First ultrasound and heartbeat

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So, continuing my last post about my newly pregnant self…

If you remember, it ended on the fact that my HCG and Progesterone levels were super high and that we were suspecting twins…

So… hubby and I were determined to wait till 8th week ultrasound and not go for a 6 week ultrasound for a few reasons:

  • The fewer u/s, the safer it is for the baby(though u/s haven’t shown to cause any damage, as usual, we’re erring on the side of caution)
  • If we go in too early and the heartbeat is nowhere to be found, we’d have to come back a few days later, which means more u/s and a lot of freaking out and stressing

So everything was going as planned, until I had an intense cramps episode one evening after having done 180 sit ups. Ok, you have to remember, this was my 5th week- the time of the MOST worry about miscarriages and what not. Miscarriage is probably the only thing on a pregnant woman’s mind in the first several weeks… So of course, we freak out (mildly), hubby forbids me to work out anymore ( “But it’s beneficial for the pregnancy…… poo!”… of course I resume once everything is straightened out) and we take it easy that evening. The next morning, I realize I’m spotting. It wasn’t real spotting, just slightly colored discharge (sorry if TMI, but might be useful for future preggos). Oh-oh! I start scouring the forums for similar situations and find out that it’s perfectly normal to not only have that but to actually spot/bleed during pregnancy. It calms me down just a bit, but I still call my doctor who suggests that I come in for a 2nd blood work to check HCG levels. That’s when the levels come back at 18,000 (wow!) vs the normal range of 18 – 7,340. They had doubled perfectly from the last blood work. So it wasn’t a miscarriage, whew! But there we went again with the worries. High HCG levels are associated with molar pregnancies! Ahahahaha! Can a girl get a break? Levels too low= miscarriage, levels really high= you should be happy, but NO! It’s indicative of molar pregnancy!

I was really laughing at that point. The nurse said that the levels were perfect and that I needed to stop reading on the Internet 🙂 But I’m the kind of person, who’d rather be mentally prepared for all kinds of outcomes than be surprised with a negative one. So after some research,  I relaxed and told myself that it’s going to be what it’s going to be.

But we did decide to do a 6th week ultrasound INSTEAD of the 8th week one, just to make sure everything was fine.
My “spotting” disappeared after a week, which means it was probably just some old implantation blood that my sit ups helped push out.

The day of the ultrasound couldn’t come SOON enough. We still had a possibility of twins, though by then we had convinced ourselves that it’s not very likely, with me always having a super regular cycle and no family history of twins. We figured my levels were that high, because it’s just a really good strong pregnancy.

Finally the day of the ultrasound arrived and we walked into the 1st floor of my doctor’s practice where they conduct u/s exams. Unfortunately, it wasn’t my OB himself doing the ultrasound (is that normal?), but some surly old woman, who kept ignoring our giddy faces and our silly jokes.

I was mentally prepared not to have a heartbeat since it was possibly too early for it (6w 1d). But was secretly hoping for one, of course!

Since it was an early pregnancy ultrasound, it was going to be an internal one. The woman quickly showed me “THE DILDO” and told me that she’d be putting a condom on it (lol). Once the thing was in, the image appeared on the screen. An image of an empty black space (uterus) within a fuzzy white space. She started moving the transducer back and forth, looking for the baby. It must have been literally only 3 seconds, but in those 3 seconds I had time to panic :”Where is my baby? What if I’m not pregnant?” I turn to hubby who’s intensely peering into the overhead flat screen and ask “Do you see anything?”
And before I was able to finish that sentence, out of nowhere, a loud sound filled the room: “Ta-dum!Ta-dum!Ta-dum!Ta-dum!Ta-dum!Ta-dum!Ta-dum!Ta-dum!”
My first reaction in my head was “Is this my heartbeat?”, which I knew was wrong the second I thought it. It was our baby’s heartbeat! So fast and loud and SO SO SO THERE!

Later hubby told me  that his whole body went HOT when he heard the heartbeat.

It was truly a life changing moment for both of us. With it being our first baby and me not showing, the heartbeat was a confirmation of the fact that there was something there.

