Finding out you are pregnant is a wonderful experience right away. You start this journey together with your wife full of excitement and fear of the unknown as you embark on a journey in which you have no clue where you are headed. The instant high of “we finally did it!” radiates through everything in your life over the next couple of weeks following that discovery. It is as though new life has been injected into your routine because…in all reality…it has.
The two weeks following the incredible news was just like that. Our house was filled with nothing but excitement and telling the dogs to get ready because they were going to have a human to protect. Even our relationship together was stronger as we prepared for the doctors visits and our lives changing for forever. In our case, it had made the long journey of medical emergencies leading up to this point all worth it and the stress of being one week away from going through the IVF process all but a distant memory. We were pregnant and very happy about it.
Then The Ball Dropped [Temporarily]
The time came for our 7-8 week appointment and ultrasound to get a better idea of a due date and to make sure everything was on track and healthy. This is our first round into being pregnant, so we really didn’t know what to expect going into this appointment but we were completely not prepared for what was about to happen both physically and emotionally.
As the midwife started the ultrasound procedure, we started to get an uneasy feeling. She was searching around a looking a lot but not really saying anything. Her uterine wall looked good and she could see the sack where the baby should be, but she couldn’t see the baby. She then went to find her ovaries to take pictures of them and could only find one (this is when I should have stopped listening to her completely).
After she got finished scanning, she told us that she could not see a baby where there was supposed to be one so this was probably a bad pregnancy based off the estimations on where she though my wife’s levels should be. Needless to say…this sent a chilling and disappointing shutter down both of our spines. After all of the prep, surgeries, ultrasounds, cancer scares and IVF prep, we got pregnant naturally and it was a miracle. Now this miracle was about to be taken away? We were both in shock.
The midwife recommended that we come back that Friday (it was Tuesday at the time) to have the Sonographer take a look just in case she missed something. We made our appointment and left the office.
4 Days I Never Want To Relive
Starting from the point we walked out of those doors until Friday morning were hours of my life that I never want to relive. My wife was devastated and understandably so. I was too but at this point in time I had to put on my strong but sensitive husband hat and try to keep my wife as positive and stress free as I could over the next couple of days.
In the back of my mind, I am completely worried and stressed, but I had a feeling the midwife just didn’t know how to work the ultrasound equipment correctly. I knew there was a baby there I just had to keep my wife on a stable of emotional state as I could and try to make it until Friday. I kept on telling her that the midwife couldn’t even find her other ovary so how the hell is she going to find something that is as small as the top of a pen. I tried to remind her that we are still pregnant so you have to try to not stress and do not change up your routine.
Secretly…I am preparing for the “we will get through this and we still have IVF” speech if the worst happened.
The Friday Morning That Couldn’t Come Fast Enough
After several days that felt like a month, we made the nervous trip by to the OB to get the second ultrasound done by the Sonographer. As soon as she started doing her job, I knew it was going to be different this time. The preciseness in which she was looking at the different elements of my wife’s anatomy was a sharp difference than before. Both ovaries were found in seconds and she started work looking for our collection of cells starting to form a baby.
After some zooming, scanning and looking around, the Sonographer gave us the news we needed. As it turns out, she saw the baby and the heartbeat, but we were just a little bit earlier along in this process than expected. Instead of 7-8 weeks pregnant, we were in the 5-6 range. That news was almost as good as finding out we were pregnant. Everything else looked great and we needed to schedule another ultrasound 2 weeks from now to see progress and really try to nail down our dates.
With a HUGE sigh of relief, we made our next appointment and left the office after one of the longest weeks in our life. Luckily, my pushing of positivity with my wife didn’t backfire and we were on our way still to being parents.
Midwifes and Bed Side Manner
Going through this process really started to make me think about midwifes in general. While I do believe that there are probably a ton of them out there that have great bedside manner and are a pleasure to deal with, I do think the position leads itself to fanatical women who think they should do the thinking for their patients.
For the life of me, I can not figure out why you would let a person that is not specifically trained in a task deliver that kind of news to an expected mother without being 100% sure. In our case, she thought she was doing us a favor by trying to prepare us for what could be the worst case scenario, but all she really did was about give my wife a stroke for 4 days straight.
It might just be our experience and our backgrounds (she is an engineer and I am an economist by trade) that make us have different needs than others or we might just be over sensitive, but the way this was handled did not go over well at all. Even when we were scheduling the new appointment after the good news, one of the midwifes was getting an attitude trying to defend the actions of the other when we didn’t even bring it up.
We are going to continue to be very thankful for the gift we are given, but try our best to deal with doctors and techs from this point forward as we have had better luck and communication going that path.