“I will carry you
while your heart beats here”
I can count on one hand the three worst experiences of my life. The first, when I was in my early 20s and my parents separated. The second, when I was 25 and Joshua was deployed to Afghanistan; I received the phone call from one of my closest friends that her fiancé’s humvee hit an IED. The third, just two weeks ago, when I lost our baby at 9 weeks pregnant.
We didn’t plan to have them this close together. I was shocked when I found out I was pregnant. Shocked, terrified, scared, and then excited. Before announcing it to anyone other than a few close family members, we got right back into planning. We had the sleeping arrangements worked out for our two-bedroom townhouse; we had the minivan chosen that we would trade our RAV4 in for. (Yes– minivan! Who would have thought…) We had baby names– two for a girl, two for a boy. I made a small list of the simple baby items we would need. We had our announcement video idea set, and the day to film it was marked on the calendar. I was feeling all the pregnancy symptoms earlier than with my first two. We were preparing. We were getting ready.
I knew something wasn’t right when the spotting I’d been experiencing since my 6-week ultrasound didn’t stop. At that 6-week appointment, I saw and heard our sweet baby’s heartbeat. It was a tiny flicker on the screen, a beat of 145 bpm. I measured 6 weeks and 3 days at that appointment.
But by the end of my 8th week of pregnancy, the spotting had turned bright red. I went in to see my OB at 9 weeks pregnant, and still, she said it could be normal. She sent me for an ultrasound.
When I went in for the appointment, the ultrasound tech asked if I wanted to see the screen. I told her yes, mentally preparing myself for the worst but still hoping for the best. It sucked being there alone, but Josh was home with the boys and I’m glad they weren’t with us.
I watched as she marked her measurements, then zoomed in on our baby. I didn’t see the flicker. I saw the shapes of the baby’s eyes and hands, but no heartbeat. Then she turned on the sound and heart rate monitor. It was a flat line. It was silent.
Up until that point, I’d still been cautiously hopeful, not knowing how I would react if this were the outcome. But then as I stared at that flat line on the monitor, I felt my own heart just ache. And then a slow, stinging sadness took over.
This loss is unlike any I have experienced. It’s such a personal, private loss. It’s the loss of the life inside me. It’s the loss of a future. It’s the loss of a heartbeat.
I held it together until I was able to get back to my car. I called my doctor before I called Josh because, like me, he likes to have a plan in place and I wanted to know what to tell him. I knew logically what I would have to do if I had lost the baby, that somehow I would have to pass it, but my OB gave me 3 options: 1. Let it pass naturally, 2. Take a pill to make it pass, or 3. Have a D&C surgery to take it out.
Hating every option, I chose the second. I hated that pill. I hated that I had to take it twice because it didn’t “work” the first time. I hated knowing what it was supposed to be doing. I hated the word “tissue” and the phrase “when you pass tissue” even more. But more than that, I hated the idea of surgery and I hated the thought of it being weeks before the “tissue” passed on its own.
I feel guilty for thinking I might feel relieved when it happened, but all I feel is sadness. I feel heartbroken. I feel devastated.
I’m trying to remind myself that this must be part of God’s plan. There must be a reason that such an unexpected blessing was given to us, and then taken away. I need constant reminding. I still may need a D&C, but I couldn’t make it to my follow-up appointment this week because Troy is sick, so there might be more to come. Hopefully not.
My heart aches for the mothers I know who have lost their babies before they got to meet them, who I couldn’t be there for because I didn’t understand.
I understand now. If you’ve been through this or you go through this in the future, I’m here for you. Whether I know you personally or not. Whether we talked yesterday or haven’t talked in years. Whether you want to cry to someone, or just say it out loud to someone.
I’m so incredibly sad, sorry, and heartbroken. 💔
“I will carry you
all my life”