As soon as we received a positive blood test result, my husband schedule an appointment for me to meet with a OB-GYN. However, the doctor at the maternité in Manosque refused to see me before reaching the 12 week mark. We were told it’s unnecessary for me to see a doctor at this time, so my first appointment will be when the first ultrasound will be done. The receptionist recommended us seeing our normal doctor if we had questions or concerns before this appointment.
I wanted to meet with an OB/GYN soon for a prescription for prenatal vitamins and discuss breastfeeding while being pregnant, as well as some other questions. Our doctor in town is nice, but she had to search through a big book and randomly prescribed me a vitamin. We got it, but I never took it because it looks a bit suspicious. We prefer the drive to Apt, so my husband found a OB/GYN there and scheduled us for the following week. It was a long wait. I had a second blood test to confirm my HCG hormone levels were rising. All looked good.
The doctor answered my questions and then took me to the examining table. After doing an internal, yes, even have one this early on, she directed my attention to her ultrasound machine. We estimated that I was 6 weeks pregnant from the first day of my last period, so I was nervous about doing an ultrasound so early. I didn’t want to worry needlessly if we didn’t see something. And guess what?! We saw an empty sac. My heart was crushed. The doctor said that size measured correct for my number of weeks and not to worry.
Of course, how could a pregnant woman not worry when not only is the heart beat not detected, but the entire baby is missing! She scheduled me for another ultrasound… 15 long, excruciating days away. So what did I do? I joined a pregnancy group for support from women who are in the same stage of pregnancy as me. I sweated, researched, and completely stressed myself out.
Finally, the day arrived and I didn’t even look at the ultrasound. Instead, I stared straight ahead and then, eventually, peeked at the doctor. Her face did not look concerned, so I glanced at the monitor. And there it was, a flicker! A heart. My husband asked if we could hear it, so she got the sounds on the speaker. Our baby measured 7 weeks, so is a week younger than we thought. This is why we did not see the baby on the ultrasound two weeks earlier.
My Lessons Learned…
1. Don’t get an ultrasound done until you are at least 8 weeks pregnant. If you must, get a second blood test to confirm rising HCG levels. Otherwise, you may be setting yourself up for unnecessary worrying. Maybe there’s a reason French women wait until the 12 week mark.
2. If you want ultrasounds before your 12th week, you need to find a doctor who has her/his own machine. If they don’t have one, they need a reason to prescribe you an ultrasound, such as a history of miscarriages.
3. If you’re worried about a miscarriage, don’t stress out your husband or significant other. It’s not nice. Instead, join a group online to vent with. I felt bad for my husband afterwards, making him fear the worst when he was confident all would be fine.