Ultrasound and fire truck update

Well, the spotting increased to full-on bleeding Wednesday afternoon, so C and I both canceled each of our evening plans and stayed home to mope. The bleeding slowed overnight, then started again Thursday afternoon, this time accompanied by cramping.

Ever the pragmatist, I emailed Dr. R before driving home from work:

“In the last hour I’ve started cramping and bleeding more heavily. Do you think I should still come in tomorrow if it continues/increases? Should I try to save any tissue for testing?”

She replied that I should still come in, and that I should save any tissue if I could.

Again the bleeding slowed that evening and overnight.

On Friday I got up and got ready for work. I taught my class (OChem II), replied to emails, prepped for Monday’s class, and represented my department at an event for prospective students. As I realized that it was time to leave, a feeling of dread settled into the pit of my stomach. I said a grim goodbye to my friend/department assistant (who is ‘in the know’ about everything going on), and drove home to meet C.

C and I drove to Kaiser, making small talk. I mentioned Dr. R’s email, and speculated that she might recommend a D&C so we could test the embryo and see if there was a genetic reason why things went wrong.

We arrived, checked in, and waited. A nurse took me back in to get my weight, blood pressure and urine sample, then brought me back to the waiting room because Dr. R was behind schedule and she thought I’d be more comfortable waiting there.

Eventually the nurse came back for us and as we walked down the long hallway to the very last exam room, I leaned over to C and told him it felt like we were walking to the firing squad. I undressed and sat on the exam table, feeling both literally and figuratively naked.

Dr. R came in and hugged us both. She said how nice it was to see us, that it had been too long. She asked if I felt pregnant, and I explained that the only pregnancy “symptoms” I had were feeling weepy and very tired…both of which could easily be attributed to depression over our apparently failing pregnancy.

Mercifully, she suggested that we postpone the usual prenatal visit stuff and skip straight to the cervical exam and ultrasound.

Dr. R did her thing as gently as humanly possible. She realized that the probe was disconnected from the ultrasound machine and had to start over. She tried again and focused in on the dark oval (the gestational sac) and said, matter of factly,

“I see a heartbeat!”


She carefully showed us – skeptical as we were – what she was looking at. She checked the rate and declared it to be a normal heartbeat, then she measured the embryo, twice, and showed us that it was measuring 6 weeks 5 days. (We were at 6w6d by my count.)


Dr. R was so visibly happy; she just about started crying. Meanwhile, C and I displayed no emotion at all. We were (and still are) dumbfounded.

I had already been anticipating how I would tell my department chair that I needed to change my fall teaching schedule back to a normal schedule. (I had jumped the gun and moved some courses to accommodate a November due date, prior to student registration starting last week…) I had planned to console myself with a delicious cadillac margarita at the Mexican place behind our house, watch the depressing movie about stillbirth I’ve been wanting to see, and ugly cry on the couch by myself…

That I could still be pregnant was, and is, so unreal.

Of course, we know we’re not out of the woods – that we will never be out of the woods.

But that doesn’t stop this me from feeling like getting this far is a miracle.

Dr. R suggested I lay off the aspirin for a couple days and then start back on it again Monday and see how it goes. She said I could go to a ‘normal’ prenatal visit schedule and come back in a month…or that I could come back sooner if it would help me feel less stressed. C answered for me that of course I would want to come back. (He told her I’d just move in to the clinic if she’d let me!) So Dr. R set up an appointment for next Friday, and said we could “play it by ear” after that. It sounds like she plans to let me come in as often as I want!

We talked about other things, including how (and when) I should deliver, but it was pretty much consistent with what she had already recommended when we met back in September.


In other news, on Thursday I heard back from the sales rep for Kompan, the Danish company that we contracted to make Jane’s memorial fire truck. He said he had just confirmed that the pieces of the truck had arrived at our local Parks & Recreation office! We don’t know when they’ll get around to assembling it and removing the current fire truck, but this was unexpected good news!

He went on to say that while he didn’t know all the details, our story had touched the hearts of many of the people at Kompan who worked to make it happen. He shared that many years ago, he had lost an adult son (age 25), and that he was honored to be able to contribute to Jane’s memorial. ❤

Here were the plans for the memorial again. We can’t wait to see it in place at our local park!

Previous Post
Leave a comment


  1. Well that is wonderful news! Fingers crossed for no more bleeding, it is so steessful even though it could be nothing. I bled with a and j from weeks 5-11!

    • Thank you! Bled again this afternoon like clockwork. But maybe it’s comforting that it’s predictable?

      • Ugh sorry. It sucks. My OB was willing to give me a lot of ultrasounds to make sure the heartbeat was still there. Sometimes they could see the bleed and sometimes not. But babies were always still growing, even when it was bright red, fill the toilet blood

  2. Jane Allen

     /  April 9, 2017

    Such great news? Was anything seen with the speculum exam? Sometimes there can be a polyp causing a lot of bleeding. There doesn’t seem to be findings of an SCH

  3. Elizabeth

     /  April 9, 2017

    Everything about this post made me cry! 🙂 Very happy for you. And love your sales guy….

  4. I am THRILLED for you guys. Hopefully you won’t have anymore bleeding to needlessly worry about (although I understand the worry, especially with all you’ve experienced). Sending love and support.

    • Ugh re-reading what I wrote and I don’t like the word needlessly. I was trying to say you don’t need the extra worry but very poorly written. Sorry!!

  5. I am so relieved! (And fearful – it never leaves.) Could you try Lovenox instead of aspirin? I bled out under my skin with aspirin but never did with Lovenox, which I understand also helps with flow to and development of the placenta. Not trying to push you in any direction but since you see Dr. R next week maybe you could discuss if so inclined. Meanwhile, sending all the luck to this scrappy little embryo.

  6. Karen

     /  April 9, 2017

    Congratulations!!! So happy for you and keeping my fingers crossed.

  7. Wow!! What an ordeal! I’m glad your ultrasound looks so good and I hope the bleeding goes away and stays gone!

    The fire truck looks great! Such a sweet memorial. I love the hand and foot prints.

  8. Holy cow. What a week. So very relieved to hear that everything still looks OK! I’m glad the preview on wordpress gives image previews, because I immediately saw the heartbeat photo and so got to read through the post thinking “wait, there was a heartbeat on that ultrasound, I know there was!” If only real life worked that way.

    And what a lovely conversation with the fire truck company representative. So glad that the project is moving forward.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: