My story, as I like to call it, of miscalculated ovulation.
Today doctors use a mathematical formula to calculate your baby’s projected due date, which is almost entirely based on a 28-day ovulation cycle (which starts from the first day of your last menstrual period: REMEMBER THAT DATE). The average woman keeps to this schedule, wavering a few days in either direction. Well, not me. Based on my calculations (the first day of your LMP) I scheduled my first OB appointment for what I thought was my 8th week of pregnancy. My husband and I planned to keep our “little secret” a secret until we had confirmation via our first ultrasound (doctors generally do not offer blood tests anymore, so the at home test is usually the only indicator until your first ultrasound). During our appointment, we saw our little babe on the screen and it was confirmed, we were PREGNANT! Well, so we thought.
After the ultrasound, we had a sit down with our doctor who we were meeting for the first time and she explained to us that while our “date” indicated 8 weeks, our baby is only measuring about 6 weeks. From there, she proceeded to tell us that there were two likely scenarios – either I had ovulated late or we were in the beginning stages of a miscarriage. She next asked if we had any questions. UM, ya – we’ve got a few (hundred). To put it lightly, this is not what we were expecting to hear and in such a matter-of-fact way. We left the office a little deflated that morning, with our plans to tell our families now put on hold until our next ultrasound, which was in 11 days. To be perfectly honest, I’d say we handled the possibility of miscarriage fairly well, diving head first into work and trying to pass the days. The only true sense of optimism we were hanging onto was the fact that I had just stopped taking the pill when I found out I was pregnant and as most women know, the normalcy of your cycle takes a serious detour into crazytown. We held several “pow-wows” calculating the numbers to see if it made sense for me to have ovulated about every 36 to 38 days for two months, instead of the normal 28 days and in our particular situation (thankfully), that turned out to be just the case. So, 11 days later we were thrilled to see a MUCH larger baby and our miscarriage scare ended up being just that, a scare.
The reason I’ve shared this story with a number of people is to warn other women of two things: first, not everything in pregnancy follows a specific formula or set of rules and secondly, doctors can be really insensitive. If you find yourself in a similar situation, think of our story and realize that your body might not fall into the cookie cutter model for ovulation. Basically, just because there is a chance of miscarriage, there is also a chance that your body doesn’t follow the normal protocol, so try to stay positive and see what information your follow-up ultrasound brings.
Secondly, a lot of doctors are very mathematically/scientifically minded so they at times forget to be humans. If you are the type of person who needs a doctor who exhibits a little more sensitivity in delivering news and information, don’t wait to explore other options. Pregnancy is a long, and at times stressful 10 months, so it is imperative that you feel comfortable and respected in all dealings with your doctor. For those first time mothers like myself, you will encounter a new “unknown” practically every day, so trust your intuition and find a doctor who makes the process a lot less terrifying! (Update: Despite getting off on the wrong foot, we kept with our doctor and have been happy with our developing relationship ever since).