Were There Ever Any Babies?

Jane Foley's picture

QUESTION

Dear Ms Ultrasound,
Last week I had a D&C following a "missed miscarriage". I found out I was pregnant at 5-6 weeks, but because I had had several weeks of light bleeding and constant brownish discharge they sent me for an early ultrasound. It was dated 5+ weeks and showed 2 gestational sacs (no heartbeats) - both with good decidual reactions.

3 days later I started to bleed again and another u/s showed one of the sacs collapsing, the other still had a good decidual reaction.

10 days after that came another bleed and my Ob/Gyn did both a normal and a vaginal u/s. This time we could see a yolk sac next to the gestational sac, but couldn't see anything in the sac - the Ob/Gyn said we should, at this stage, be able to see something in the sac. He also said it was starting to collapse and recommended the D&C.

In my shock and grief, I never asked him -- does this mean there never were any babies? Did we just have two empty sacs, or did the cells stop developing before they were big enough to see? I don't quite know how to grieve? For lost children or my inability to create children properly? Since the D&C I no longer feel pregnant (no sickness, frequent urination, etc.) but I am very sad. They were our first pregnancy (34 years old).

Thanks for your help,
Megan.

ANSWER

Hi Megan,I am so sorry to hear about your miscarriage. I do know how it feels. First off, I am a little concerned that you actually say "your inability to create children properly" as if it was something your fault or something uncommon. I bet if you asked every woman you came across for one day, you would find a huge majority of them would tell you they have had a miscarriage and that they have subsequently went on to have normal pregnancies.

Now for the gestational sacs. It sounds like the pregnancy's development stopped before the fetus's got big enough to appreciate on an ultrasound. I say this because there was a yolk sac seen. If no fetus develops, no yolk sac develops and it is called a blighted ovum.

May I suggest in your case that a choice of rejoicing be included when deciding how to emote. With my own experience of a miscarriage, I made the choice to cherish the time another spirit was within me. If only for a short time. Even now, years later I still feel the love of that pregnancy and it makes me feel happy. Feel honored you were allowed to create a life and to be a Mother. So many women get caught up in the whole medical aspects of counting days, hormones and doctors visits and forget about the life inside.

I hope this helps you heal and know this had nothing to do with an inability to create children.

-- Jane, RDMS