Me, lying on the table with my knees up and the dildocam stuck up my precious. H sitting by my head, his hand on my shoulder. We are both looking at the screen of the ultrasound machine, and ÜberScanningLady is adjusting the focus. There! There! See it? A gestational sac! It looks exactly like a gestational sac! ÜberScanningLady wiggles the dildocam about and scrolls slowly past the sac. And back again. And refocuses, and bashes me about the cervix again. There’s an appalling silence. I clutch H’s fingers. Why can’t we see a foetal pole and a heartbeat? There’s just a sort of… blob.
‘I can’t get a good view,’ says ÜberScanningLady eventually. ‘The texture of your uterus makes it difficult. I can see a yolk sac, here, but I can’t see a foetal pole. There might be one, here, but the view is really not clear.’
She waggles the dildocam about inside me, and scrolls the focus back and forth along the gestational sac a few more times. ‘This is where you were bleeding from,’ she adds, pointing out a small black lacuna in my uterus, just below the gestational sac. ‘It looks like a bit of the lining disintegrated. It’s not necessarily a problem, I’ve seen it in lots of successful pregnancies. I’m just worried that I can’t see a foetal pole… I’ll print some pictures out and get a doctor to come and talk with you, OK?’
At this point I gasp ‘I’m wet! I feel wet!’ She lifts the paper sheet up and peeks at my crotch ‘Oh my dear, you’re bleeding!’
Idiotically, the first thing that pops into my head is ‘Thank Christ for that, I thought I’d pissed myself.’ I barely manage to not say it aloud, and hours later remember it’s a quote from TV comedy Rab C. Nesbitt, when Mary Nesbitt bursts her stitches after surgery.
ÜberScanningLady helps me mop up. Cussed paranoia made me put several pads in my bag that morning, and H fishes out the fattest of them for me. ÜberScanningLady takes us to a tiny consultation room, one I’ve had several blood tests in, and rushes off to find a doctor for us. Dr George is not available, but after only a few minutes a woman I’d not met before knocks on the door and comes in to talk to us, with that rather tight, serious, professionally sympathetic smile that bodes no good to man or beast.
I find I’ve almost completely lost my voice, and can only talk in a tiny little murmur. H has to repeat practically everything I say for me. I don’t say much.
The upshot is, it really does not look good. We hadn’t thought it did. But because Cute Ute is such a bloated monstrosity, and therefore hard to scan through, there’s a chance, a very small chance, the doctor does not want us to get our hopes up, that ‘things might have developed’ by next week. I feel very sceptical. And very, very tired. And I hate my uterus more than I thought it possible to hate one’s own organs. We are booked in for another scan on Wednesday, to make sure. Meanwhile, we go home, and, get this carry on taking the Prednisolone, the Metformin, the Clexane, and the progesterone. Just in case. Though she repeats, solemnly, that we shouldn’t get our hopes up. We decide not to do the Intralipid infusion booked for this afternoon. There’ll be time enough to do it next week, if ‘things have developed’, and the doctor tells us, tactfully, it’s best not to waste money just now. She reminds us not to get our hopes up for the fifth or sixth time.
All this time, I’ve been carrying a cold cup of peppermint tea about with me, because we were early and I thought I’d have time to finish it before the scan.
As we’re on our way out, I go to the loo. This next bit is disgusting. As I sit there, I feel something slithering out of me, and, in a sudden panic, I catch it in my bare hand. The idea of my embryo falling into the toilet seems unbearable. I am holding a blood clot about the size of my palm. I stare at it in horror, thinking ‘but, it didn’t hurt!’. After what feels like an age, I wrap it in paper towels, wash my hands, and stick my head round the door to let H know what has happened and perhaps if the doctor is still about… He rushes off and finds her. I speak to her briefly through the half-open toilet door, and she thinks this changes nothing, in fact could mean nothing, and we should stick to the original plan. She seems embarrassed and flustered, which irritates me beyond measure. It’s not as if I’ve tried to show her the blood clot.
I examine it myself, and can’t find anything that looks like a gestational sac. That and the lack of pain leads me to conclude, eventually, that it is just blood, but I am very concerned at how much it clotted in the half hour between my suddenly gushing blood during the ultrasound and my visit to the loo. I put it in the sanitary bin and wash my hands again, very thoroughly.
We go home.
*Gloom that no quantity of ornamental fans can bat away*
Since then, the bleeding slowed over the course of Thursday, became a thin dark steady drip on Friday, and is as I write, heavy brown spotting. I have had very little cramping, most of which seems to be related to a full bladder or bowel rather than genuine uterine or cervical distress. On the other hand, I don’t feel particularly pregnant anymore.
I do, however, feel like a total delusional idiot, shoving progesterone pessaries up my arse while blood trickles out of my vagina. And I resent the Clexane jabs with the power of a thousand burning suns. But the doctor said to, so on we go.
I emailed my boss, and I am off work for at least a couple of weeks, while this idiotic drama resolves itself.
I called my mother, who said mostly the right things, though I wish she’d shut up about homeopathy and acupuncture and herbs and special diets and craniosacral realignments and gestational surrogates. She insisted on being hopeful in an ‘at least you got pregnant!’ way until I reminded her I’m really quite good at getting pregnant. Heigh ho. She also said she was sorry and acknowledged this was very hard on me. She concluded by remembering H would be horribly sad too, and sending him all her love, which restored my faith in mothers somewhat. H still hasn’t told his own parents, and is dreading it, poor sod.
I don’t feel hopeful, and don’t know how to deal with people being hopeful at me. It’s as much as I can do to keep taking the sodding medications. Gentle Readers, it did not look good. I’ve googled enough 6-7 week embryo ultrasound images to know that that did not look good. Fuck Cute Ute anyway, for making everything as drawn-out, complicated, messy and difficult as possible.