|Because one test is not enough.|
The last few weeks were a roller coaster of emotions. Writing this post was a challenge and confronting. I have to admit it's a little different from my usual posts but the story needs to be shared for the hope that it will help others.
If this is not something you like to read, please skip or exit the page. This is my story.
When I found my missing salt shaker in the freezer casually chilling, I told myself I needed a holiday. Then I lost my phone for the 100th time and thanks to the wonders of Find my Phone - it turned out to be in a rubbish bin somewhere in my kitchen. The following day, on our way to a playdate, I did a U-turn 20mins in my travel to go back home because I can't remember if I actually closed my garage door. Such actions would imply an impending nervous breakdown but not in my case. I knew why my brain was acting funny.
I found out I was pregnant the next day after doing a home pregnancy test. It was the sweetest surprise, the most amazing feeling especially after losing a few people in my life in the last few months. Circle of life as they say and this time it's all about new life.
Let the "Fun" begin
Everything was familiar and I knew what to expect. Sort of. I booked possibly all the appointments I needed like a pro. I was very organised. I knew what kind of tests I should book and when. I saw my GP straight-away and I got all the forms I needed. I feel in control. I was in control.
My estimated due date was 9th Dec based on my last period, not too far away you'd think. My blood work came back all good and positive. I went in for my initial scan 4 days after I saw my GP, bladder full and a very relaxed me hopped on the bed while the technician explained to me what kind of scans we're doing. I wasn't listening to her like a frequent flyer to a flight attendant demonstrating how to save yourself from an airplane crash. I knew what's coming on that screen.
My eyes were focused on the screen as I squeeze the husband's hand in anticipation. Picture is up and all I see is an empty sac. The technician maneuvered the doppler looking for the best angle. I would have been 6w1d at the time, more progressed that when I had my first scan with my toddler but this time there is nothing, empty. We did some transvaginal scan and that also presented us with an empty looking sac, no yolk sac, no heartbeat, nothing.
Maybe Your dates are off?
Maybe you ovulated late?
Maybe you're really early?
Go see your GP again.
(Voice in my head)
Does she know what she's doing?
Is the machine broken?
Is that my tummy?
Is the screen connected?
Did I ovulate late?
What's going on?
What date is it today?
What did I eat this morning?
My life after the first scan
1) More blood work to see my HCG levels. The results were positive. I am progressing.
2) Numerous trips to see my GP to discuss my blood test results
3) Endured all the pregnancy symptoms one could ask for. Nausea, bloat, mood swings, extreme hunger, exhaustion, indigestion, all day morning sickness. I figured this pregnancy is definitely different than my first. I even thought maybe it's a girl!
4) I read countless forums about women who had empty sacs but ended up finding the baby in a few days. I convinced myself that everything is going to be OK.
5) Read countless stories about misdiagnosed miscarriage that I declare myself an expert in the matter. Internet standards at least.
6) I was building hope for myself and for my baby.
7) But at the same time I was preparing for the bad news. Should I wait to naturally miscarry? Should I opt for the D & C?
I tried to maintain a normal outlook and be present for my family while I internalise everything and anything.
Getting a Second Opinion
While I love my GP so dearly, I decided to get a second opinion and I finally managed to get an appointment to see my OB who delivered my son. Another ultrasound was done and found a much bigger sac but still empty, nothing. She's confirmed that I have a Blighted Ovum (Anembryonic Pregnancy).
My Advise to women who are in the same boat:
1) If your first scan shows an empty sac, don't be quick to jump that it's a Blighted Ovum especially if you're not more than 9weeks.
2) Always get a follow-up ultrasound. A week or 2 can make all the difference.
3) Check with your doctor if you've got tilted uterus because if you do then it's worth waiting a few more weeks and do another scan regardless of your blood work and initial scans. Babies hide so well in tilted uterus.
4) As much as you can, stop reading Dr Google but I'll suggest a wonderful blog full of success stories about Blighted Ovum - it's called The Misdiagnosed Miscarriage - Link!
5) Always get a second opinion especially if your doctor is quick to jump to terminate the pregnancy. According to my GP, 6w into pregnancy is a little too early to call it Blighted Ovum.
6) Make sure you trust your doctor. If you feel unsure, even the slightest, it's worth getting a second opinion. Always trust your gut feeling.
7) Accept all the emotional support that you receive because you will definitely need it. The whole waiting for the next scan and next blood test kills the fun of the whole pregnancy but there's nothing much that you can do. We are mothers, our patience are always going to be tested
8) When the confirmation tells you it's all over, accept it with grace. Our bodies are smart enough to know when there's something wrong and it terminates the pregnancy. Like my close friend told me, Mother Nature (God/Universe) has a funny way of protecting us and our offsprings.
9) Whether you choose to miscarry naturally or opt of a D & C, it's your choice, it's your body. Do what you think is best for you provided your doctor clears you from any potential health risk. You have to be smart on this one and always choose a healthy version of you.
10) Always remember that it's no one's fault. Our bodies are smart enough to know when something is wrong, it terminates the process.
Life after diagnosis
I've opted for D & C because of health concerns. I feel pre-labour pains already and the discomfort is not something I would like to endure while waiting for my body to naturally miscarry.
Emotionally I am still trying to get my bearings back but I have a great support system surrounding me. The wonderful husband is a blessing and the adorable toddler makes everything better. And then family and friends are just all out support and keeping me loved and cared for.
While some may argue that there was never a baby in a Blighted Ovum, a loss is still a loss. The pain is the same.
My story is not one of the successful ones that you read on misdiagnosed miscarriage website but it doesn't mean I will never have a happy story to share one day. I've always believed that everything happens for a reason. This baby wasn't meant to be mine this time.
Thank you for reading. I will be taking a break from blogging for a couple of weeks to give myself some time off. I will be back for sure and we'll be talking about makeup again and lots of them.
Happy Mothers Day for this weekend to all the Mothers out there! You are all amazing!
Hope you are all well xxx