Inconclusive ultrasound

Today, at 5 weeks 6 days, I went in for my ultrasound. More precisely, I raced from work to my ultrasound, where I arrived 3 minutes late. C was out of town for a meeting in NorCal, and was texting me to see when he should step out of his meeting to Facetime me…

They got me back into the room quickly, and when the nurse practitioner came in, she said it was fine to Facetime with C, and I called him up. She said that my blood tests had looked really good, and she wished for good news for us, since we “have had enough heartbreak.”

The good news:

  • We saw the gestational sac.
  • It is located in the uterus.
  • It measured at 5 weeks 4 days (within the error range of the measurement, according to our nurse practitioner).
  • We saw something resembling an embryo, which had something resembling a yolk sac, and something resembling a fetal pole, which measured at about 5 weeks 5 days.

The less-than-good news:

  • We did not see a heartbeat. Our NP prepared us for this even before she went in, so we know it doesn’t mean anything…but with C. Samuel we saw the heartbeat at 5 weeks 5 days, and we would really have liked to see it today.
  • More alarming was the nurse’s demeanor. She clearly didn’t like the appearance of the embryo, saying “I would like to see it more defined at this stage.” She reassured us that “I have seen pregnancies that looked like this at this stage, and then developed into healthy pregnancies,” which, frankly, wasn’t very reassuring at all.
  • Ultimately, she gave us 50:50 odds that this pregnancy would progress.

So now we wait until next Friday, praying that this coin flip goes our way…

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  1. Oh man. I know that doctors shouldn’t lie or anything, but in this situation I think I would say “let’s give it a few more days before we worry, alright?” Or “it’s so early that it’s entirely possible we just need another week to see the full picture.” ANYTHING but “yeah you’ve got a 50% shot at this point.” Geez.

  2. Jane Allen

     /  April 1, 2017

    Do you know what the embryo measured?
    Did the yolk sac appear large? That’s when I became concerned

    • The thing that looked like a fetal pole measured on track (5w4d or 5w5d. By my count we were actually 5w6d, so close.) I don’t remember if the yolk sac looked large. She didn’t say anything about that.

  3. All of you are in my thoughts. No one wants to get 50:50 odds. I am hoping for the best. Hugs.

  4. k

     /  April 1, 2017

    wishing you the best of luck

  5. I’m sorry your ultrasound didn’t go well. My RE won’t do them that early usually because of the very high possibility there won’t be a heartbeat. I hope your 50/50 chance becomes 100% beautiful healthy baby.

  6. Shantuck

     /  April 1, 2017

    After two miscarriages, I was scared for my first ultrasound when I found out I was pregnant again. Mine also went poorly as the baby was measuring a week behind my known ovulation date and I had a subchorionic hematoma. The doctor told me I had a 50/50 chance of this pregnancy being viable. It was hard but I tried my best to stay super positive (listened to happy music, etc. even though I wasn’t feeling it) and my baby will be 5 months old this week. My mantra was “worry about it when it actually becomes a problem.” Stay positive! We’re all pulling for you!

  7. I’m very sorry. I’m also very frank generally but that’s pretty grim news. I’m sending all the hope and prayers up for that little embryo to hang in there and turn those odds upside down. I am sure the wait is so hard however and for that I’m sending love and patience.

  8. Hmm. Did you get a measurement? At 5 and 4 you definitely do not need to see a fetal pole, let alone a heartbeat. You have a week and a half till you need to, for it to be a healthy pregnancy. Hopefully she is being very cautious. How many days do you have to wait now?

    • Everything measured on track (5w4d or 5w5d. By my count we were actually 5w6d, so close enough…) I think she was just responding to the indistinct appearance. She may also have been visibly disappointed in part because she was hoping so much to be able to give us reassuring news…

  9. Jane Allen

     /  April 2, 2017

    Do you have any photos? I can take a look

  10. megsnyc

     /  April 3, 2017

    Just want to say that I’ve been following you for a long time – C. Samuel is a bit older than my son (who was a product of IUI) and my second son (also IUI) is a little younger than Jane would be now. When I went in for the ultrasound for my second son, I was 5w5d or so and all we saw was a gestational sac and *maybe* the outline of the yolk sac. My RE told me that the only thing she cares about seeing that early is a sac in the uterus measuring roughly on time. That’s it. I went back about 12 days later and everything was perfect. Like you, I was scared and disappointed that there wasn’t more at that initial scan. And like you, I had an initial unimpressive beta number that went on to double nicely. My point is – don’t read too much into this scan, or the nurse’s demeanor. After everything you’ve been through, I’d fully expect you to prepare yourself for bad news, and that’s fair. But I wanted you to hear a positive story to know that this can work out.


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