it’s all gone

it felt like hours.

i didn’t think we were getting an ultrasound today but when we got that news i was excited. it meant we got to hear our baby’s heartbeat once again. the first time was incredible. it was a sort of confirmation that we’re truly on this journey toward parenthood.

the tech couldn’t see anything through my stomach, thanks to the big fibroid sitting right on top. so she went in vaginally with the scope thingy. she kept moving around and around. it wasn’t the same tech from the first time so i started to wonder if this one was as competent. she pressed hard. things got uncomfortable and i wanted to ask her to ease up but who am i? just the patient. so i waited. we waited. Justin was right beside me, holding my hand like the first time.

for a quick second, she flicked on the sound and then flicked it right off. there was nothing. that was odd. but i figured she was just trying to get into the right position, whatever that was. we thought we saw the baby. last time it was a little white line. today it looked like a slightly longer white line. Justin audibly said, “that’s it” at one point. but the tech kept on searching, clicking things, searching.

then finally, she said there was no heartbeat. i asked if that was because of the fibroid. i meant, “was the fibroid preventing us from hearing the heartbeat?” maybe she knew what i meant. either way, she said something about getting dressed and the doctor coming in to answer my question. “i’m not qualified to say,” was her reply to my question.

i just sat there, expecting her to say more, so much more, so very much more. but she didn’t. she just kept making notes on the computer. Justin asked if i was going to get dressed. i explained my confusion to him, sort of. i think he got it. at that point i still wasn’t sure what was going on. i think he already knew.

i went to the bathroom and it sort of hit me. “i think she’s saying we lost the baby.”

shortly after i came out, the tech left to get the doctor. she came back in seconds later with a box of tissues. then it was very real. we’d lost our baby. our baby. it had a heart. it had limbs by now. there was a placenta.

our baby.

we have a D&C scheduled for Wednesday. we’re hoping that i don’t pass the tissue/embryo on my own before that. we have a full weekend of activity ahead. we don’t want to have to explain this to everyone.

we held off on telling anyone because we wanted to wait until the miscarriage danger zone was over. we had just three more weeks to go until we’d reveal it to our parents and siblings. we hadn’t figured out our method just yet but it would have probably included music. and then we’d tell our friends, different groupings at different times and in different ways.

our little parasite was a daily wonder. nausea aside, the thought of being pregnant got more and more exciting and whenever i read an update via a baby site on what our baby looked like by now, i’d grow a bit prouder.

today i said to Justin, “ok, we have to start taking belly pics today.” he agreed. it had been days since we’d first talked about it and we had a few ideas in mind. we’d talked about whether or not to buy a house now that we’d have a baby–the layout of our current place just didn’t seem to work for 2-hour feedings and all the other fun that comes with a newborn. we’d already concluded that i wouldn’t be training for the half marathon in April, just Justin. i said no to attending a conference in september. i’d planned to head to Target sometime today to get a larger sized bra. i’d joked with Justin about finding larger yet not quite maternity looking clothing for next week so that no one would figure out i’m pregnant at a conference we’ll be attending. we joked about how he’ll be getting trimmer as he trains and i’ll be getting thicker as the baby grows.

and now we’re wondering how to tell our family that the good news we wanted to tell them in three weeks is bad news. and do i tell my boss? and do i take a week off from work? and do i tell my students? our friends?

when i fully realized what had happened, i pictured all the pregnant women i’d seen at the clinic that day and during our first visit, and all of those among them who just didn’t seem to be the right fit for pregnancy–too young, smokers, etc.) and one of my first thoughts was that the wrong people get to be pregnant. but then i thought about the obvious blessings about our circumstance, that we are married, that we have each other to walk through all this with. because some of those women we’ve seen won’t have or aren’t having the greatest experience (whether or not they miscarry) and they won’t have a husband by their side who cares for them unconditionally like Justin does for me.

it’s pretty easy to go to the “bright side” when you’re a “fixer.” i know we won’t always be on that side and that’s fine. we’ll learn to grieve through this together. we’ll grow stronger as a team. coz yes, we are a team. i may even get to training, after all. he’ll probably kick my tail.

but i’d rather be the wife on the sidelines with the prego belly, cheering my man on. i’d rather have lower back pain and maternity gear.

no one talks about this part of life, the part that’s all gone long before you had a chance to kiss it’s little nose.

2 Replies to “it’s all gone”

  1. So…I just read this and I had to fight back tears. This is so accurately exactly how I felt when we lost our baby a few months ago. We were so close to the 12 week mark as well and the loss was unbearable and somedays it still is. I remember seeing on the screen at our ultrasound just an empty sack the baby that should have been 7 weeks old was not there. It took me a few hours before I realized what happened. Your writing soothes me….so wish I had seen it earlier.

    1. Oh Eulanie, my heart feels you right now and I’m hugging you from Knoxville really tight!

      This miscarriage thing is a hot mess, no doubt about it. And I pray that you’ll find ways to journey through the pain of the loss. For me, writing has helped a lot and also talking with those who know what it’s like to lose a baby or even those who have other fertility problems. Sometimes I’m healed a little more just knowing that someone I know knows what it’s like.

      I love you and I’m praying for you. And I’m here. You have my number. Don’t be afraid to use it.

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