So two weeks later, we were back at EPAU for another scan, Mike as calm as ever, me as nervous as ever and praying we would still have a heartbeat. And we did, just the one. Although the second sac was still there, it hadn’t grown, so we were confirmed as a single pregnancy with a lovely strong heartbeat and growing as expected. Such a relief.
We also found out our baby was now measuring 8 weeks and 6 days (we thought we were 9 weeks, 1 day so near enough) and is 21.3mm long, amazing that in 2 weeks s/he had grown 15mm!
We didn’t get a picture this time, though, apparently they are not really supposed to in the EPAU so we got lucky last time.
So we were on track now for the normal NHS process ie. a booking appointment and a 12 week scan. I just could not wait to get to that 12 week scan.
Oh my goodness, how nerve wracking are those first scans?! The early days are just so difficult as there is no way of knowing if you’re still pregnant, you just have to hope for the best. Yes, you can keep repeating pregnancy tests but the hormone HCG can remain in your body even if the pregnancy has failed so they’re only reassuring up to a point. All IVF ladies will have read stories of people turning up at those first scans only to find no heartbeat, even in cases when there was a heartbeat previously, so those early scans are both lifesavers and something to be feared.
My first scan was at around 7 weeks so the sonographer should be able to find a heartbeat. It was a real make or break appointment although something inside kept telling me all would be well. The EPAU (Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit) staff could not have been more helpful and, after a quick chat with a midwife, Mike and I were called through for the scan, another internal scan at this early stage.
The relief when the sonographer said I’ve found a heartbeat was immense and we could see it pulsating on the screen. Just the most incredible sight and the first sign that this pregnancy really was happening. I was just a little shocked by her next words, though. It seems that the embryo had split and there were two gestational sacs! The second one appeared to be empty but she wanted us back in a couple of weeks to double check we weren’t expecting twins. Now that was a shock. Although we knew it was possible a single embryo could split, we had hoped that, by having a single embryo transfer, we had minimised the chances of twins.
We had a chat on the way home and both thought the chances of the second sac developing were probably slim and, even if it did start to develop, I knew that most twin pregnancies were a singleton by the time the 12 weeks scan came around. But if it was to be twins then, so be it, we would just have to find a way to make it work.
In the meantime we would just celebrate the fact that we had a heartbeat – so far, so good.