It almost didn't.
I had a routine check up with an ob/gyn yesterday. While its not exactly normal to see a homebirth midwife and an ob/gyn at the same time, ever since my last miscarriage at thirteen weeks, I've needed to know that my pregnancies were viable.
The ob/gyn who did my last D&C is amazingly respectful, supportive and willing to help. After the surgery, he told my husband and me that he would help us in any way he could. He suggested when we got pregnant again that we see him for the first 12 weeks, have an early ultrasound to verify that everything was progressing normally, and then he would be happy to discharge us to the care of our midwife.
This time around, we opted to do the same thing. We saw him at eight weeks, had a quick (less than a minute) ultrasound showing a healthy heartbeat, and scheduled one more appointment at twelve weeks.
Yesterday, when I went in, I was expecting to be in and out. When the doctor came in, he offered to do another quick ultrasound. Once on the table, I was concerned when an image didn't immediately come up on the screen.
Several times, he turned on the sound, trying to hear a heartbeat. There was nothing.
He searched for a few minutes, and still couldn't find anything. I made a lame joke about the baby playing hide and seek, and he didn't answer. My heart caught in my throat.
"I'm so sorry," he said, "but I can't find anything. There's very little fluid, and I can't find a heartbeat." He pointed to an image on the screen, still searching with the ultrasound. "I'm sorry. But let's do a quick check with the vaginal ultrasound to be sure."
He left me in the room with one of those lovely paper "sheets" to cover myself. In the two minutes that it took me to get undressed and situated, I battled a myriad of crazy emotions. First and foremost, I was numb. I couldn't believe that this was happening again. My sister just went through this exact same situation three weeks ago at her twelve-week visit, and I was incredulous that both of us were going through the same thing. I clicked into survival mode, immediately planning the lesson cancellations, and how I would manage to have a D&C when my husband was scheduled to leave for Germany today for a business trip.
The doctor came back in, and started the vaginal ultrasound. Immediately, a crystal-clear image popped up and once again, the doctor said, "I'm sorry," but this time he followed it with "Its right there."
"What's right there?" I stuttered.
He turned on the sound, and there it was. The blissful sound of a baby's heartbeat.
The doctor apologized up and down. He said he didn't know what had just happened, and said it was the worst ultrasound imaging he had ever seen. The baby was measuring perfect, and the image was so clear that we could see the spine, two arms and two legs moving around, the skull, the brain, and the fluttering heartbeat.
I've struggled ever since I found our we were expecting again. I don't think I was emotionally ready to be pregnant again, and the reality of this pregnancy has been tempered and colored with Max's surgery and hospitalizations. I've felt horribly guilty because I haven't felt the excitement and anticipation that I've felt every other time I've been pregnant.
It wasn't until I was faced with the idea of losing the baby that I realized how much I really do want this little person to join our family. And while things have been complicated and difficult these first few weeks, I now know that I wouldn't go back and undo it, even if I could. The timing definitely isn't what we would have chosen, but this little person is obviously on their way at this time for a reason. And I can't wait to meet him or her and have them join our crazy little family.