The disappointing part was that the nasty u/s tech gave us no more than 5-6 seconds to listen to it before she turned it off and finished the visit. We were still so in shock from what we had just heard that it didn’t even occur to us to argue with her and ask for more heartbeat time ( hello, we’re the ones paying!).

After the ultrasound we spent the next 30 minutes in a daze, replaying in our heads the rhythm of the heartbeat:” Ta-dum!Ta-dum!Ta-dum!Ta-dum!Ta-dum!Ta-dum!Ta-dum!Ta-dum!”

My nurse took me to the nurses’ station to take more blood for a standard pregnancy work up and my doctor, who hadn’t seen me yet since I got pregnant and didn’t know I was ( I’d been communicating with his nurse up until now) was there at the computer entering something. So he sees us in the nurses’ station and turns around to greet us with his mouth opening to say hi and then spots an ultrasound picture in my hubby’s hand. His eyes bulged out of his sockets with his mouth that stayed open the few seconds it took him to process the news and he goes:”What? Are you pregnant already?” ( for those who are new to my blog, I had done a pre-conception check up with him and knowing me, he had warned me “You do know, most people don’t get pregnant right away, right? So don’t be too hard on yourself andyour husband, if you don’t!”).

When hubby showed him the ultrasound, the doctor laughed and commented: “Well, you guys don’t waste time! If she wants something, she gets it done, huh?”

After a little chat we had, he took a look at my numbers and asked for the ultrasound picture again. After I gave it to him, he looked a bit confused, and mumbled to himself: “Hm… with your numbers, Iwould have been sure you had twins!”. Up until that moment we had completely forgotten that twins were even a possibility. We were so smitten by our ONE rice grain size baby that it never once occurred to us to process the fact that it’s not twins.

And that was it. He let us go until the next 12 week appointment when we’ll be doing NT scan, triple marker tests and whatever other diagnostic services they perform during the 12 week visit.

We had seen our little blob, had heard its heartbeat, got the “good job!” from our doctor and were off to wait another 6 weeks to be back again.

Today I’m officially 8 weeks and entering the 9th week of gestation. Two months are done and 1 more to go until I can officially be in the safer 2nd trimester. At this point, with my history and the heartbeat that we heard, the chance of miscarriage is down to 4%. Once we see the baby for my 12th week ultrasound, the chances will go down to 1%. I like those odds and I am very hopeful, despite the fact that I know many cases where the babies stopped growing during 8-9th week. But of course, like anyone, we’re trying to note the negative outcomes, but not think much about them.

Oh and we ordered a Doppler. We’re both so excited, especially hubby. We know it’s really early and most likely the Doppler won’t catch the heartbeat until week 10, but everything so far has been ahead of schedule, so we’re really excited. I know Dopplers can be a double edged sword. Some people can get really attached to it, and go crazy if heartbeat can’t be found, but we’re trying to “talk ourselves” into the fact that we won’t always be able to hear the heartbeat. And we’re ok with that. But it’s still pretty exciting! Isn’t technology amazing!?

Btw, my mom is totally and completely freaked out by all the knowledge we seem to have about babies now. She sees it as a negative thing, as  in we knew nothing and weren’t too worried. But as far as I’m concerned, I’m much happier knowing everything I can, so that I never get unexpected bad news ( though I’d love some unexpected good news :)) and I can always work on myself not to get too worked up over things. I love all the opportunities technology opens up for us and our experiences!

So, if you didn’t catch it, we have ONE baby. No twins. Though, with how careless and fast our tech was, I wouldn’t be surprised if we discover a second baby hiding somewhere in there ( half of twin pregnancies aren’t discovered at the first early scan), but I’m not holding my breath. Most likely, it’s one really healthy baby and that’s what we’re going off of 🙂

In a few days you’ll be seeing my first weekly update with pictures at 4,5,6 and 8 week belly ( not a bump yet, but a noticeable change).

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  • Reply
    June 16, 2011 at 6:04 PM

    elena—you are i are exactly alike in the sense that I’d rather know if something was bad so i’m prepared for it! I’m a little bit of a hypochondriac but it’s better to be proactive about your health than reactive.

