Monday, May 7, 2007

Nervous Moments: No Heartbeat at 10 Weeks

We were both anxious to get back to our jobs after the weekend and the day started off with a beautiful morning, no wind and warm. My wife had a doctor appointment close to lunch to ensure that she could fly out east. Everything seemed to be going well until I got a call from my wife. She told me that the doctor was unable to hear the baby's heartbeat. My heart skipped a beat, I knew that I had to be able to support my wife, but I was in shock. I was sure that this news had to be negative, I thought the worst. We have had some concerns over the last two weeks as my wife had been spotting and very tired. The doctor set up an ultrasound two hours later. I started to panic...

I came home for lunch and thought I would be meeting my wife. She was not at home.. I was concerned and called her at work. She had been given more bad news but not related to the pregnancy. I went to the Internet and looked at how common it is for a doctor to not hear a heartbeat, especially after 10 weeks. For the most part what I found did not look good. A few articles indicated that the baby can shift in the uterus and a heartbeat may not be heard. When my wife finally arrived I showed her all of the good articles I found and excluded the negative ones. I thought I needed to stay positive for both of us, I am reading The Secret right now and it talks about how you have to stay positive and use the law of attraction. I started to think about the day we are blessed with a baby and holding it for the first time. I told my wife to do the same thing. This may sound corny but it did make us feel better.

The wait at the ultrasound clinic seemed to last forever. When we were taken into the room I felt tense and anxious. We did see the baby right away, then I saw it move. We then saw the heart beating on the screen. It felt like the weight had been lifted off my chest. I could see color going back into my wife's face. We then had to wait about five minutes before we were told it looked like everything was all right. Below you will see two pictures of the ultrasound. If you look close you can see arms and feet. What a relief.

After seeing our heart beat of our little gaffer, I knew that all of our other problems were really so trivial. The bad news she got earlier did not seem so bad. The gift of life far surpasses any hardships--which helps to put everything into perspective....I think our little guy/gal will be a great little hide and seeker!!

How common is it for a doctor to not be able to hear a heartbeat but an ultrasound picks it up?


51 comments:

Belle said...

You almost gave me a shock when I read your post's title.

Thank God that it's just a false alarm. I knew how anxious & nervous you & your wife were feeling cos I was at the situation before when I was on complete bed rest facing a threatened miscarriage in my first pregnancy in January this year.

I thought the dr. will usually do the ultrasound first to see how's the baby doing before going for the fetal doppler to hear the heartbeat. Ultrasound will be able to pick up the heartbeat more accurately compared to the doppler because when the doppler is not placed correctly near the baby's heart, it is difficult to hear the heartbeat at only 10 weeks.

I'm counting the days to my next appointment. Every Saturday is a new week added to my pregnancy. 2 more Saturdays before I can see baby again on the ultrasound.

Our New Baby said...

It was a huge shock for us today, especially since the doctor was able to hear a heartbeat last week. You will have to share your ultrasound photos with me in two weeks. Good luck and thank you for the post.

Anonymous said...

This is very common.

Anonymous said...

Hi there,

I had my first u/s at 6 weeks 0 days to rule out an ectopic pregnancy as I was having lots of cramping and spotting etc. Everything looked fine and they could see the heartbeat. I went in for my next check up at 10 weeks, and the doctor could not hear the heartbeat. I was starting to panic, but she was so calm and said, "I think your baby wants to be seen and not heard", and went to get the portable u/s machine. The heartbeat was there, the baby was perfectly fine, but they just cannot pick it up so early sometimes. And I was tiny back then, she was a bit surprised she could not hear it, as it is usually audible early on if you are thinner apparently, but there you go.

I had spotting, some bleeding for most of the first trimester, but Riley was born perfectly healthy. I know how much it can worry you though, you are right, nothing else in the world seems to matter except the little life you are carrying.

I wish you guys a healthy and happy pregnancy, enjoy every moment of it while it lasts.

Anonymous said...

Bless you and your wife! I'm choked up here reading your story...thank you thank you thank you for the Happy ending....It is so great to see you here and look forward to hearing more of your journey with your baby...

My Ds we didn't hear the heartbeat until 15 wks....My doc was very calm and assured me it was normal....
My Doc heard my Dd's heartbeat at 11 wks and she told me that was VERY unusual...that the baby must have been sitting close to the outer uterine wall....

Can I ask whereabouts you are?

Anonymous said...

i was shocked... at first but.. later.. I am calm down too. I have never come across this experience personally.. so far when preg with Sean everything was okay.. and got heartbeat. Is good that you read more..and find out more info.

Maggie (aka: Ceilidh) said...

