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A Piece of My Mind
October 15, 2019

When You Can’t Find a Heartbeat

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Medical College of Wisconsin, Neenah
  • 2Departments of Pediatrics and Internal Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin, Neenah
JAMA. 2019;322(15):1453-1454. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.15597

Being pregnant for the first time was very exciting. We chose a respected obstetrician who was not only our medical school clerkship director, but also the “doctor’s doctor.” Our pregnancy progressed without incident, with routine and reassuring prenatal testing. As we both had recently graduated from pediatric residency and with one of us training as a cardiology fellow, we requested a fetal echocardiogram, “just to be sure.” We were relieved when the echocardiogram findings were also completely normal. When we reached the milestone of 24 weeks’ gestation, also known as reaching fetal viability, we celebrated. We picked out nursery decor, assembled the crib, and sent out baby shower invitations.

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