected and very, very experienced. He knew of my struggles to conceive, so I was given an early transvaginal ultrasound.

At 5w after LMP, we found the gestational sac. Drew blood. At this time, my boobs started hurting and became very sore and there was this constant pressure/tugging in my lower abdomen.

A week later at 6w we found the yolk sac, but no baby yet. Blood result showed my hcg at 6000 for the previous week. Doc said it all looks normal and at from this point on he will rely on visualizing the fetus since hcg levels can vary widely and are not as accurate in determining viability as a visual confirmation of a fetus and heartbeat. This week, I started feeling very sleepy and started getting tired very quickly.

My OB left for vacation, but scheduled another transvaginal u/s 10 days later with a tech and told me that she should be able to see the heartbeat since it's possible our dates are off. Went in for the u/s with the tech on June 16 (7w7d, per calendar calculation). She found the gestational sac immediately, saw the fetal pole and zoomed in for us to see a strong little heart beating away quickly. Noted that I have a viable pregnancy, but based on the (quick) measurement she took, she determined the age to be 5w5d (I forgot to ask if that's gestational or fetal age due to me being so elated that we have a heartbeat!). She also noticed some small bleeding (not near the gestational sac) in my uterus and told me that it's possible that as the uterus starts growing, blood vessels may break and cause the bleeding. She asked if I had any spotting, which I did not. She told me to take it easy and make sure the doc does another u/s as soon as he is back to monitor the bleed. Went home, all the normal symptoms were still there. Still needing naps in the afternoon, still getting tired easily, still loosing sleep at night and going to the restroom often.

Fast forward to today (May 27), right before I left to go to the doctor, I noticed a very, very faint light brownish/tan coloring when I went to the restroom and wiped. Panicked a bit, but calmed myself down by thinking that it's not red blood, I have no cramps and no other weird symptoms. Get to the doctor, he asks me if I had any spotting or bleeding and I tell him about what happened right before I came. He says it may be from that bleed the tech found 10 days ago. Gets in there with the transvaginal u/s and he somehow has a hard time finding the gestational sac and fetus. Finally he finds it and immediately says "Hmm, there is no heartbeat." My heart sank! He also found a fibroid some distance away from the gestational sac, but didn't say much about it. I asked him to double check, and he said that he sees the yolk sac, but no fetus. As I am staring at the screen which shows a blob in the gestational sac (which he said it's the yolk sac), I notice he is typing in "blighted ovum". I almost lost it right then and there. I just wanted to cry. To compound the terrifying experience, this was the first time I took hubby with me so he can see the heartbeat also. We were both just speechless. I asked the doc if we should do any blood test and he advised against it. He did say he wants to see me in another 10 days "for peace of mind", but he is certain that the baby is gone. Granted, he didn't mention D&C at all. He did say that there is a chance I will miscarry naturally before the 10 days are up. Today, I am 9w3d per calendar.

I am beside myself. Barely made it home and spent the next 4 hours crying. This was supposed to be our miracle baby. The unexpected gift from God. Hubby and I had such difficult times these past few years and with both of us getting older (I will be 40 this year, and he will be 51), our window of having a family is closing fast. This made us feel as if things are finally falling into place.

If I was not crying, I was on this site reading all the stories of hope. I know that my chances may be very, very low, but I am secretly hoping that between the retroverted uterus and the mysterious difficulty of finding the gestational sac this time, maybe things shifted around and the baby is "hiding". Doc was pretty adamant that at this point we should be able to see a clear heartbeat no matter what. I don't know if it's psychological, but all of a sudden it feels like my symptoms disappeared. I never had any morning sickness, just constipated and a little lightheaded in the very first weeks (week 4-5). Although, my abdomen still feels "hard" and boobs are still sore, I just feel "empty". I almost feel like I am not going to the restroom as often. I still feel like gagging when I smell cigarette smoke (which happened earlier today) and still crave the fruits and veggies which have become my staple snacks since I got pregnant.

What makes it all so much more confusing, I have no cramps, just slight discomfort occasionally (similar to the "tugging" sensation I have felt on and off since week 5). Not a single drop or anything since the faint spots this afternoon. Nothing! Not brown, not tan, not red....just nothing.

I read all about the retroverted uterus and incorrect fetal age dating connection and all about how retroverted uterus can cause problems with visualizing the fetus. All the stories of babies that were "hiding", and the stories about babies disappearing only to be found later. I want to feel hopeful, but I know that the next 10 days will slowly eat me up inside and just make me lose my mind. How can I carry on and pretend everything is just fine while I my heart is being torn to little pieces?

How did you ladies deal with the wait to hear the final verdict? Any advice? I am also temped to call my primary and see if he does transvaginal u/s at his office and just go in for another peek. Should I bother, or will that only makes things worse? Maybe just wait the 10 days and pray for a miracle? I am just so lost. Hubby is upset but taking it way easier than I am. He feels that, since we got naturally pregnant this time, we will try again right away and succeed...I can't help but feel angry at him for such foolish thinking (unless I am just being unreasonable because my brain is so scrambled right now!). I do think he is trying to give me hope, but right now I just want to grieve and pray for that 0.01% chance of a miracle.

The blighted ovum comments on my u/s is bothering me - he did note that prior to reading the comments from the previous scan the tech did where she clearly noted that fetal heartbeat was observed and the pregnancy is viable. I do trust him and he is a very good doctor. I know he has an excellent record and decades of experience. All that being said, is it possible that he misdiagnosed the loss? I know that it's not a blighted ovum, and perhaps he did correct that in my chart later. But how can a baby just disappear?! I do appreciate him not pushing for intervention right away and scheduling another u/s next week, but still....

Is it possible that I had a baby with a heartbeat at 7w7d and it just vanished by 9w3d? If it really did die, does it get reabsorbed that fast? Shouldn't I have any miscarriage symptoms by now?

I just don't know what to think! I don't know how to stop my mind from racing and get some sleep....just feel so hopeless and hurt.
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