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Early scan - heartbeat but baby measuring small

(17 Posts)
marshmallowpies Mon 31-Mar-14 12:58:08

I've just come back from an early scan appointment - should be about 9 wks pregnant, but I had a little bit of bleeding over the weekend which I never had on my previous pregnancy.

So the scan showed a heartbeat, but a baby only measuring for 5-6 wks dates.

The doctor said that with a discrepancy as large as that, it was likely the baby wasn't developing properly and would probably result in a miscarriage.

Anyone else ever experience this? Having looked back at old threads people with similar issues seem to have usually ended with a miscarriage, but most of these didn't see a heartbeat at the scan.

I don't feel desperately upset - I have a healthy DD who is nearly 2 and is my world - but a bit sad that with a heartbeat, the fetus is still hanging in there, but not likely to make it. I feel more sorry for it than for me!

RedandChecker Mon 31-Mar-14 13:06:40

I'm sorry to hear this marshmallow.

I've had previous miscarriages but none that showed a heartbeat. I had bleeding with my DS on a few occassions, never had a scan but he's 4.6 now and bleeding can be a normal part of early pregnancy. Have they booked you in for a follow up scan. There is still hope. Have they offered you any support in the meantime, i know this time can feel like an agonising limbo.


minipie Mon 31-Mar-14 13:06:55

I don't have experience of this particular scenario but I do remember numerous threads where the "diagnosis" given at an early scan turned out to be wrong (usually too pessimistic). So, fingers crossed that is the case for you.

CrispyFB Mon 31-Mar-14 13:19:08

If you're not 110% sure on dates, anything is possible.

Otherwise it doesn't look good. I have had similar (including a slow heartbeat) and it hasn't ended well. I know of many others too. It is possible to have a heartbeat and the pregnancy not be viable unfortunately sad

Having said that, sometimes there can be human error, or a tilted uterus that means the size cannot be measured accurately. Were you given a heart rate as that actually corresponds reasonably well to gestational age in the first 9 weeks or so.

marshmallowpies Mon 31-Mar-14 14:02:09

Thanks for the kind messages - according to the print out I've been given, heart beat was 83 bpm, which would be low for a 9 week old, from what Google tells me. I could be out by a few days for dates as I can't remember exactly when my period started, but not so much as to be out by 2 weeks or anything like that!

So just have to wait it out and see what happens - told to come back for another scan in a week. Far better to know now than not find out till 12 weeks; our 12 week scan was just before Easter so the thought of being miserable all over Easter weekend doesn't appeal.

I always said if DD ends up being an only child it wouldn't break my heart - I feel so grateful to have her at all and she has a gang of cousins so she won't be alone in the world after we're gone - but I don't relish the prospect of going through an actual MC.

marshmallowpies Mon 31-Mar-14 14:07:13

Oh and if 83 bpm is much slower than it should be I wish the doctor had been a bit more definitive on that - she didn't mention the speed, I'm just looking at the print out I was given.

She was quite clear about there not being much hope as long as I was sure about the dates, so perhaps she felt she didn't need to say any more, but if she'd said 'that heart beat ought to be higher' I would go away thinking 'well, nature will probably take its course over the next week or so', whereas now I'm thinking 'there's still a heart beat, there's still some hope'.

JBrd Mon 31-Mar-14 15:21:50

marshmallow Sorry that you had these worrying news.

Like others have said, I think that if you are bit certain about your ovulation dates or have an irregular cycle, anything is possible. If you are certain about your dates, this is not looking very promising, sorry sad

I had something similar, last year, when having a scan at 8 weeks, where they found a heartbeat, but the fetus was only measuring 6 weeks. I have very regular cycles and was 100% certain about my dates, and sadly, it did not end well for me.

US scans still have a certain extent of uncertainty, however, a gap this big in measurements vs dates does not leave much room for speculation...
Unfortunately, there isn't anything you can do at this point, other than wait what happens at your next scan.

However, miracles do happen, and mistakes can be made, so hang in there - you never know...

