Firstly i want to say to anyone else who's going through early pregnancy concerns, try not to worry too much, if possible delay scans for as long as possible and remember, every baby develops differently, very few are "average" thats just an arbitrarily assigned value for use as guidance only!
thankyou to those women who shared their stories and gave me soo much hope, i pray i can also offer hope to other mothers 2 B out there...
Here's my story...
hubby and i had been ttc for about 18months, then just when we got a fertillity assessment booked in, we decided that we should take a break and focus on work (i'm starting a PhD at the moment which is particullarly high pressure). That was in March this year (2008), my period in march was normal but i caught a particulalry bad dose of the flu in April which may have affected my period as it was a bit spotty at first then quite light (sorry if TMI). On Tuesday the 20th May i noticed that i had sore boobs and over the next couple of days i noticed that i had to go to the loo more often then usual. On the thursday i decided to test just to get the idea out of my mind so that i could continue to focus on my study, only to my surprise it immediately showed a positive. We were very excited and booked in to see a new doctor the following tuesday (27th may).
At the appointment, my doctor asked me about my periods and said that she thought it was more likely i was as much as 10 weeks, since my April period was not "normal" so she sent me for an ultrasound for that Friday. 1 litre of water and a bursting bladder later, there was no sign of a pregnancy using an abdominal ultrasound, and only a very small gestational sack with an internal ultrasound (measuring earlier that 5 weeks but the technician couldn't say how much earlier as his scale didn't go that small). He said that we should prepare for the worst as it was unlikely to have a positive pregnancy test over a week earlier with a pregnancy that was as early as ours was showing. Obviously we were devistated and we went home in tears.
I rang the docotrs surgery and asked that they send me for blood work so that we could check my hormone levels. a Beta HcG test the following wednesday afternoon came back at 17, 300 and by the next friday these levels were 28, 500. my doctor was concerned as she said these were far to high for such an early pregnancy- shouldn't be seen til 6-7 weeks, she sent me for another ultrasound that afternoon to check for eptopic pregnancy.
the second ultrasound was done by a private obstetric ultrasonographer, she asked me about my periods, and i told her all i could remember about my April period, she decided to date from the first spot i had in April, which was on the 9th (didn't care that the spotting stopped on the 11th and my flow didn't start til the 19th). this time a sack was visible with an abdominal ultrasound and she mentioned seeing a yolk sack but no baby. then with the internal she said she could see nothing in the sack and since it was so big (18mm, with 2ml volume) and my HcG levels were so high there was "absolutely no way that this was a viable pregnancy" she left the room and came back with a fact sheet on assisted miscarriage and said that this happen quite often, that there was never going to be a baby and we should go home and discuss our options. Once again were shattered. we went home and pullled out her report and noted that she reported "no yolk sack" and a "nonviable pregnancy at 8w4d" i was so distraught ('8:O') so my husband called our doctor to she if she had time that afternoon to talk to us, she had already left but had left our file with a collegue who said she would prefer to speak to us face to face. we rushed in immediately.
At that appointment i explained that i was sure that i couldn't be 8w4days because of my period on 19th of april. after asking some questions she agreed that it was possible but stressed that it was unlikely. she gave us another referral for an ultrasound and more bloods for this week, saying i should try and have the ultrasound on tuseday or wednesday so that we had enough time to have a D&C before leaving for our holiday this weekend. she said that by then i would be at least 7 weeks and would "have to have a heartbeat by then". i had the bloods done and held off the ultrasound til last thing thursday (yesterday), we had everyone praying for us and our baby, our whole church and my bestfriend's church were praying that God would enable us to have a definitive answer. I came across this website on wednesday and was so shocked about the amount of misdiagnosis out that, that i started to feel some hope- i stress some, i was pretty convinced there would be no change!
at the ultrasound i was absolutely bursting to pee and i was going to have to wait as the technician was running behind, i had no choice but to release some pee (in the toilet, don't worry) and my bladder felt much better (a note to other womed, when they say 1 litre make sure you don't push yourself to drink it, apparently some people have small bladders and drinking this much and holding it can cause damage). we went in and i said to the sonographer "we're not expecting good news, the doctor wants us to confirm before having a D&C" as soon as he put the wand on my stomache we could see that something had changed, the sack was much more visable and even we sould see something in it. He said "see that, that's a heart beat" we said "are you sure?" he said he's pretty sure but would like to do an internal ultrasound to confirm. The whole time i was emptying my bladder i was praying
it wasn't a mistake.
as soon as i put the probe in he said, "there it is, a strong HB"
=133bpm and a fetal pole (is that what it's called) measuring 6w4days. We were so shocked as we had both gone in with no hope, and there was our baby's heart beating on the screen, it was so amazing!
Turns out that i was right, with my average 34 day cycle length (none of the doctors seemed to care that this was longer than an "average" 28 day cycle and would take nearly a whole week off my gestational age) and my period on the 19th, my calculations were much closer than my doctors. Thankfully my baby had developed enough by this point to see what we saw, or i may have been convinced to have a D&C- docotr was really pushing for it before we went away (its not unusual not to see anything this early).
i apparently found out i was pregnant at 3w4d (my first Hpt), and at my first u/s i was only 4w5d (no wonder they couldn't see anything) and only 5w5d at the one that i was told i had a blighted ovum and my baby was not there!
i thank God for my miriacle and have learnt that doctors aren't the definitive experts and they can easily overlook things- also they seem to be overly dependent on "averages and numbers"- don't forget its the relative not the absolute values of the Beta HcG that are important, don't let someone tell you that with levels that high they "should see something" its simply not true, if you're between 5 and 6 weeks, it doesn't matter how high your levels are, a fetus develops at a particular rate this early and it is not accellerated by high hormone levels.
Incidently my betas were
5w3d = 17, 300
5w5d = 28, 500- told at these levels should see "something" didn't even see yolk sack in TV ultrasound
6w2d = 64,000
6w4d = 74,000- saw fetal pole, yolk sack and HB
thankyou once again for your stories! and i pray that all those other worried women will take heart from my story and trust your instincts!
God Bless, Kath
"God will make a way, when there seems to be no way. He works in ways we cannot see, he will make a way in me"- one of my favourits songs at the moment- speaks to me on many levels
#1 due 1st feburary 2008