I will never forget that fateful day when I walked into Room 2. I met a patient who will have forever changed me as a nurse. She usually visited one of our other offices so I wasn’t terribly familiar with her story. After looking at her chart I realized she had gone through over 10 IVF cycles, having had a positive pregnancy test before, but never getting to the point of having an ultrasound.
Today was her 6.5 week scan. The last ultrasound didn’t look great from her previous visit, no obvious yolk sac, and the gestational sac was measuring small.
I walked in the room to see the tiniest, cutest patient with a smile bigger than her beaming back at me! I introduced myself to her and her husband; I could tell they were both very anxious to get the ultrasound going. I was nervous as heck knowing her history. I started the ultrasound, and to my surprise I saw a fetal pole WITH a heartbeat. HOLY HELL, Y’ALL (I was sweating by this point.) They had never, ever, ever heard a heartbeat through YEARS of fertility treatment. They were both crying, and the husband looked at me and said, “Sharon, I will never forget you and the joy you brought to us today.” Ummm HELLO CHILLS.
I left the room and scheduled their next appointment. I was on cloud 9.. this couple will NEVER forget me. I mean how cool is that??
After reviewing more of their chart I realized that the embryo that now had a healthy heartbeat was a PGS embryo. For those who are unfamiliar with PGS…
PGS means that the embryo is tested for chromosomal abnormalities. The test is around 95% accurate.
What I didn’t know about this couple is that they did a blind transfer; which means that they transferred the embryo before they got the PGS results back. The reason they did this was because their embryo was looking so poor at day 3, that the doctor believed the best option for them was to transfer immediately believing the embryo would not make it through the freeze.
Shortly after I found the heartbeat, they found out that their embryo was chromosomally abnormal. This baby had a chromosomal abnormality that would inhibit him/her from living much beyond birth.
My heart was broken for them. The doctor made them aware of their abnormal results, and they knew they had a tough road ahead of them.
They came in the next week (now 7 weeks along) and I went in the room with the doctor. They both still had smiles on their faces, so thankful that they were able to get to this point, even though they understood what was coming. You would have never known how much this couple had been through because their spirit was unbreakable.
A lot of the time with chromosomal abnormalities you will sadly see the baby’s heartbeat stop around week 8-9. I was preparing for the worst when going into their 8 week scan, and yet their baby was growing and looking amazing. Week 9 and 10 came and went with healthy scans, and now a wiggly baby filling up the ultrasound monitor.
They decided to go get some additional testing done. She went through some serious, kind of experimental procedures, including infusions and stuff that is way beyond my scope! Their OB also scheduled them for an amniocentesis.
They came in week 11 the entire clinical staff (myself included) were SO confused why this couple WAS STILL HAPPY! They received the results from their amnio and the results showed that their baby was CHROMOSOMALLY NORMAL!
They were the 5%.
Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah. What a freakin crazy ride this couple had been on.
Although, I only worked with this patient from week 6 – 12 of her pregnancy, she taught me to keep the faith. Her positivity, attitude, and zest for life were contagious.
They haven’t delivered yet, but I CANNOT wait to see their joyful faces pop into our office with their greatest blessing of all!