Yesterday was our first scheduled ultrasound at the OB. For the first time we were about to see our soon to be son or daughter. I had my regional manager traveling with me for the day. We gave an excellent presentation to the school that morning and I was riding high all day. I dropped off my manager and flew to the doctor’s office to meet Jessica. We anxiously awaited our turn to be called in. Typical, they were running behind so we waited an extra 15 minutes. We get into the ultrasound room and we’re ready to go. I anxiously watch the ultrasound screen. There it is! It looked to be about the size of a pea. She turned on the heartbeat, she added color, and the tiny little pea had a pulse of about 121 beats per minute. It was magical. I was in awe. There inside Jessica was a life we had created. It is surreal. I was so wrapped up in watching the screen, I hadn’t noticed the ultrasound tech hadn’t said a word. She broke her silence by saying, “I guess I you probably want me to talk.” Jessica replied, “Yes please, I’m not really sure what we are looking at.” That’s when everything changed……
“So here is the yoke sack and here is the arterial flow, but I don’t know what this is,” said the tech.
I had no idea what to think. I didn’t know what it was supposed to look at, I couldn’t even suggest solutions as much as I wanted to have a logical expectation. The tech had a nervousness in her voice. Like she knew more than she was allowed to say. I saw a heartbeat. I heard a heartbeat. There had to be a baby right? What wasn’t normal? I had to remain calm. I looked at Jessica and she was emotionless. I’m not sure if it was shock, nervousness, or what, but she wasn’t crying so I was glad for that.
We finished the ultrasound not sure what to think. We had an appointment with the midwife scheduled next. The ultrasound tech said she was going to hand deliver the results to the midwife across the hall. I knew that probably wasn’t a good sign.
We get into the exam room. We are informed the midwife got called to a C-section at the hospital, but should be back soon. The medical assistant asked if we could please be patient as the ultrasound tech recommended we really be seen by the midwife. Another probably not great sign.
The medical assistant checks back in. The midwife got called into a second C-section so she would not return any time soon. They still stressed it was important for us to be seen and they were going to squeeze us in with a doctor in the practice.
The doctor finally entered. I had so much anticipation, I couldn’t even focus on her name as she introduced herself. And she starts:
“So I have good news and bad news, but I’m not really sure the bad news is that bad. The good news is you have a pregnancy that implanted in the uterus and is not ectopic. Next good news is you have a yolk sack, and you also have an embryo with a heartbeat. The bad news is right here (pointing to an ultrasound image) you have some tissue about the size of a grape that we don’t know what it is. Now this could be a lot of things. It could be the start of the placenta, it could be a cyst, or it may have been a twin that didn’t survive (at this point my heart sank a little). The ultrasound tech wrote ‘Molar?’ suggesting it could possibly be a molar pregnancy. There is a percentage of molar pregnancies that continue full term with no complications. The biggest thing is we do not know. What I suggest is that you visit a Maternal Fetal Medicine (MFM) physician for further investigation. Promise me one thing. Do not google anything we discussed here. There is nothing to panic about now. Like I said we have a lot of positive to focus on right now so let’s stay optimistic.”
I look at Jessica. She has a catatonic look. The excitement earlier had disappeared and I was in shock. I knew I could show I was concerned. I knew I had to remain strong for Jessica. We departed the appointment and went out separate way. Jessica went back to work and I went to meet back up with my boss for a dinner meeting. We really didn’t say much. There wasn’t anything to say. We didn’t have an answer. It was a rough drive for me. I did cry a little while driving. The thought that we possibly had two babies but lost one tugged on my heart strings. I had hope that it would all work out. I had hope that the embryo with the heart beating I saw would stay strong and have a normal healthy growth.
I broke the promise. I googled. I am a naturally curious person so when I don’t know something I like to learn. I promised myself, whatever I read I would never share with Jessica. I didn’t need her to worry. Googling was a good and bad idea. I learned some things I had never been exposed to like what an MFM was, and what a molar pregnancy was. The bad side was the severe end of what MFM’s focused on and the complication of molar pregnancies. I had a massive headache and had a hard time clearing my mind. Dinner with my boss kept me distracted. Jessica sent me a text a little while later saying she had broken down a little bit. That hurt my heart more. I stayed strong and positive for her. There was some hope like the doctor said, but it was a waiting game until we could get to the MFM consultation.