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could heartbeat be missed on ultrasound?

(8 Posts)
AurelieW Tue 12-Mar-19 12:42:24

Hello everyone, just wanted to say I am very sorry you are all going through this. I am new to the forum, sadly waiting for my first miscarriage. I was told on Friday that my baby has no heartbeat and measured about two weeks behind on what they should have (7.5 weeks instead of 9.5). I have no symptoms of miscarriage yet but I expect it's coming.

We are living overseas at the moment and this is my first pregnancy here after 2 healthy pregnancies in the UK and 1 in the US. Here everyone automatically sees a gynecologist, never a midwife. It has been a difficult couple of days coping with the loss but also because my doctor immediately scheduled me for a D&C without telling me there were other options, nor explaining anything much about the surgery. I had to educate myself online over the weekend about the different options I had and I feel now I should have been given the choice. On Monday I phoned my doctor and asked about the possibility of waiting to miscarry naturally, she agreed this was an option and is on board with me trying this. So now I'm waiting; no symptoms yet.

It probably happens to a lot of people with no symptoms at all but, though I mostly accept what has happened, I keep having this nagging feeling, what if there is a chance the diagnosis was off? The doctor only looked at the ultrasound for about a minute or so. We had previously seen the baby measuring correctly and with a heartbeat at around 6 weeks (they do a vaginal ultrasound here at every appointment too) and I realise measuring small and no heartbeat at a later ultrasound in that case is conclusive. But at that first ultrasound, the same doctor initially thought there was no heartbeat when my husband could clearly see it; then after wiggling around for a short while she saw it too. So she had missed it at first even though it was visible. I know I'm grasping at straws, but is it at all possible to miss the heartbeat on ultrasound around this time? Should we have looked longer or would that have been pointless? Does anyone know what the normal procedure is for diagnosing a miscarriage, is it normal for it to be just one short ultrasound? I would love to hear your thoughts. Thank you very much for reading this.

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Sunshine0011 Tue 12-Mar-19 13:44:25

Sorry to hear you are going through this it’s very heartbreaking l, I got told yesterday I have MC and was told via my blood tests as my HCG dropped when they are supposed to double, could you ask for these? X

Badgerbird Tue 12-Mar-19 13:48:17

So sorry you are going through this @AurelieW. In the U.K. they have to wait 1-2 weeks in between scans before diagnosing a miscarriage. So if you were here they would ask you to come back in a week or 2 to see if there's been any change. I would def ask for another ultrasound if you have any doubt x

AurelieW Tue 12-Mar-19 15:37:11

Thank you so much for your replies @Sunshine0011 and @Badgerbird! I had never heard of the blood testing before, it is not something they ever mentioned to me here. I think I may ask for that or possibly another ultrasound if the miscarriage has not started in a week or so just to confirm. I know there's no hope really but I am glad not to be having the D&C already in 3 days. Thank you again!

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Rmw12 Tue 12-Mar-19 17:02:15

Hello, I’m in the same situation as you. I had a scan at 7+5 and they struggled to find the heartbeat but did eventually. We went for another scan on Sunday and they couldn’t see a heartbeat and it measured around the same size as the scan two weeks before.

I was referred to the early pregnancy unit as they wanted to do another scan to check. I was desperate for it to be a mistake but we had the other scan earlier today and they said the same, still measuring 7+5 and no heartbeat.

I’ve been given the choice of waiting, taking medication or surgery. I really don’t know what to do. I feel like it’s been in my body for 2.5 weeks now with no heartbeat and I don’t know if I can keep carrying it.

It’s so hard because we were TTC for 3.5 years with secondary infertility and I really thought we’d finally been given a chance.

I’m so sorry that you’re in this situation too and I definitely think you should request a second scan before anything else. I still can’t believe it after 2 but I would not have been happy to take any action after the first one.

sophied1983 Tue 12-Mar-19 17:53:27

It sucks doesn't it.

The guy who confirmed mine had to get another consultant in to look and confirm it.

I did read another thread on here about when they got it wrong and the baby was actually fine... but I'd imagine that is quite rare.

Sorry to hear you're in such limbo.

Rmw12 Tue 12-Mar-19 18:11:15

It really does.

I just had one consultant at my appointment today and she looked at the report from my private scan and said she could accept that as the first opinion. Otherwise she would have got someone else in so I guess they need two separate medical opinions to confirm it. I’m so sorry you’re going through this too, it’s teally tough and you just don’t want to believe it. x

AurelieW Wed 13-Mar-19 12:49:12

Many thanks to all of you for your messages. I cannot tell you how much it's helped just to be able to talk about this with other women who know what it's like to go through this and read the messages on this forum. Very glad I found it. @sophied1983 sucks is the word!! It is interesting you mention someone where they got it wrong and baby was fine.. I don't want to get my hopes up - I really do think they are most likely spot on with the diagnosis - but it does make me want to try and get another ultrasound, just to be absolutely sure.

@Rmw12 I'm so sorry you're going through this right now. Especially with you TTC for 3.5 years, I feel I don't even have a right to complain compared to that because I'm so lucky to have three already (but it's still hard of course). My heart goes out to you. Making the decision on what to do is so hard as well. I want to wait for it to happen on its own if possible mainly because I've always preferred things to happen naturally as far as possible in the past, but it's a personal preference and everyone is different. I agree it is a very strange thought it's still in there, I really wish the mc would just hurry up and get started. I have zero symptoms so far. In some ways I almost wish I had not had these early scans - I never had them in my other pregnancies. If I had not had them we would not have gotten our hopes up at the 6 week scan only to have them dashed at the 9 week one. I wouldn't have known anything until the miscarriage would just have started, which I'm sure is horrible and traumatic when that comes unexpected but perhaps still better than knowing it's coming and having to wait, or having to have the surgery. I just don't know. I'm so conflicted on everything. Take and good luck on your decision, I hope you will conceive again very soon after this nightmare!

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