I went to my doctor's appointment last Thursday for a routine check up. I was 11 weeks--almost done with my first trimester.
I was to hear the heartbeat for the first time.
But my doctor couldn't get a heartbeat. "Maybe it's because your uterus is tipped."
But I knew.
She did the ultrasound and it was with a sinking heart that I looked on that screen and saw nothing. No tiny baby dancing and jumping like I have seen every other time.
The screen was lifeless.
And my heart started to break.
Because this baby may have been tiny, but it was already a part of our family, and I loved it.
She said it stopped developing. Probably a chromosomal problem. It couldn't grow. It couldn't live. A few weeks ago my blood work indicated no problems, so she couldn't say when it had happened, only that she was sorry that it had.
So we talked about what would happen next and what I should do and I had to try to keep it together and grasp this terrible thing.
And when I stepped into the elevator and I was alone, I wanted to kick the walls and cry and curse and just be so mad and so, so sad.
It has been 3 days.
I am still so sad.
Understandably there are a lot of emotions that surface at the slightest provocation.
Today William asked me, "is there a new baby in your tummy yet?"
He has asked me that every day since I had to tell him, that first day, that our baby died.
He hugged me tight. And I know that he misses our tiny baby too, because he said, "I wish that our first baby could just come back into your tummy and I could talk to it some more."
How can I not cry?
I try not to think about it. I try to be busy. I try to be distracted.
I feel like it is unjust for me to feel such sorrow when there are others who have lost so much more than me. I know this loss is small. How can I make so much of it?
That first night I went to bed utterly exhausted and emotionally drained. I really couldn't feel any more. And I thought, "I can do this. It is hard, but I am fine."
In the morning, I remembered and it was like a punch to the gut. It was still fresh. And it still hurt.
Perhaps the hardest thing to get used to is that this baby is no longer a part of our lives. We talked about it every day. We talked to it, how old they'd be when the baby came, where the baby would sleep, how they'd be my helpers, and so much more.
And just like that, it is all over.
There are selfish thoughts, " I was almost done with my first trimester, finally feeling better, and now I have to do that all over again." "Now I'm not pregnant, just fat."
And I feel terrible for thinking them.
I feel more vulnerable: wanting another baby and yet feeling scared of the outcome. I realize more fully that life is fragile.
On my way home from the doctor's so many thoughts raced through my head.
Why did we tell people so early this time? We always wait for the first heartbeat. Now we're only bringing sadness into their lives.
What will people think? I feel like a failure.
I felt the same way when William was breech and though the doctor tried her best, he just would not turn. I felt like I had failed. My body wasn't strong enough for the job somehow.
There is a lot of pressure surrounding this business of babies. The getting pregnant, the staying pregnant, the natural delivery, the unwanted c-section, the nursing, the post-partum emotions and the way we expect everyone can and should be able to manage all those things just fine. This has made me realize afresh, and in new and painful ways, that this business of babies is not to be taken for granted. Though it happens to millions of people everyday, it is not a given.
I hope you don't mind me sharing this with you here, my heart raw before you. Writing helps me process this pain and these emotions. It helps me sort through the hurt that I find so hard to talk about. It has always been easier for me to express myself with the written word.
And to be honest, I dread saying it over and over again. Oh yes, it will get easier, but right now, I just don't want to. So I say it here to get it done.
This may be the only time I post about this for a while. I might need a break to focus on happier things. (Because posting this and this made me smile. And that's ok)
Or not. I just don't know.
What I do know is that it's ok to say something about it to me. Just know that I might cry.
I know I need your prayers because in the days or weeks ahead, I still have to miscarry this baby and I dread the day. Then it will be done, and I will mourn again.
I know that God is the author of life, not of death, so this is not "His will."
I know I still feel just as pregnant as I ever have, and it doesn't feel fair.
I know that I am not alone, but this loss feels very lonely.
I know this:
"In this world you will have troubles. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
In this blog, a memoir of my family, I want to remember this baby, to honor it somehow. So I write this. Even though it is sad and painful. We had a baby for a little while and now it is gone. Thank you for sharing that journey with me, and I ask for your support while I go forth on this new one.