The First Heartbeat: Sort Of

10 Weeks

Alternatively titled, "How I almost gave Tom a heart attack."

So the first appointment I had was with a midwife, and was supposed to be mostly a checkup for me, and gathering a medical history.  It was in the middle of the day and Tom had to work, so I went alone.  I'd already gotten all the medical information from him, so it wasn't a big deal.  At the very end of the appointment, the midwife decided to try and do a quick ultrasound to check and make sure it wasn't an ectopic pregnancy. 

In your mind, it's going to be amazing, and you'll see the baby, hear the heartbeat, and have a flood of happy emotions. In reality, things were a bit different.  The midwife moved the wand around a bit and stared at the black screen.  

"Hmmm.. well I can't see too much.  Your bladder is too full.  That may be a problem."  
"Oh, okay..."
"Well... there's your uterus and baby, but yeah I can't see much.  Why don't you go to the bathroom and we'll try this again."

I didn't see anything on the screen but took her word for it and figured things would be better with a smaller bladder.  I came back and we tried again. 

"Okay, yes there's the baby, and it's measuring at 10 weeks and 2 days."  Sure lady, whatever you say.. I see a black smoosh and a white smoosh and a bunch of wavy things.  But considering I was supposed to be 10 weeks and 1 day at the time, I decided that was good news.  Next she told me, "I can see the heartbeat there, but let's try to listen to it."  

She took out a doppler and moved it around on my stomach over, and over and over again.  It made all kinds of impressive noises, but apparently none of them were the ones that she wanted.  Unsatisfied she went back to the ultrasound, and then returned to the doppler.  Over and over again... and not hearing a heartbeat.  

"Oh well, guess we can't hear it.  So we'll have you go down to the lab and take blood and then you'll go out to reception and schedule your next few appointments.  Now let's talk about nutrition."  

She moved on very quickly, before my brain could really catch up and ask her about not being concerned about hearing a heartbeat.  It wasn't until I got out of the appointment that I wondered if I should be concerned.  I've heard a lot of people say they hear a heartbeat at 7 weeks, why couldn't she hear mine at 10?? But she said she SAW a heartbeat, right?  I didn't see anything cuz it just looked like a blurry mess to me, but she didn't seem concerned, right?  I wasn't worried, per se, but I definitely wasn't reassured.  And so that's when I texted Tom and freaked him out completely.  I then spent the next 15 minutes calming him down and letting him know that the doctor seemed totally unfazed, and she probably wouldn't have had me schedule a whole bunch of follow ups if she thought there was no baby... 

In the end it didn't really affect us that much after the initial freak out.  We had an ultrasound scheduled in 2 weeks at a place with a higher quality machine, so we figured we'd find out then one way or another.  However, it did sort of change some of our plans.  We were heading to VT to see one of my sisters and her kids the next day, and had been considering telling them about the pregnancy.  After that not so reassuring appointment, though, we decided to keep quiet for a bit longer...