Monday, June 9, 2008

just as bad as i thought

The first regular doctor's appointment was today. It took a little while for the doctor to understand who the various players were, but, eventually, we got it all sorted out.

"It might be too early," said the doctor as she picked up the doppler, "but let's see if we can hear the baby's heartbeat." She searched for it for a few very long minutes, then gave up, commenting cheerfully in an accent I couldn't quite place, "We'll be able to hear it at the next appointment for sure." She wasn't worried at all.

But I am.

60 comments:

slouching mom said...

oh, babe. you never get even the littlest break, do you.

shit.

i'm confident that the doctor will hear it next time. after all, the pregnancy is proceeding uneventfully, right?

Aunt Becky said...

Same thing happened to me with Ben.

*hugs*

Elizabeth said...

what torture. still leaves you in no-man's-land, as it were.

Tash said...

Fuu-uck. Dear doctor: given patient's history, please do not attempt to listen to heartbeat via doppler at a time when it might not be fully accessible yet. If you do decide to try, be completely prepared to do a quick u/s to put patient's mind at ease. Otherwise? You're an asshole. Sincerely, me.

So sorry Niobe. I think this was irresponsible of your doctor. I know we all know this can happen, but damn is this unfair to do to you.

G said...

I am totally with Tash on this. Dumbass doctor should not have used just the doppler and then NOT followed it up with an u/s.

You guys are in my thoughts. When is the next appt?

niobe said...

To be fair to the doctor, she did offer to schedule an u/s for later today. And if I were the patient, I would have taken her up on it.

But Kyrie didn't want to (though I'm sure she would have if I had insisted). It would have meant a drive all the way into the city and Kyrie was nervous about missing so much work.

Azaera said...

Aww I hope next visit goes a million times better

the dragonfly said...

Bah!

Thinking of you..

Patti said...

Gah...why, why WHY do doctors do things like that?

I'm sorry. Wish you could have heard it today, just to allay your concerns for a few hours, if nothing else.

CLC said...

I hope the next appt. is soon. I am sorry, I would think the same way. I wish I could tell you it will be ok and have you believe me.

Joy said...

Regular people have NO CLUE what anxiety people like us live with. The disaster that is / can be / was / might be is some distant thing to them.

calliope said...

damn.

k@lakly said...

I am with Tash too, but sounds like your doc did try....mine did the same thing to me and of course couldn't find it. Luckily, they have the u/s in the same office so they just put me in there and were able to ally my fears, at least for that moment. They're all back now.
Julia said to me, and it does help a bit, that while the path we are on is a hard one, this pg after loss, each day we travel on it, the journey becomes shorter. That's what I am using as my new coping device. Maybe it'll help for you too.
Hope you get to hear the beat soon.

Aurelia said...

Ditto Tash, and of course, I understand Kyrie's reasons, but then no one should ever do the doppler, or you should have an US available in the office, for just such occasions.

They couldn't find the heartbeat on doppler for Julius a couple of times and I became hysterical until we saw it on US. Turns out that the placenta was blocking it until it moved around a bit.

DD said...

I'm guessing that the next appt is in 4 weeks? Aarrggh! The torture of waiting never ends, does it?

I guess I'll just keep the hope that Kyrie continues to feel good until then.

Which Box said...

What Tash said. At this early, and with your history, the doctor shouldn't have tried without an US immediately available. Bleah.

It is early, though, and you well know it's not unusual to hear the heartbeat via doppler this early. I'm sure that's cold comfort.

Magpie said...

Argh.

I thought virtually every OB's office had one of the little portable u/s machines...guess not, huh?

niobe said...

DD Yes, the next appointment is supposed to be in 4 weeks. But I'm going to see if Kyrie will be able to come into town for an u/s before then.

Everyone: I don't think I like this doctor at all. As lots of you have pointed out -- what kind of ob/gyn practice doesn't have immediate access to an ultrasound? But Kyrie has to see someone near where she works, so the choices are limited.

flutter said...

The lack of being scared from the dr can be a little maddening, no?

Amelie said...

oh no. Sorry. Fingers crossed on getting an u/s soon. Can you switch doctors, even with the given limits?

~Denise~ said...

