October 15, 2010
Because of this, I will share this:
In 1996 I got pregnant with my son fairly easily. A little too easily if you ask me, as I was not yet married and really hadn’t even planned on having kids EVER. But I did get pregnant, got married, and had the most beautiful baby boy the world had ever seen.
Two and half years later, the hubs and I decided that it was time for our son to have a sibling. Once again, getting pregnant was a piece of cake – I come from a long line of Fertile Myrtles. I waved the pregnancy test in my husband’s face and proceeded to tell everyone who would listen that I. WAS. PREGNANT!!
Twelve weeks later, we went in for our first OB check up. The OB listened for the heartbeat with the doppler radio thingy (technical term), but couldn’t hear anything. “No big deal” she said, “sometimes it’s hard to hear, I’ll get the nurse – she’s a little bit better with this thing than I am.” I wasn’t worried. The nurse came in…and she couldn’t hear the heartbeat either. I still wasn’t worried, because after all, I had had the perfect pregnancy before and delivered just fine. Why should this time be any different?
My OB said we would have to have a vaginal ultrasound (and yes, it’s as unpleasant as it sounds) to see the baby’s heartbeat. I was still very upbeat about everything – laughing and joking with the nurse while they got everything ready. My husband was quiet – not unusual, but he wasn’t saying much of anything at this point.
So I’m laying there on the table with this very cold, very long instrument in my hoohah and the doctor keeps saying things like “this is bothersome” and “see how the uterus sort of caves in right here”… I STILL didn’t get it. Finally she turns the machine off and she’s talking about things that I don’t understand. I finally ask her “So what does all this mean?” She pauses and says, “it means it doesn’t look good, kiddo.”
It all finally sinks into my naive brain. I’m not going to have a baby, after all.
I ask her why I hadn’t miscarried before now, and she says that it would have happened within a couple more days, judging by the way my uterus looked in the ultrasound. She gives my arm a squeeze and leaves the room and I crumble in my husband’s arms and sob.
We went home and Shawn called all the family and told them what had happened. I hid in my house and didn’t talk to anyone or see anyone other than Shawn and my son for over a week. I wanted to hide away and not talk to anyone. I didn’t want anyone to tell me they were sorry, I didn’t want to hear that we would have another one someday, I didn’t want to hear that sometimes these things just happen.
I especially didn’t want to hear anyone else’s stories – I didn’t want to hear how someone else had lost a baby or had a miscarriage. I didn’t care about anyone else – I only cared that I wasn’t going to have this baby. To say that my heart was broken…I don’t think I’ve ever felt that kind of crushing pain before or since. “Devastated” was the word I used in my head when I thought about it. It was the most tremendous loss I’ve ever felt.
For a long time I thought I had been too proud, too sure of my fertility – that maybe God was knocking me down a peg or two. I know that’s not the case, but it was the only explanation I could find. The only one that made sense to me.
My OB had said to give it a couple of months before we tried again, and just to be safe, we gave it 3 months. In January of 2000 I peed on the stick again. It was positive. Instead of waving the stick around and proclaiming my fertility, I told Shawn and no one else. I kept the secret for 12 weeks, when I went in for my first check up. This time I was subdued and quiet. I told the nurse that I was scared and why, and also told her it was my 28th birthday that day. She patted my arm and stepped out of the room, then came back a couple of minutes later and told me the doctor said we could do an ultrasound. I laid on the table, they squirted cold goo on my stomach and within seconds, I saw my precious baby’s heartbeating. I burst into tears (kind of like right now) and asked the doc if she was SURE everything looked okay. She assured me that yes, all was as it should be.
Six months later, I had the most beautiful baby girl the world had ever seen.
I had another baby girl 5 years later with no complications. My kids are happy and healthy and I am abosolutely blessed to have them in my life.
It’s been eleven years since that first miscarriage, but I still cannot hear a news story or watch a movie or anything having to do with miscarriage without crying a little. I have a tiny hole in my heart where that baby lives and I will always carry a little sadness with me wherever I go.
That’s my story. It’s only one of millions similar to it, but each story is as profound and heart wrenching as the next. I pray that no one else would have to have that story as their own, but I know that somewhere, a woman is grieving and hurting right now. I’d like to send her a hug and say “I know.”