I knew a few seconds after the image came up on the screen that something was terribly wrong. At my ultrasound only nine days before, our bonus baby had been sucking his thumb and kicking around and his heartbeat was strong.
But this time, he was motionless and the little throbbing mass in his chest that lets us know everything is okay was nowhere to be found. The doctor kept making the image larger, and searching and looking. She didn’t say a word.
She didn’t have to.
After three years of normal, healthy ultrasounds, I knew the difference.
But finally I just asked, without much hope-
“Do you see the heartbeat?”.
She had her colleague, the woman who delivered my daughter Julie, come in and confirm. I made them call in my husband from the waiting room.
And so began one of the longest, most confusing, terrible days of my life.
I guess in a way, all the worst days start out normal. In retrospect, I almost pity that poor couple we were before the appointment; oblivious, tired, excited and worried about being late. We’d hoped this time the doctor might give us a clue as to the sex of the baby like she did when I was pregnant with our daughter at the 14 week appointment. Maybe we’d go out for a celebratory lunch afterwards.
Instead, I spent the afternoon in a hospital maternity waiting room, surrounded by pregnant women with live, healthy babies inside their round bellies and pictures of cuddly newborns all around. I couldn’t help thinking how ‘wrong’ it is to tell me my child is gone and then send me into the one place where it would feel like the biggest slap in the face.
I didn’t belong there. No woman in my situation belongs there.
Needless to say, my husband and I chose to wait out in the hallway after awhile.
-Friday’s events are going to take awhile to come to terms with but we’re doing okay. My girls took it a lot better than I expected, which was a relief. I think I was more worried about their reaction than my own. The hardships still aren’t quite over- I’m going in for the medical intervention tomorrow and perhaps we’ll soon have some answers that will help us grieve. I want to thank you all for allowing me to express myself here, as you always have. The friendship and support of this community means the world to me.
I won’t be changing my normal blogging schedule or anything else that brings harmony to my life.
This experience has changed enough as it is.