The bad thing that happened

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.


33 responses to “The bad thing that happened

  • arminta

    I’m so sorry, May. Fuck Cute Ute, indeed! And Satsuma for good measure. And doctors who seem embarrassed by bodily excretions! And, well, just fuck it all. So unfair for you and H.

  • bionicbrooklynite

    Fuck the whole fucking universe. This is just not fucking right. And I know it’s hardly the first thing that hasn’t been write in these pages, but you know what, universe? That’s a sorry fucking excuse.

  • Valery Valentina

    That blood clot sounded scary. I can’t believe but at the same time understand perfectly you needed to examine it. Of all people the doctor shouldn’t be the one to act embarrassed, for heavens sake. Was it really too much for her to get the clot examined? Make sure it was indeed a clot?
    While I can see the ‘just in case’ mentality for taking the medications it must feel so much more difficult now. And hope can hurt so much. (other people’s miracle stories don’t exactly help)
    Sad for you. And wondering what tricks Cute Ute will pull next.

  • Jo

    I know that feeling of just wasting time, where hope seems impossible. Did the nurse mention whether your cervix was open or closed? That seems a rather salient point to establish, given the blood. (My point being that if the cervix is still closed, it would be impossible to pass a gestational sac ten minutes later, and she could have saved you a bit of worry.)

    As for the clot, I examined every single one with my first loss, terrified I would miss the embryo and accidentally flush it. I can tell you (and I’m sorry if this has happened to you before, I cannot quite remember at what stage you’ve lost your precious babies in the past), but when you pass a 6-week gestational sac, you will know. There’s the pain, of course, a radiating pain that I had never experienced before (though Cute Ute outperforms me on that scale, I’ve heard), and there’s also the sac, which looks like a tiny liver and not at all like a blood clot once you’ve seen it.

    I know you hate hope, but I’m going to keep holding onto it for you. The fact that the bleeding is stopping, and you’ve not had cramping, is a good, good sign. And who did your scan, anyway? I’m guessing not Riverside. There’s a difference in skill, and in technology, as I’m sure you’ve noted. I’m hoping that retarded nurse just didnt know what she was doing.

    Breath held until Wednesday. And a giant finger to the universe for putting you through this.

  • A

    I´m sorry. I hope for you that the baby shows up on wednesday. (If the words I write offend in any way please know it´s not my meaning but my first language is swedish an my writing skills in english is limited. I do understand almost everything I read or hear though.)
    I´ve been following your blog for just a few weeks, don’t remember how I found it. I´m pregnant (I hope) in w7 d5. Or not. I´ve had two missed abortions, my body suck at understanding when the hope is gone. I bet I would keep on being pregnant forever even if the baby died at w.4.
    I had a scan last tuesday and would then be at w7 d2. My baby was to small. Had a heartbeat but was 1-2 weeks younger. So I´m going back on tuesday (3 days left) to check it again. Sometimes I feel hope but most of the time I´m preparing to miscarry. The doc wanted me to not work for the week in between. Can´t do that, that means free time for me to think = not good.
    Wishing for good news for both of us. Even if the odds are somewhat against us.

    • A

      Did my ultrasound to day. The baby hadnt grown. Still had a heartbeat but there is no hope. Waiting for an operation day. Fuck it.
      Hope you gets better results.
      Got the bad news on the exact day we were supposed to get our latest misscarriage. Fuck.
      May get hormonepills next time.
      Now I’m hosting a party for my darling husband whos birthday it is on this shitty day.

  • Amy

    I will direct my hope only precisely away from you, hatefully out into the stupid fucking universe in which this awful fucking shit could ever be your tale to tell. I am so, so sorry. So much love to you and H. I abide with you, always.

  • Betttina

    You poor darling. I am so very very sorry.

  • Bachelor's button

    I don’t know what to say – i am so sorry for you, BUT I was in same position as you two years ago – I wrote in my blog in August I think about bleeding at 6 weeks and seeing collapsed sac, and thinking it was all over… And my son is now currently cluttering around the dining room – oh in actual fact he is now doing his poo face ! – well there you are – he is flesh and blood – so don’t give up! Your medical story is so similar to mine and i feel sure That those immuno drugs will help you get there. Only difference is that I was advised to get the intralipids into me quickly when i bled, to stop the bleed, and the area of bleeding for me was above the embryos and below is definitely better. I really hope you have a miraculous turnaround, and if not then my thoughts are with you and it is so very unfair.

  • Sheila

    Just not fucking fair. I’m so angry and upset for you both.

  • Mina

    Fuckity fuck, the fuck, fuck, fuck. What is the point of all this fucking heartbreak, universe? May, H, I so wish there were something there could be done. Instead of the stupid fucking wait and see while not getting hopes up. Thinking of you.

  • Betty M

    Just so flaming unfair and unjust. Bastard universe.

  • Womb For Improvement

    I am so sorry. Christ this is unfair

  • Robyn

    I’ve stomped hard around my corner of the universe in my hob-nailed boots this morning, grumpy and cross on your behalf. Not fair to the power of eleventy, but still you must endure insult onto massive injury. I’ll hold the tiny flame of hope in my hand for you – you go build Fortress May and H and pull up the drawbridge for as long as you need to.

  • MFA Mama

    *ranting and kicking things*

  • Kylie

    I am so sorry. And I agree about the desire not to have hope.

    But ( and just imagine this in teeny tiny writing, because it is not about hope per se)

    It is perfectly possible to have a scan where you are told that it looks to be 5 weeks, with no positive sign and two days later see something that has a heartbeat and is at the correct size for time.

  • blackbirdofpeace

    Life does love to kick you when you’re down, doesn’t it? If I could, I would mentally help you up, dust you off, set you on a the nearest furniture with a cup of tea, and proceed to beat the ever-loving snot out of life for you, and in fact have just done all of those things in my mind. I add my strength to yours and that of these lovely people who comment here, in the endeavor to get through the days until circumstances improve for you. Shan’t hope (at least I won’t tell you I do), shall only endure. You are gorgeous and strong and blazing with fierce light, your hair whipping around you, my dear May. *hugs*

  • minichessemouse

    I too will hold a little hope in my hand for you. I’m holding you ever so close in my heart just now. If there’s ANYTHING i can do please let me know.

  • starrhillgirl

    Just holding your hand.

  • KeAnne

    Fuck. Just fuck. I’m so sorry & will keep shaking my fist at the universe. So fucking unfair.

  • Catherine

    I’m so sorry.

  • Julia

    De-lurking to say I’m so sorry. I’ve had my fingers crossed for you and I’m so very sorry. You poor darlings, you’ve been so brave and this is just shitty.

  • Anonymous

    Thinking of you both. Which sounds (and is, let’s be honest) a bit crap and not that useful but I don’t have anything else to offer. Other than knowing the sheer crapness of IVF-joy gone bad…. the worst kick in the head there can be.

  • Lilian

    This is just horrible. And so, so unfair. xx

  • Twangy

    So sorry, May. What a hammer-blow this is for you and H. Oh, it’s so horrible and enraging.

    Many hugs. Here for you as ever.

  • Emily Erin

    Also raging and kicking things. Will be looking for Wednesday’s scan (but am not hoping at you, promise).

  • a

    What a miserable experience. I’m so sorry to hear that things don’t look good. I’m using the ornamental fan to waft some air at the tiny flame of hope, just in case it might burst into a giant inferno of good news. If nothing else, I’ll get a decent arm workout. 🙂

    Waiting with you – it’s the worst part, that waiting. You and H are in my thoughts…

  • Jen

    Fuck. I’m so sorry.

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