It’s dark, smelling oddly of smoke, and seriously in need of an updated design. This is what I’m thinking as I sit in the waiting room at Wake Med Maternal Fetal Medicine at the Raleigh campus. I should be thinking the worst. And I was – just a few minutes before. But I really, really can’t think about it right now. I need to focus on something else, anything else. You see, I’m here because my midwife, just hours earlier, couldn’t hear my baby’s heartbeat.
Jordan and I arrive at Baby & Company, the birthing center where I’ll receive my prenatal care and give birth, around 10am. After my birth experience with Jude, I’m determined to have the birth I really wanted the first time around. The downside to a birthing center is that they only do one ultrasound the entire time you’re pregnant (the one where you find out the sex) unless you’re unsure of your due date, in which you’ll go for a dating scan earlier.
While I’ve absolutely loved my encounters with my midwife and staff at the center, I’ve been uneasy about not seeing the baby or hearing its heartbeat. Luckily, I have this appointment today to heart the heartbeat since my first trimester appointment was done two weeks prior and was a bit too early to hear it at that point. I’d bought a fetal Doppler at the Kids Exchange earlier in the year but I haven’t been able to hear anything yet.
Now that I’m eleven weeks, we should be able to hear it at the appointment. It isn’t until the nurse tries for a while with two different dopplers and then our midwife tries again that I start to feel my gut drop. My mom had two miscarriages throughout her lifetime, so I’m always precautious about this kind of thing. I don’t want to get my hopes up because I know what the odds are. But I’m eleven weeks, so dammit I do have my hopes up now.
My midwife Angela tells me not to worry. “A friend of mine was 13.5 weeks and they couldn’t find it either, which is rare at that stage. But she had an ultrasound and it was fine. The baby just hides. They are so small!”
Her glowing smile is meant to be reassuring but instead I wonder if in her head she’s thinking “Your baby is probably gone. But don’t panic until after you’re gone.” I know. My head is not in a good place.
We leave Baby & Co with the promise that someone from Wake Med will call us in the next day or two with an appointment for an ultrasound. Since it is Thursday, I pray that we don’t have to go the whole weekend without knowing. Luckily, I’m still in the car on the way back to work when the nurse calls me. I have an appointment later today at 2:30PM at Wake Med.
I try to concentrate on work for the next couple hours but it is useless. I don’t get enough done. When I leave for Wake Med, my throat is tight. My eyes burn. My hands shake. I am the pessimist I always shame. I should have more faith.
I get to Wake Med North and have no idea where to go or to park. The nurse informed me it was in the medical offices next to the hospital. I park in a spot near the first one and go inside. I see an OB office on the second floor. The nurse had said the third floor but this is “ground” and then two more floors so maybe that’s what she meant. I get to the third floor, go to the bathroom, and when I come back out I have a feeling I’m not in the right place. She said maternal fetal medicine and no where are these words near the OB office. I go back down the elevator and use the phone number I was given.
“Wake Med Maternal Fetal Medicine,” the nurse answers.
“Hi,” I say. “I think I’m lost. Where are you located?”
“Where are you?”
“I’m in building…” I say, going into detail about where I am and where I’ve parked.
“Get back in your car, go to the parking deck, and you’ll see a red awning. Go in those doors and we are on the third floor.”
I get back in the car cursing the earth because I thought I had a great parking spot. I find the parking deck, taking a ticket from the gate lady. When I go inside the building with the red awning that literally had no signs mentioning what was inside, I take the elevator to the third floor. There’s a nurse on the elevator with me panting and sighing. She looks like she is late so I let her get off the elevator before me. I hear her mutter as she leaves that she forgot her badge in her car.
After I’m checked in, I have to wait twenty minutes in the dated, stuffy, smoke-infested room before being called back. I have a seat in the medical chair and get leaned back. The ultrasound technician immediately finds the baby. He or she is there. They are well. Two arms. Two Legs. The baby wakes up as she moves the ultrasound around, and I can see it squirm.
I hold in all the tears I really want to cry because dammit I’m hormonal. I hear the baby’s heartbeat… a clear 185bpm – on the high side. The technician tells me that I’m measuring two days bigger. She also tells me that I have an anterior placenta, which is why they couldn’t get the heartbeat with a Doppler. This basically means my placenta is closer to my belly button and the baby is closer to my spine so it’s sort of covering it from the Doppler. She prints out some photos, I have a brief talk with the doctor, and then I’m out the door.
My next (and final) ultrasound will be April 28th and we’ll learn the sex of the baby (if all goes well). Of course, I’m hoping for a girl and Jordan is hoping for a boy. But honestly, after a scare like that, I’m happy with either.
Baby Lamotta is due September 28th, 2017!
Today is 3/9/17 which means I’m 11 weeks.
Baby is the size of a poker chip!
Baby is a… no clue!
Doctor’s appointment this week? Yep – fetal doppler appt at Baby&Co then an ultrasound at Wake Med Raleigh.
Current mood: Stressed but now relieved
Cravings: Chicken snack wrap from McDonalds
Food Aversions: Pizza 🙁 and random things that vary by the day
The yucky stuff: While I’ve been on the upswing the past two weeks, I’ve still felt sick the majority of the time. Luckily the constipation is a thing of the past though!
Currently rocking: My normal clothes. 🙂
The best thing about pregnancy this week? Seeing the little bean on the ultrasound!
What’s different about baby #2 than with Jude’s pregnancy? Feeling like poo. And the whole anterior placenta thing. I’m not sure if I had that with him.
I’m nervous about: Telling Jordan’s family and telling my grandparents. We told Jordan’s parents and his mom seemed happy but his dad not so much. Hoping we can win him over with time.
Other thoughts: Still feeling like it’s a girl. Excited to finally tell people on St Patty’s day so they know why I’m such a grump.