Today we had our first appointment at MFM. We had an ultrasound, met with a perinatal counselor (E) and Dr. T. Everything went as well as could be expected – heart rate is 167 bpm, we even saw little wiggles from the baby. Everyone said they saw everything they would hope/expect to see this far along. Obviously it is still really early but I’ll take all of the encouraging news I can get.
I think E must be a guardian angel as well, because as soon as the ultrasound tech brought us in (S) she told me that she had talked with E and E had shared our history with her and she was so sorry for our losses. It was one of the first things she said and I appreciated that. She also said she knew I must be very anxious and nervous so she was going to get right to it. I’m glad she acknowledged how nerve wracking it was and tried her best to make it easy for us. (For those of you unfamiliar, E is the perinatal counselor who facilitated the pregnancy loss support group I attended last year, so obviously she is very in tune with how I am feeling and support I might need.) S found the heartbeat right away and then explained what she was seeing. She didn’t stare straight ahead with a blank face and I had to try and read every twitch and movement. She explained everything with a big smile. She was really great and I hope I see her for all of my ultrasounds. Then E came in to give me a big hug and asked how I was feeling – emotionally and physically. And if I was still going to acupuncture. Then we talked briefly about whether or not I want screening (I do) and what to expect going forward. Then Dr. T came in and she was equally as great. She reiterated what everyone else said, that everything looked just right for 8 weeks and that this was the first hurdle. She wants to see me at 11 weeks, 15 weeks and then for the anatomy scan.
Dr. T was also great answering my questions. I told her I didn’t have a lot of questions, per se, but I had plenty of fears. I told her that I am obviously always going to be worried about the baby and I’m likely never going to not worry until I am holding the baby. But I also told her that I am also worried about my body being “damaged” from the two D&E’s. We talked specifically about my cervix (I am worried it is damaged and will be incompetent) and about scarring/placenta accreta. Those are my two big fears right now. She said that D&E’s are very safe, and the laminaria that I had during the first procedure and the misoprostol I took both times are designed to protect the cervix and get it ready so it won’t be damaged. But she said checking the cervix is part of their routine and she’ll be taking a close look at it at 15 weeks and again at the anatomy scan to make sure it is long and closed. Then we talked about the scar tissue. She said that the D&E does not entail a lot of scraping, more suction which is safer. And that if there was scar tissue it’s very likely I wouldn’t even get a period and I wouldn’t get pregnant. But she said as the pregnancy progresses they will be checking the position of the placenta and that it’s her job to make this as easy and worry free for me as she can. She said if I ever have any questions I can call the office or email E and E knows how to get ahold of her. I also told her that right now I feel okay, anxiety wise, but just thinking about the anatomy scan puts a pit in my stomach because that’s where everything went wrong the first time and I feel like nothing has gone right since. She totally understood and said yes, we had a few more hurdles but she wants to see me at 11 weeks (by then she said she should be able to rule out anencephaly and we can do blood testing), at 15 weeks (by then she should be able to see the kidneys starting to take over and check amniotic fluid levels) and then the anatomy scan. She acknowledged we had a long way to go but said right now everything looked great and she had no concerns based on anything she saw.
All in all I am more than happy with my “support team” (Dr. F, Dr. T and E.) It seems like they all have great communication with each other and really get how hard some of this is on us with our previous losses. And they all seem like genuine, caring people. I never feel rushed or silly for my questions or concerns. A lot of this has to do with E looking out for me and for recommending that I see Dr. F when I told her I wanted to switch doctors.
I also had an acupuncture appointment with J last night. She was equally as great. One thing she mentioned to me was that I should avoid fried foods and iced drinks (I told her I had been raving fried chicken and ice cold water) as they are both damaging to the Spleen Qi which is important in sustaining a healthy pregnancy. That’s fine, I can do without fried food that’s for sure (not like it’s good for me anyway.) I also told her I had been feeling guilty about being so fatigued and unable to do even simple workouts like going for a walk or yoga. She told me to stop feeling guilty and listen to my body. If my body needs rest, I need to rest. She said with my spotting it’s important I not push myself and reminded me that I am creating a life and that takes A LOT of energy. So not to feel bad if I want to come home from work and go to sleep or skip a shower. It felt good to have someone else remind me of that. Then we got to our session and she did the basic first trimester points – to help with the “nausea yucky feeling” and to “keep a healthy blood flow to the uterus and keep everything where it is supposed to be.” As for the nausea yucky feeling,not sure if that has really helped or not because this morning I yakked over my prenatal vitamin.
All in all, right now I feel happy and hopeful. I know that as we drag on through the next three weeks between ultrasounds I will begin to worry more, but I will try to hang on to this feeling for as long as I can. I also have my prenatal intake appointment with Dr. F’s office next week, so that will give me something to think about next week – then I will just have two weeks between that and the ultrasound.