How Much Tummy Time Should A 5 Month Old Have My Misdiagnosed Miscarriage

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My Misdiagnosed Miscarriage

It was April 24, 2015, my 26th birthday! I’m a big celebrator, so in our house we celebrate everything from half birthdays to half anniversaries, to just plain, random days that I think deserve a celebration! However, my 26th birthday was extra special this year because I had a sweet little peanut growing in my belly and I was getting ready to see this little miracle for the first time at my 8 week clinic appointment.

I arrived at the Women’s Health Clinic over an hour early because the wait at home was too painful as I watched my watch ticking every second. The lobby was filled with pregnant women of all stages. Some looked so happy, they just couldn’t stop smiling and rubbing their bellies to feel this touching wonder growing inside them, and some looked miserable from the delay, just ready to burst. I picked a chair and sat down with my 14 month old, still not giving up hope that maybe my doctor could see me a few minutes early. Ava and I played pat-a-cake, watched a few episodes of Barney, and ate lots of snacks. I remember looking at her and thinking you are going to be a big sister! You two will be the best of friends. My heart was so full.

“Mrs. Bishop” the nurse finally called. Ava and I quickly got up from our chairs and headed back. When we entered the room, the nurse had me step on the scale, then checked my vitals and asked a few standard questions about how I was feeling. “I feel good! It’s my birthday and I get to see my baby for the first time! I have bad morning/borderline sickness but that’s nothing new for me in pregnancy.”

I sat back on the exam table and relaxed as I glanced over at the nurse preparing and sterilizing the equipment my doctor would use for the ultrasound. I started to wonder What if it’s two babies? How will I react? I have to keep my cool. I can handle two. It’s probably only one though. Surely there is only one.

“Hello Mrs. Bishop!” The doctor said to me as he opened the door, “Nice to meet you. Today we’re going to see your baby’s heartbeat for the first time.” My baby’s heartbeat. What a beautiful sight. “Just sit back and relax and let’s take a look.” He inserted the catheter and we both looked at the screen. He nervously started moving the probe around, and my heart sank before he even said a word.

“Lady Bishop, I’m so sorry to tell you this, but there is no heartbeat. You’ve miscarried and what we see here is just the left tissue.”

My heart stopped and my head started spinning, then I started crying, like any mother. I was crying so hard that the nurse had to put Ava back in her cart. How did this happen? What did I do wrong? That was my fault. My precious baby was gone.

“PLEASE CHECK AGAIN! PLEASE LOOK ONE MORE TIME! PLEASE JUST LOOK!” I cried out, begging for a different outcome.

“Ms. Bishop, your baby is gone. Get dressed and follow the nurse to my office so we can schedule your D&C.” Dilation and curettage (D&C) is a surgical procedure in which the cervix is ​​dilated and a special instrument is used to scrape away the lining of the uterus. The main goal of treatment during or after a miscarriage is to prevent bleeding and/or infection from the tissue left behind.

I stumbled into his office and I honestly don’t even remember how I made it out of the exam room. The doctor called my husband’s number and gave me his office number. “Trey, I miscarried and I need you here now. Right now.”

“Okay, looks like we have an opening for your surgery on Monday, April 27th. I’ll schedule you for 8am, but definitely get here 45 minutes early for paperwork.”

The only words out of my mouth in his office were “Is there any way my baby is still alive? Is it possible? Has it ever happened before?”

“No Mrs. Bishop. It hasn’t happened before. I’m 99.9% sure your baby is gone.”

My husband helped me to my car and I followed him home with the most painful, tragic emptiness inside of me. I had no idea the anguish one would feel from having a miscarriage so early in the pregnancy.

When I got out on the street, I called my mom and sobbed – I let it all out. If you know my mom, you know the amazing woman she is, so she immediately got in her car and picked up my sweet Rickey B (my stepdad) and they headed to our house in Killeen from Houston (a 3 hour drive). For the rest of the day, that little voice inside me kept asking: Why am I not showing any signs of miscarriage? Why do I still feel sick?

My husband, who had missed the actual ultrasound due to meetings at work, wanted closure on seeing for himself that the baby was indeed gone, so he made sure we got a second opinion before any procedure was done. I don’t remember exactly how it happened, but radiology is always booked for at least 3 months at our assigned hospital, and I know very rarely that ultrasounds are scheduled on Saturdays for outpatients — only those in the ER with life-threatening emergencies, but there happened to be a technician working from friday night to saturday morning with a 5:45am appointment cancellation.

We checked in with x-ray at 5:15am. and we were immediately taken back to the room. The sonographer was very grumpy, probably because it was so early and he was working all night. He told me to sit still so he could confirm the miscarriage. How dare he be so sure of my miscarriage before even doing the ultrasound. He grabbed the probe and put it on my stomach. “Holy Cow!, go drink a bunch of water, wait 10 minutes and come back,” he yelled. “I can’t tell you anything but go drink some water and come back.”

I heard. I drank so much water I almost threw up. 10 minutes later I was back in the room lifting my shirt for the ultrasound.

“Congratulations, Mom! 160 beats per minute!”

My baby was alive. Thank God! My baby was alive! I watched this miracle’s little heart beat, and beat, and beat and cried tears of joy with each beat. The technician did all the measurements my doctor was supposed to do at the appointment the day before and the baby measured perfectly. Everything was normal and on track for my 8 week old fetus.

I now have a happy, healthy 13 month old who is just the sweetest little boy in the entire world. It is on the right track, developmentally. How did this happen?

I believe my baby has always been alive. To this day, I don’t know why we didn’t see a heartbeat on that first date. Maybe my doctor made a mistake and it was a misdiagnosed miscarriage. Or maybe his little heart wasn’t beating until after that date, just a late bloomer in the beating heart department. But I tell this story to explain that no doctor on the planet is right 100% of the time, or 99.9% for that matter, so when your mom’s gut tells you otherwise, you should listen. It’s sad to think how many women this same thing may have happened to.

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