I didn't hear it both the first times we tried with my kiddos. It sucks for sure. I'm assuming you have to wait another 4 weeks?

Eva said...

I think it means nothing. Irritating though that they did not follow up with u/s given your situation.

Lori said...

Oh, shoot. It does seem that without the backup of an u/s machine, why try to hear it with a Doppler so early? That sounds like a recipe for stress for everyone!

I'm sorry. I would be worried too even though my inclination was to want to tell you "not to worry." Wishful thinking on my part.

cinnamon gurl said...

I didn't get to hear Swee'pea's heartbeat until 15 weeks, despite a few tries before that. When I finally heard it, I wept. I hope you hear it next time.

Kami said...

New doctor! I'm with Tash . . . given your history they should have followed up with an u/s.

I'm sorry. I would tell you to not worry, but how can you not?

Elizabeth said...

What a lovely doctor! I hope you can convince Kyrie to switch doctors, and I hope you can get an u/s before another 4 weeks passes. I'm sending hugs to you.

Kymberli said...

There's a lot that I want to say, but I'm biting the inside of my cheeks as if oral words really matter much in blogland.

Definitely a new doctor is needed. Screw work - she should have gone for the ultrasound.

Dov said...

All I can say is UGH, UGH, UGH!!!

I'm sorry, and hope you find a way to get through until the next appointment.

Betty M said...

Definitely need a dr with an ultrasound machine. I could understand it if she was a GP but a an OB it seems ridiculous. Hopefully a swift next appt will help ease the worry.

debbie said...

First, I'm sorry it didn't go as you wanted. That is such an incredbile bummer. I will definitely keep sending good thoughts your way, and I hope that you get good news in the days to come.

Second, I don't want to open up a can of worms, but this post definitely sheds light (at least to me) on how incredibly tricky it is to share this experience with a surrogate. I am sorry that you could not say to her, f* work and please, let's go get an u/s, do you realize what I've already been through? But I understand that the situation doesn't allow for that. I think that it must be incredibly difficult to surrender so much to someone and to be so grateful to them at the same time.

I will be thinking of you in the days to come. Good luck, Niobe.
Debbie

Coggy said...

Is the doctor just trying to test your nerves as far as possible?
I'm kind of surprised that Kiri didn't say screw work too, but then maybe that's because she really thinks everything is OK. Still...

Monica H said...

You had me worried there for a minute. I hope she's right.

My Reality said...

Fingers crossed.

Awake said...

A) Shouldn't it be standard in the U.S. to have access to an ultrasound machine in an ob/gyn office?

B) Shouldn't it be common medical knowledge that it is very very early to try to find a heartbeat and a doppler won't likely pick it up?

C) What everyone else said.

I'd be looking for another doc, hon. Until then or until the u/s - hang in there.

Beck said...

They couldn't hear The Baby until well after I started feeling her move. Really.

Lisa b said...

I'm with tash on this one. The would not have been able to get me out of the office without and ultrasound.

Mad said...

For a lot of us, early ultrasound is simply not a choice. I'm sorry, Niobe. Having had my heart put through this wringer only last week, I have an inkling of the dread you're going through. My history, though, is not nearly so fraught.

c. said...

Yup. I would be, too. It's just the kinda gal I've become.

Fingers crossed for next time, Niobe.

Alex said...

I'm with Tash, and with Debbie. I totally understand why you are working with a surrogate, yet I now understand yet another reason doing so adds a different sort of difficulty to this.

If you cannot switch doctors, could you at least work out a way to offer this one some guidance? I.e., "Let's talk through this procedure that you're offering. If it provides less-than-reassuring results, will we have learned anything [in the case of the Doppler right now, not really, huh?]? Are there any treatment implications [ditto]? Will we be able to do anything to follow up if we want to [considering Kyrie's situation as well as any other restrictions/limitations]? If not, is it really a good idea to do it?"

I continue to hope for you.

Antigone said...

Maybe this was already said, niobe, but you have way too many comments for me to read when I'm in a fit.

Why the f*ck did your physician not provide a vaginal ultrasound?

Antigone said...

Okay, I read your followup comment.

niobe said...

Alex: What you're saying makes sense.

