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Our baby has a heartbeat!

The scan went perfectly – phew. Our lovely specialist came in and said he’d talk thyroid with me afterwards (but that it was okay), then proceeded to get straight into the scan.

He quickly brought up the picture and said: “Can you see what I see?” Which I could – but I couldn’t see it moving so my immediate response was: “Yes. But is it alive?” He said definitely and pointed out the heartbeat. At which Toku gave my hand a big squeeze and I burst into tears.

He was lovely and patted my knee and talked us through the measurements, checked for any other babies (sadly no) and asked the nurse for her whirli-gig. (Which turned out to be the dating chart thing.) The measurement was 10.5mm, so we are slap bang between week 7 and 8. I am only 7w,1d past my LMP, so that should be the maximum size I would have thought. So it seems the baby is growing well.

They didn’t measure how many beats per minutes, nor was their any sound. But seeing its little heart (Manawa iti) beating away was wonderful.

We’ve booked in for a second scan next Friday, when I will be 8w,4d. This will be the excruciating one given my history, but I am feeling so much more positive after the appointment today – both due to seeing the baby and the chat we had afterwards. He said that seeing the heartbeat (which I am sure you all know but it becomes real when the doctor tells you those stats about your own baby!), means that the chance of the baby living is around 90-95%.

We are really happy that our doctor will be there doing it as he is out of the country nearly every week at international fertility conferences (he was in Hawaii and Australia last week), plus is a lecturer and works at 2 clinics.

He looked at my results and at the accumulated record from this year and agreed that the TSH is all over the place. he said that it can tend to rise during pregnancy (which no one had told me), and said that actually – although the TSH is very high, the T4 is stable and right where it should be. For those that don’t know – TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) is the measure of the work that the pituitary gland is doing – effectively sending message to your thyroid to work harder or less. It is in overdrive at present sending messages to my thyroid. However – my thyroid is behaving and producing (assumedly helped by the T*hyroxine medication) enough t*hyroxine to be adequate for pregnancy. Thank flipping goodness.

So he’s agreed with my naturopath that it’s sensible to increase my T*hyroxine and also closely monitor my thyroid, so he’s ordered more bloods this Friday. He basically said the nurses suggestion to talk to my GP was stupid / inappropriate, and that he personally will closely monitor my levels. he’s also suggested that instead of phasing the progesterone pessaries out at week 9 (as is usual NZ practice), he will start the process post week 10 – just to provide that extra support near my danger zone time.

I love this clinic. they took all my concerns seriously and worked hard to allay my fears.

In fact the only part that I didn’t love today was  the teeny tiny cloth that Favourite Nurse gave me for the scan. It covered either my pubic area or down to my knees – not both at the same time. When FN returned to the room, I complained about the lack of dignity and told her that she needed to get up on the bed in the stirrups (sans pants) and decide if it was adequate coverage. She cracked up laughing and said that the nurses actually had a meeting about the size of the cloths and decided they were too big so had cut them in half. I was the guinea pig. I pronounced it a massive fail and she’s taking it back to the drawing board. She kindly went and got me a full sized cloth, and I made her and the doctor laugh when I emerged from the curtained area at the end of the scan with the small cloth artfully wrapped around my neck like a scarf.

Picture of Manawa iti to come when I take one of the scan.

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