This morning I woke up with some cramping, jumped in the shower, jumped in the car in the darkness, and headed up for our 6.5-week ultrasound.
First, I had a blood draw to check estradiol and progesterone levels. Then after a super short wait (one of the great things about this clinic is that they tend to be ahead of schedule and I never feel rushed), the doctor was ready for the scan.
The sac (just one - no twins) was the right size for six-and-a-half weeks, and he showed us the yolk. And then he had a hard time finding the fetus. He had to fiddle around for several seconds to get it to show itself. The fetal pole measured behind, he said, and the doppler couldn't pick up the heartbeat, but he showed us the flicker of the heart on the screen so we know it's alive. He said that it's consistent with just being a young fetus (which I take to mean that it likely implanted late, and my low hCG levels corroborate that) but just to be sure he wants me to go back in next Monday and make sure it's growing. A lot can happen in just a few days, he said. He also asked his nurse to add an hCG test to my blood test, just to be sure everything looked OK.
I spent the drive home processing. I was driving, so I didn't have a chance to frantically Google what the outcome could be; I just had to be alone with my brain for awhile. We stopped by the house on the way back to work and I immediately jumped on the internet and found some forums withe people asking the same thing. And in the first several forums I read, I didn't find anyone who said it's terrible news. People said sometimes FETs take longer to implant and as such end up measuring behind for the first several weeks (which I knew already, due to my research about the low hCG levels - and could be why I'm not getting morning sickness yet - I'm just assuming though) and then they catch up after that. The only time it was bad was when there was no fetal pole and no flicker, both of which we saw. So I'm not giving up hope.
Later, the clinic called and told me my progesterone and estradiol levels looked good, but when I asked about the hCG, the nurse said "oh! It was never ordered, but we can check it really quickly and call you back!" And after an hour they called with 9059 - they said that looks fine too.
I have daydreamed about this first ultrasound for years. I played it over in my head, how I'd cry a couple of happy tears at the sound of the heartbeat and Cory and I would skip off hand-in-hand to buy a crib afterwards (or whatever) - but because the doctor was so guarded and I couldn't hear the heartbeat, I didn't get to enjoy the little flicker on the screen. I'm not blaming the doctor of course, but I wish I'd spent another second or two being happy about it. I feel like I can't catch a break in this pregnancy yet; I thought I'd get a definitive "yay, you're pregnant, bye!" or something. Not sure why - I think even with normal natural first pregnancies you don't necessarily get that.