Good luck!

marshmallowpies Mon 31-Mar-14 15:27:29

Jbrd I've never been very good about keeping track of my cycle, probably because it's so regular it's never really been something to take notice of. So probably this is it, then. Just feeling nervous every time I go to the loo that there will be real blood, rather than just light discharge, and I'll know the game is up.

Am also surrounded by friends having 2nd babies in the next few months - 5 at the last count - and I was so looking forward to announcing I was next to join the club!

JBrd Mon 31-Mar-14 15:35:51

One day at a time, marshmallow This limbo of not knowing what is going to happen when is horrendous.
This is not meant patronising, but it's not over until it's over. Your next scan will tell you more than this one, iyswim?

Do you have support in RL, your other half, or a friend you can talk to about this?

marshmallowpies Mon 31-Mar-14 15:41:24

I think I'd rather fear the worst and then be pleasantly surprised, but either way nothing I can do to influence the outcome right now.

DH was with me this morning and then had to go back to work. DD with me & being cuddly on the sofa.

There are some close friends I could/will probably tell, but with my local 'mum' friends, I don't want to upset the ones who are pregnant. One of them has had a MC before, so I could confide in her, but she's very heavily pregnant now and I really don't want to upset her!

Tranquilitybaby Fri 04-Apr-14 15:49:22

How are you doing, I hope you're ok xx

marshmallowpies Fri 04-Apr-14 17:29:57

Hello - I am definitely miscarrying, sadly. At home with lots of thick pads and hot water bottle, but not too much pain so far. Rang the MW this afternoon and they are happy for me to wait it out at home unless I start bleeding heavily.

Feeling quite calm about the whole thing right now - sad and sorry rather than distraught - but worried about what happens next. DH is 40 this year and doesn't want to be an 'old dad', I'm turning 38 this year.

So it seems to be, if we don't manage a successful pregnancy by end of this year that's probably it. I can't put him through all this stress again too many times, when we already have one child we adore.

The good bit is, I can evidently get pregnant without too much trouble; both times so far we've conceived at the first go. The tricky bit is, can I manage to stay pregnant. Lots to think about.

JBrd Tue 08-Apr-14 23:24:56

So sorry about your sad news, marshmallow sad Be kind to yourself, hope you have lots of support.

marshmallowpies Wed 09-Apr-14 13:03:30

Thank you Jbrd. I am physically much better now, but can't get away from the sadness.

Lots of friends sent supportive messages but I feel like I'm not really ready to see anyone yet, just want to hide away with DD. All our regular routine is messed up anyway because of Easter hols, most of the playgroups are shut. So I'm sitting by myself whilst DD sleeps and not knowing what on earth to do with myself. It's very strange.

Fergie11 Thu 10-Apr-14 22:36:44

Hi marshmallow so sorry to read your thread. I am 40 and this has just happened to me.

I should have been 7.4 at first scan but was only measuring 6.1 with a Hb which wasn't as strong as it should have been. I went back 9 days later for scan last Thursday and the Hb had disappeared and baby had stopped growing. Today I went into hospital for a medically managed mc. Very hard day but now trying to look to the future. This was going to be our first baby so I am now looking forward and planning on ttc ASAP. Please stay positive, my dh said okay that's the end of one chapter lets look to the next xx

Poppiesway Thu 10-Apr-14 22:53:09

How big did the sac measure? Did it corralate with the fetus size?
Did they do an internal scan to measure more accurately ?
At around 5 weeks it's is very very difficult to see a fetus at that stage through the tummy scan. For these results to have been given to you without an internal scan would be wrong. Are you in England?

marshmallowpies Thu 10-Apr-14 23:12:58

Hi Poppiesway, yes I had an internal scan both times I went. I should have been 9 weeks pregnant, but the fetus only measured 5-6wks.

Either way, it's gone now, so what exactly the measurements were or should have been don't really matter to me now. I didn't even keep my notes, I told the doctor to take them away. My 12 week scan would have been a week today, next Thursday, and I got an automated call from the hospital to ask did I still want to keep the appointment, which made me a bit o_0

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