The silence and the furrowed brow of the ultrasound technician was my first clue that something was wrong. Adelaide was with us and she was making some cute sounds, but the technician wasn’t laughing. Finally, approximately 100 years later, the technician finally said the thing that is still echoing in our ears. She said, “Well, I see a baby, but no heartbeat.” She also said that it appeared the baby stopped growing 3 or 4 weeks ago. She zoomed in on this tiny, still baby curled up on its side. The pressure in my head and throat swelled as my heart dropped, to where it is currently located. The technician didn’t offer any sympathies or apologies, she just said we were done and someone would call me later.
I had always sympathized with others who had miscarriages, but I never fully understood the depth of the experience. I didn’t know how it would feel to un-tell those we had just shared and celebrated the news with. I also didn’t realize how empty it would feel having already carved out a place for this baby in our hearts and our plans and imaginations of the future. I had begun a pregnancy journal filled with my prayers, hopes and feelings for the little one, and now I was sitting with the news that for no apparent reason, the baby died.
Then the craziness really began. The midwife called me once to tell me what my options were for expelling the pregnancy. Then she called again to say that the radiologist reviewed the ultrasound pictures and was not certain the baby was dead, but maybe it was just younger than expected, and too young to detect a heartbeat. We tried to keep our hopes in check, but that was impossible. It wasn’t until three days later that we got the results of my blood tests that showed my hormone levels were high BUT dropping- which meant the baby was gone. Then the next day I got a call saying they were fairly certain the pregnancy was not viable but not 100% sure, so I would need another ultrasound the following week. A torturous week later, a second ultrasound confirmed that the baby was still the same size and still no heartbeat.
Still, I felt sick, like not just emotionally, but actually very ill. I was nauseous, extremely fatigued, had migraines, and was using the bathroom every other minute. If it hadn’t been for Adelaide, work and other responsibilities, I might not have gotten out of bed for a few weeks. I couldn’t figure out why I still felt so many pregnancy symptoms and the phrase “hysterical pregnancy” entered my mind. I learned that it wasn’t hysteria, but in fact it was because my hormones levels were still very high and dropping ever so slowly. And they still are (dropping). It took three weeks from that first ultrasound for me to begin bleeding, and it has continued for another three weeks and counting. This has been a long ordeal and I’m looking forward to feeling normal again (I’m almost there… just the headaches persist).
Rest in peace little-itsy-bitsy one. Your short little life left an impression on us and we are sad we didn’t get to meet you. We were bursting with love for you the moment we found out about you and we feel your absence deeply.