    Glad you got to hear the heartbeat! congrats again 🙂

    • Reply
      Elena @ Art of Making a Baby
      June 16, 2011 at 6:25 PM

      Hahaha! Good to know I’m not the only one who doesn’t like being in the dark and letting things go. My hubby is a little bit hypochondriac, but he never does anything about it 🙂 I don’t tend to invent things, but I do put 2 and 2 together and then make sure it’s all ok. I’m totally PRO-prevention! 🙂 As demonstrated by the way I prepared for pregnancy hahaha.

  • Reply
    June 16, 2011 at 6:45 PM

    I love all the details! Much of it reminds me of when we went through our first. It’s such an exciting time. We didn’t have internet then- we would sit for hours and read the books about what he was doing at this stage or that. I think so much would have been easier if I had all the info available to me then through the internet.

    Sorry about the ultrasound tech. Yes- it’s totally normal to have a different person do it. Be happy it was a lady. I know I had to have one like that for a non- pregnancy reason & the hubs stayed with the kids. Boy was he pissed when he found out that it was this big sweaty guy “probing” me as he put it. I think they do so many that they forget how much joy is involved in a job like that. Their attitude will forever be ingrained in your memory of that day- they have the ability to make it a good one or a good one with a tinge of “ehhh” to it. Ya know?!

    So happy for you & I wouldn’t be surprised at all if they found another one hiding in there! Maybe there will be more than 1 heartbeat when you get your Doppler. I had always wanted one of those. I would have listened 24/7.

    • Reply
      Elena @ Art of Making a Baby
      June 16, 2011 at 6:52 PM

      I’m glad you liked the details. I always wonder if I’m sharing too much 🙂 lol

      I actually like guys as OBs much better than women for some reason. I just think it’s more natural to want to look at the opposite sex parts, than same sex parts. But I see how a BIG SWEATY guy poking around there would piss your husband off. I’m actually laughing just typing this ahahahahahha 🙂

      And you’re right, they do have the ability to color that day in a positive or negative manner and shame on her for not realizing that.

      I’ll be definitely shooting a video of the doppler and our first attempt to find a heartbeat, so I’ll post it- it’s gonna be fun! 🙂

  • Reply
    June 16, 2011 at 6:49 PM

    reading this reminded me of the first time we’ve heard heartbeat 🙂 it’s really The Moment you’ll remember forever!
    I wasn’t really impressed with ultrasound as much as I was with those few seconds and loud sound of “Ta-dum! Ta-dum!”
    It’s going to be great! 🙂 can’t wait to see a photos of your belly when you’ll start showing

    • Reply
      Elena @ Art of Making a Baby
      June 16, 2011 at 6:53 PM

      yeah exactly! me too! The ultrasound was just “meh!”…not much to see…but that loud full sound was absolutely amazing!

  • Reply
    June 16, 2011 at 6:56 PM

    I think it’s great that you guys are so full of knowledge! Before my first I went in with only grand plans of maternity and baby shopping with my BFF, lol and then when I got sick I was so shocked because it was so unexpected, I was so miserable. I remember begging my hubby to kill me on more than one occasion, lol. When I fell with #2 even though I was just as sick I handled it so much better because I knew it was coming 🙂 It still sucked monkey balls but I didn’t beg anyone to put me out of my misery!

    I had an early scan with #2 and he thought he was picking up two heartbeats, so sent me to empty my bladder a little so he could check again. I remember being in the bathroom and being so freaked out, my head was going “twinstwinstwinstwins” haha!

    Looking forward to the belly shots!

    • Reply
      Elena @ Art of Making a Baby
      June 17, 2011 at 6:04 PM

      exactly! it’s just not as bad when you expect it, or at least know it can happen. You can deal with it and know what to do.

      I’d love twins so much, i wouldn’t even be scared. But I don’t think, aside from my high numbers, our chances are that good.

  • Reply
    Jamie Rubeis
    June 16, 2011 at 7:19 PM

    Very Very cool! The first baby is so exciting and new. You will spend every moment thinking about your pregnancy and anxiously awaiting his or her arrival! I can’t wait to find out what you are having.

  • Reply
    Ashley Sisk
    June 16, 2011 at 10:21 PM

    This is all just a whole lot of awesomeness. You’ll have to send me your pregnancy vibes once we’re ready to get pregnant!