But I'm not the one who's pregnant, so it's not really my decision to make. And Kyrie wanted to see if we could hear the heartbeat.

Amanda said...

I'm sorry for your experience today. I can't imagine how it/you must feel. Thinking of you.

Next appointment's what -- four weeks from now?

niobe said...

amanda: I'm going to try to persuade Kyrie to come into town for an u/s within the nex week.

Julia said...

I am sorry. This totally blows. I never heard a heartbeat at 10 weeks-- it has always worked out to be later. But yes, I am pissed that this practice doesn't have an u/s on hand. What? They send all their patients tens of miles away for a check? That seems responsible. NOT.

I am sorry you get the extra crap. And I do hope Kyrie gets how important it is to come in for the u/s this week.

wheelsonthebus said...

The frustrating thing is that it is all probably FINE, but because you really, really want to know, you don't get to.

Smiling said...

Sorry to hear you've been handed an extra healping of worry!

I am struck by your sensitivity for Kyrie in spite of how worried you are.

I liked Alex's advise... worry isn't going to heal or help or change anything, so why should doctors invite it in to an already challenging journey unless the information gained could make a difference.

Ashleigh said...

ugh, i'm sorry. my guess is that Kyrie hasn't experienced the kind of loss that most of us have and therefore thinks everything is OK until proven otherwise, rather than vice versa. (the doc too) not that it helps you any. i'll keep everything crossed that you can figure out a way to get an u/s before 4 weeks is up.

christina(apronstrings) said...

it is waaaayyyy to early to hear jack on a doppler. could you buy a sensitve doppler-rent on, to try to hear it? i would.
nonetheless, this sucks!

Furrow said...

Oh, my. Stress on top of stress. I know this happens to a lot of people -- not hearing a heartbeat this early -- and it always sucks, but it's worse for you (or someone like you). I refused to let them try at 9 weeks when I went for my first appt because I knew I couldn't handle them not finding it. But I understand you wanting to let Kyrie make some decisions, too. If an early u/s doesn't work out, could Kyrie swing by in the next couple of weeks for another quick doppler check? It should be an easy lunch hour thing. That's what I did at 11 weeks, when we were reasonably sure something could be heard. I recorded it so that I could listen to it whenever I felt anxious.

Wordgirl said...

Don't you suppose we could somehow band together and provide sensitivity training for these ob's?

Seriously, given the history one would think everything possible would have been done to put you at ease.

I'm sorry that wasn't the case.

Pam

leanne said...

So sorry that you are left to wait and wonder. Sometimes there's nothing worse than being left alone with your own thoughts.

I do hope that Kyrie is willing and able to get an ultrasound soon.

Thinking of you...

docgrumbles said...

They really shouldn't taunt the blackhearted like that.

thirtysomething said...

Damn. It is still early though, Niobe. Really it is.
But, no ultrasound? What??? I am sorry - that seems very insensitive on her part, given the scope of the situation. Maybe she will come around soon.
Comfort yourself with the fact that the pregnancy has shown no signs of distress and all has progressed as it should.

Thinking about you.

Alex said...

Niobe,

Makes sense. I'm sorry this leaves you in unpleasant uncertainty.

passingwindows said...

I'm crossing everything for you; fingers, legs, arms, everything. I hope the doctor is right and this is a ridiculously normal pregnancy.

Wishing 4 One said...

Sending you good thoughts and lots and lots of hugs, you'll hear it next appt.

Beruriah said...

Gah. I am late on this, but I am so sorry you don't like this doctor. It's already been said but I have to agree that an u/s should have been there. Dr. K had one IN THE ROOM, turned on, and warmed up for this possibility early on. Because of course we could never flipping hear Samuel's heartbeat on the doppler until the very end of the period when it's said it may become possible. And I had a hard time holding myself together for the few seconds it took to move on to the U/S. I so so hope all is well and although it's worth nothing, I wish I could speed up time for you.

ewe are here said...

Ugh.

I hope your next appointment is soon.

Dayna said...

I understand K.'s worries about her job security, especially in this economy, but oh, boy, Niobe, my thoughts are with you. You need to be cut a break.

Big happy thoughts your way.