I had this fun post about the new season and the new year that some cultures celebrate… but then tragedy struck our family.
We had our 20 week prenatal appointment, not much was thought to happen, we’d go and hear the heartbeat, talk about the dreaded glucose test and I waited to chat with her before I called in my 19 week ultrasound.
I went and waited my turn patiently got on the scale, 2 pounds up from the last 4 weeks, makes sense the girls were home for March Break so we were eating way more junk, staying up late watching movies and just being goofballs around the house. We chatted, I said is my belly huge, because everyone keeps saying it looks huge, she measured and said not at all… this is where it should be at this point. So she took out the audio monitor after doing my blood pressure. And she couldn’t find anything, we talked about how I hadn’t felt any movement yet, she said not a huge deal since I had scar tissue and by placenta had landed anteriorly (which I didn’t know what a thing til she checked my last Ultrasound)… and we couldn’t hear baby. She said man this baby won’t stay still… even told me to stop talking to see if baby would calm down.
Nothing much happened, she said listen can you just go for a ultrasound down the hall I just want a heartbeat confirmation. She didn’t seem much worried at all… why would she be, I was feeling fine, growing fine and I have 4 normal pregnancies before yesterday. 2 hours after being squeezed into an ultrasound, a tech saw me. She looked around put a ton of gel on my tummy and said I just need to call in the radiologist to confirm findings with you. He came in… stoic looking and said any bleeding, I said no. I looked at him and said:
“Just tell me, do you see a heartbeat, I’ll be fine.
“I am sorry we don’t see a heartbeat.
I didn’t miss a beat, I had a follow up question like a robot who had never dealt with trauma and said:
“Ok, can you give a size measurement and I can figure out when?”
He obliged and continued with some more imagery and measured the baby’s femur. He seemed sad. I guess he didn’t feel like seeing a dead baby inside a human either yesterday. He measured and measured and said:
“I’m getting a 17 week measurement.”
I thanked him for being so open and honest with me. The tech had to take some more pictures to send to my OB, so I sat there as she finished the work she did. She was at a loss for words, I said: – do you see this often? Her response was: -Not often this far along.
I wiped myself off and walked out to the waiting room which luckily my husband had returned to because he had to grab our girls from school and drop them off at my mom’s since we weren’t too sure how soon my ultrasound would occur and I nodded No to him. He looked perplexed, I said No heartbeat, and walked out of the room.
Doctor was in clinic all day, I walked back into her office and I got to see her next, not sure if I got bumped ahead of the line, all I remember was leaving her office it was full, I wanted to keep it together, all these beautifully pregnant women in there waiting to talk about their babies, didn’t need to see the face of a woman who just found out she is pregnant still with a baby with no heart beat.
You want to know how hard it is to talk to your OB, the OB who has been the doctor to walk you through all your pregnancies, who helped force all your babies out because they were happy to stay in my womb for so long, my doctor called my womb club med. She joked at my Uterus genetic numbers, and said come on you still have a uterus of a 17 year old. She looked at me like, oh good, everything ok… and I nodded NO for the second time in less than 5 minutes. I didn’t want to utter words. I didn’t want to say it out loud, I just wanted people to know without me having to say it.
We walked into the room, discussed, I said:
Can you go in and just take it out of me?
She quickly responded:
No, you are too far along, baby has dense bones, and will need to be birthed.
Those might be the ugliest words ever said to me. I, who has a very hard time birthing, my body who doesn’t enjoy participating in my births will have to coax it to participate in a birth of a baby I will never get to hold in my arms, I will never get to bring home, I will never get to share with my girls.
I left with an appointment, an appointment to birth my dead baby. Like WTF? That’s a thing, it’s a thing some women have to do. Like we don’t deal with enough shit, add this to the list of things. This was my reality… this is what I will begin to process for the next 24 hours. Like somehow anyone can prepare to wrap around their heads on this matter.
It’s shit, it’s shit watching your husband become bewildered, it’s really shit watching your 11 year old and 10 year old just ball and ball. And feeling, well ok, you have to be strong for them, they need you now. I jump into that roll easily, always have. ME mourn, me feel sad, me feel an emotion other than just get it done; Rarely. But man I should. But I feel NUMB. I say that, because my tummy is in knots, my head aches and I feel absent of tears, because I feel like I am on the outside walking my body through this time. I want to punch someone, I want to kick myself, I want to hurt and I want to yell at myself for hurting.
Who am I to complain about miscarrying, I have 4 beautiful healthy children at home, safe, educated, smiling, loved. Why should I be lucky enough to have never lost a child in womb? Why would those be my cards? Others go a lifetime with never making one successful live birth, others have miscarriages between children.
But here I am still carrying a baby in my womb, with no heartbeat, I feel I have lost my heartbeat in the process. I feel like baby took my heartbeat with it. I may have been spoiled, but today I feel loss.