  • Reply
    June 16, 2011 at 10:25 PM

    I love reading all of this information! Thank you so much for sharing it all! I’m sure it can’t be easy to feel like you are sharing such personal stuff sometimes. Congratulations again! I am so excited for you and your husband!

    • Reply
      Elena @ Art of Making a Baby
      June 17, 2011 at 6:04 PM

      Thank, Kayla! I actually enjoy writing it in details, it will help me remember it, and I hope that it helps someone else down the line.

  • Reply
    June 16, 2011 at 11:26 PM

    You know that a doppler is basically the same as an ultrasound, right?

    • Reply
      Elena @ Art of Making a Baby
      June 17, 2011 at 9:06 AM

      Well, shit, you’re right! No I didn’t know that and didn’t even think to look it up. Poo, I guess we will be sending it back 🙁
      Thanks for the heads up!

      • Reply
        June 17, 2011 at 9:29 AM

        Yes, it is the same. Try a fetoscope, you can get one inexpensively and listen all you want (after about 20 weeks).

        • Reply
          Elena @ Art of Making a Baby
          June 17, 2011 at 9:38 AM

          I’m really bummed. 🙁 we ordered the Doppler because it can detect the heartbeat as early as 8 weeks. By the time I’m 20 week I’ll have kicks and moves,so I won’t need the heartbeat as much. We will probably get a fetoscope anyways, just for fun, I guess. Thanks for the tip!

  • Reply
    Mia Kliuieva
    June 17, 2011 at 2:46 PM

    Oh, my goodness, Elena, I haven’t read your blog in a while and had no idea that you got pregnant. I am so happy for you, guys!

  • Reply
    June 17, 2011 at 3:28 PM

    Wow! You’re very fortunate to be able to hear the heartbeat so early. I have an anterier placenta, so we weren’t able to get a good picture of the peanut until about 10 weeks, and weren’t able to hear the heartbeat until week 16. Every time I go into the Doctors and they use their doppler, they have a hard time finding the heartbeat, and I’m 22 weeks now. We bought a cheap heart rate thing at Babie’s R Us, but it doesn’t catch it yet.
    Also, still not able to find the gender, and they are saying “89% chance of a girl” because she’s stubborn. She’s been stubborn since day 1! Hopefully she will get it all out of her in the womb. 🙂
    Congrats again! I know the crazy look from the DR btw, I had a pre-conception check up in December, and emailed him at the beginning of Feb. with the positive results. He was in shock.
    I strongly advise you stay away from until week 12…. I know knowledge is power, but it’s also a good way to drive yourself crazy when you start seeing many people drop off your birth month board.

    • Reply
      Elena @ Art of Making a Baby
      June 17, 2011 at 4:03 PM

      Oh wow! That must be hard! I cannot wait to find out the gender 🙂

      And I am mainly staying away from forums and communities, unless there’s something specific that concerns me. I have to so many books lying around that they usually have plenty of reading for me. It’s so sad that pregnancy is so fragile in the 1st trimster- a lot heartache for people.

  • Reply
    June 17, 2011 at 4:02 PM

    That’s exciting. Makes me remember when we heard the heartbeat of our girl for the first time. The doctor used a doppler and I heard it, looked at my husband and we laughed. You’ll never forget it. You’re always going to be afraid of a miscarriage or something being wrong, at least I did, because when you start feeling kicks and then you don’t feel them for a while, that made me worried. Then, I worried I was leaking fluid. Crazy things. With exercise, if you were doing it before you were pregnant, you can keep doing it after you get pregnant, but I don’t blame you for being careful. At least you won’t be your biggest in the summer, I was {and in Florida too} and it was hot lol.

    • Reply
      Elena @ Art of Making a Baby
      June 17, 2011 at 6:09 PM

      Yeah, pregnancy is full of worries. I’m sure I’ll be freaking out over kicks ahahahha 🙂 I was actively working out before getting pregnant and continue to do that now ( pregnancy approved exercises), but that incident scared us a bit. I’m back to my normal routine, and so far so good. And thank God, for the Florida winters, I am very happy to have the end of my pregnancy in the middle of winter, I’ll tell you that. Cuz right now it’s HOT!

  • Reply
    July 17, 2012 at 6:27 PM

    Where did you buy your doppler? I’m early in my pregnancy and interested in getting one!

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