I can remember straightening my hair the morning of the 12 week scan having just taken the kids to school. I can remember the clothes I had on exactly, and I can remember it was the first time I felt that familiar fluttering in my tummy of ‘something’ rolling like something in water. Its an amazing sensation that is utterly unmistakeable. The baby, she, ( I was 100% certain it was a girl) was moving. This meant that I felt no fear or anxiety about the scan also because I knew she was fine.
It was December and freezing as we drove to the hospital but we almost didn’t feel it as we were so excited to finally see the jelly bean looking well a lot less jelly bean like. We waited in the waiting room having bought our tokens for the pictures and we chatted away with no anxiety or fear, just pure excitement.
When we were called in there was two ladies inside the room one was the usual sonographer the other a student and they asked if I would mind if she did my scan which I didn’t as well they have to learn and when you have already have kids you are a lot more relaxed about who prods you were with what – knock yourself out pet.
Rich was sat in the dark to my left beaming with excitement and we chatted like excited kids about this image on yet another wall mounted TV that looked now so much more like a baby.
At that point the Sonographer explains to me about some new test nuchal something or other, I am not really listening, but it involves taking a measurement of fluid around the baby and do I consent. I was like ‘yes no problem’ whilst thinking ‘whatever love just crack on I want to see the baby!’.
‘theres your heartbeat’ she said, (big relief sigh), ‘and your about 13 weeks and 6 days’ (bonus that’s further on than we thought and less time to wait to meet this little one)…and then nothing. Silence. She is poking at the screen and whispering to the Sonographer. They swap seats and now the Sonographer starts to scan me. More silence.
Then, and I will never ever forget these words ‘ Louise, I’m sorry, but there’s a problem’. I panic, I feel sick, I am thinking ‘ what is she on about we can see the bloody baby there and its heart what possible problem can there be?’ then she starts to say that new test they did and the fluid and there is too much or something and that’s bad. So I am like ‘how bad?’ and she is like ‘ I would rather you went to the RVI and talked to them they are the experts’ and then I majourly fucking panic. Did she just say I would need to go to the RVI? I would need to see a Consulant? Fuck. Whatever she isn’t saying this is very bad.
Its funny because now when I look back? I can see what she meant even to my untrained eye. That big blob of fluid pooled behind her neck. Its right there plain as day. But at the time I couldn’t work out why there was all this fuss about a bit extra water?
I look at Rich. He looks stunned, almost green. I look back at her ‘ could it be something else like not so bad?’ she just looks at the floor and says in cruel monotone voice ‘its possible, but not likely.’
As we get up to leave in shock we hand over our tokens for the photos of the scan and she looks straight at me as she hands me the prints and says ‘ do you still want these?’. I feel sick to my stomach and I fucking hate her there and then. Yes I do you fucking bitch I wasn’t aware someone had died. Yet.
I start to sob hysterically and totally uncontrollably like full on snot and make up everywhere, I actually thought I would throw up. I couldn’t catch my breath I actually couldn’t even hear people talking to me.
I know that I was ushered to a small room some blood was taken and they rang the RVI to get a time. Sadly for me that went like this ‘ I have this lady…Nuchal Fold Measuring 8.2mm’ and then I hear the woman on the other end ‘ woooooahhhhh’. I sob more and louder. This isn’t ending well. There not saying much but this is some bad shit.
We are given our appointment which is in 48 hours confirming how bad this is if I am being pushed in so soon and we leave but I cant remember that as Rich fair carried me to the car crying hysterically trying to calm me down for the sake of the baby. I got in the car and looked down in my hands at the scan picture and I turn it over, I can’t even stand to look at it anymore. I don’t understand what is happening, it was meant to be a dating scan? All I had to do was get to 12 weeks? What was wrong with our baby?