Friday, January 30, 2015

Loss, Part 1: Say Something

My last two posts have been widely-spaced and entirely about a miracle in our lives: Life. The
incredible privilege of GROWING a life, specifically, because we found out the day after Thanksgiving we were given another beautiful life to grow and nurture. This post is about something a bit different in our lives. Loss.
   In Spilling the Tiny Beans I explained our decision to tell people about our new pregnancy immediately upon finding out ourselves. My husband and I both felt compelled to really publicly celebrate every moment of this baby's life from the very first moment we could, and not let taboos or fear affect our joy. Now I know why.
   Around New Years when I was 9 weeks pregnant and battling Hyperemesis, I kept getting a feeling like something wasn't right. It was just a FEELING, nothing more, but it was nagging and I casually mentioned it a few times to my husband. He was sweetly encouraging, reminding me as I well know not to let my anxiety get the best of me. On January 19th, the night before our first check-up of the second trimester with my midwife, I was still ragingly sick with HG around the clock, but had a dream- more of a sense within a dream- and woke up with the distinct knowledge that we would not find a heartbeat that day. My husband was awake when I woke up from the dream, and while I did not tell him why, I tried to talk him out of coming to my appointment that day, telling him it'd just be too stressful to bring all four kids, and our local friends who usually babysit for such things were out of town. He assured me it'd be just fine and he was excited for the appointment because we always hear our babies' heartbeats together for the first time. I reluctantly agreed. Our appointment with the midwife went well, we discussed the HG symptom management, diet, safe natural remedies for things, and briefly discussing things about our past births and the birth coming this summer. I did, however, mention to my midwife my "gloom and doom" feelings the past several weeks, and additionally how it was unnerving to me I could not yet feel the top of my uterus, because I always had been by then in the past. She reassured me and said, "Well lets get the doppler and hear that little baby right now." My children and husband all gathered around the table where I laid, big smiles and eyes wide with anticipation. Nothing. Five more minutes of nothing before Melanie said with a smile, "He must be hiding. Lets go across the hall and get an ultrasound  of that stubborn guy." Across the hall we went, but my heart knew.
   I could immediately tell he was small. Much smaller than he should have been, and there was an unmistakable absence of that beautiful flicker of heartbeat on the screen. "He's so small," was all I could say.
Melanie guarded her facial expression closely as she said to us, "I'm going to get Joan(another midwife). She specializes in ultrasounds and can always get good measurements and angles."
Then she laid the wand down, stepped in front of me, held my hands in hers and quietly said, "I can't say for sure, but he is very small and I didn't see a heartbeat." I fought to keep my face steady but choked on my words as I said, "I know. I had a dream last night. He's gone." She kissed my cheek and quietly left the room.
   Fast forward 45 minutes, and a perinatologist from the other half of the office suite ushered us, Melanie, and our toddler(who would not stay in a birthing class room with our other kids and a nurse to watch a movie we'd happened to bring with us) into another room for a high definition transvaginal ultrasound. He was gentle but stern and matter of fact, showing us our perfectly formed tiny guy, measuring just 9 weeks(how far along I was at New Years), and physiologically all the signs showing he was no longer living. After his job was done he gave us his deepest condolences and left the room, as did my husband who was holding a now screaming toddler who was distraught at being cooped up in the tiny exam room having missed lunch time for this extra-long appointment and closing in on nap time, while I sat and cried with Melanie as she held my hands and hugged me repeatedly, and I asked the rawest questions about every detail my mind could fathom about what was next.
   Because of physical signs showing a natural miscarriage would likely start soon, we decided to take the option they presented to wait a week before intervening. The waiting was rough.

Part 2: The Waiting

1 comment:

  1. You are so strong, mama, and amazingly brave for sharing this. XO!!