Oh I've been down that road regarding the heart beat issue. Almost all my prenatal appointments were hit or miss as to whether they'd find the heart beat on the doppler. They'd always have to go and get a better (newer) machine in order to hear it and it was always faint because the placenta was on the anterior wall. It always made me worry and you'd think after a few appointments they'd know and have the newer machine there instead of making me nuts not hearing anything with the other one.
The good news ... as the baby grows, the heart beat will get stronger and louder :)
Hang in there!

Anonymous said...

You poor things...how scary.

It is not uncommon at all. In my case, it was easier because I had a lot of u/s in the office. They were not able to pick up a fetal h/b with the doppler until I was almost into my last trimester. For whatever reason...position, movement, he just did not want to be heard. Every time there would be no h/b and every time we would go to the machine and he would be there, heart beating, just jumping around all over the place. I've heard it's very common not to hear the heartbeat in the first trimester. I know...I've been there. It was easier for me because they saw me every two weeks (for other pre-pregnancy issues) so I pretty much knew he was going to be ok.

I also had spotting which had turned out to be nothing but implantation bleeding.

Also, the NP says that once they detect a h/b (on the doppler or U/S that the chance of losing a baby is extremely small...so congrats!!!

Anonymous said...

Hello my beautiful brother, sister-in-law, and niece or newphew to be -- It was scary to hear about your day but it is comforting to know that all worked out well. Stay positive and know that we are all here for you and that you are always in our prayers. I miss and love you all dearly and I can hardly wait to be an aunt. You will be amazing parents and your child will be very loved.

Hang in there,

Your sister

Mom At 35 said...

It's actually very common; I'm at 10 weeks and this week we heard our baby's heartbeat. However, the technician said that she usually waits for a few more weeks, but since I'm quite small, there's a greater chance that we could hear the heartbeat at this stage. Even then, it took her quite a while to locate it.

The ultrasound on the other hand immediately picked up the motion of the beating heart.

Anonymous said...

I am so grateful that I stumbled on your blog...we just had our first doctor's appt. yesterday at 10 weeks. After all the tests were finished, she tried to locate the heartbeat with a doppler...but couldn't find it. I was instantly in a panic since I had already been worrying about the baby even before the appt. I have an ultrasound appt. next week and I pray that all will be fine. Reading your post as well as the reassuring comments from your readers has helped calm me a lot. I did not know that it was not uncommon to not hear anything yet. I wanted to add that I was told by my doctor that because I have a little extra weight on me as well as a retro-tilted uterus(it tilts backwards a bit), it is not surprising that we didn't hear anything. Thanks again (everyone) for your posts and I hope all is well in your developing family!

Anonymous said...

I can't thank you enough for the inspiring story. Last Sat., I had a transvaginal U/S and the doctor couldn't detect any heartbeat (though he did, about 2 weeks earlier). He scheduled us for another u/s next Monday. I can't wait though. I will visit him next Thursday, God willing. I can't tell you about my feelings since I heard the news, I am sure you can imagine. I was searching the internet desperately for any stories that tell me that things can be okey again, then I found yours. Thank you so much and best of luck with your baby :)

Anonymous said...

I'm going through the same thing, myself and my husband went to our 10 week apointment, and after all of the physical she tried to find the heart beat for us. She couldn't find it. However the Dr. was very calm and told me if we wanted to come in next week we could. I got really upset because you hear of so many negative things. However after talking with a few moms apparetnly this is pretty normal.

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Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this. Today I was in an U/S for a small episode of spotting, and everything was sounding good until today. They couldn't find baby's heartbeat and they want me back for another U/S on Wednesday. I really needed to find this. I believe in The Secret too, but it is so hard to bring myself up from this initial shock. Please send positive thoughts our way too... we need them for sure. Hoping baby is well and thankful for your post... Dr says my status is "threatened miscarriage" at this point.... eep!

Unknown said...

I had a similar experience today! I went in for my first appointment at 11 weeks and my midwife went through the physical. Then she took out the doppler. I thought I heard it faintly a couple of times, but she said she wasn't hearing but not to worry! She told me the ultra sound machines in their check up rooms weren't the greatest, but it would show her whatshe wanted to see. It was hard for me to discern, as everything seemed to blend together on the screen, but I saw the fast paced flickering and a teeny tiny hand reach up. I am going for a better ultra sound this Tuesday for size purposes, and although I still feel nervous, reading your story, as well as others, gave me hope. Everything will turn out okay. :) I'm a bigger girl, and it's still early in my pregnancy, but I am feeling much better now. God bless and prayers too all of you and each of your families!

Anonymous said...

This really blessed me!! I went to my first Dr's appointment today and we didn't hear a heartbeat. I am scared and worried but you reasssured me to put my faith in God and not man!! I go back next week. Thanks!

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