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08/04/2003

I guess we spoke too soon.

This morning's ultrasound was grim.

The doctor who did the scan inserted the wand, looked around for a moment, and said, "What is she, about six weeks?"

As soon as she said that, I knew the news wasn't good. I'm 7w5d today.

The rather dippy doctor who was assisting shocked me by turning on the sound so we could hear the heartbeat. "I love hearing that," she said brightly. Note to doctor: I could tell the news was bad just by looking at the screen — so don't get my hopes up by making me listen.

Although the embryo is more or less appropriately sized, and although we have a strong heartbeat of 140 beats per minute, the gestational sac is far smaller than it should be, measuring at about 5w2d.

My usual doctor came in and looked at the scan with us for a few minutes. Then I got dressed and we waited for the bad news. It is easier to discuss such things while wearing pants.

"We both know that's not what we wanted to see today," he began. He said that although he'd seen cases where a small sac resolved itself successfully, he said it could also mean an impending loss. Though he said he's seen a worse case than mine turn out all right, he was not especially encouraging.

When the sac isn't large enough, the embryo doesn't have enough room to develop properly. The embryo gets compressed. Depending on whose statistics you believe, between 80 and 96% of pregnancies with such discrepancies between sac and embryo will fail.

Someone has to be in that 4-20% of successes, and I've been on the surprising side of the odds many times. But I have a feeling that this time I'm going to be in the unhappy majority.

The only thing to do, of course, is to wait. My doctor said he'd be happy to do additional scans as frequently as I liked; his recommendation was that I return two weeks from now. I didn't ask whether I was likely to miscarry before then, but I'm assuming that if it's going to happen, it'll probably happen before then.

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