I will never forget the words the doctor said –
“I’m so sorry, we can’t find a heartbeat.”
I was 8 weeks pregnant with our first child and having my first prenatal appointment. The doctors estimated that our fetus had stopped growing at 6 weeks, and my body just hadn’t caught up to that fact.
Being that it was my first pregnancy, it never even occurred to me that miscarriage was even possible. We had excitedly already told family about our great news and had to go back and tell everyone that they would in fact not be getting a new family member that year.
After this loss, we were determined to keep trying to grow our family. Six months later, I found out I was pregnant again.
This time, we lost the baby at 5 weeks.
After the second loss, we were sent to a fertility specialist to gauge what was causing my recurrent miscarriages. After a multitude of testing and blood draws, it was determined that I had PCOS, and would need medical intervention to carry out a successful implantation and pregnancy.
A few months later, I found out I was pregnant with our 3rd pregnancy. We were away on a European cruise when I took the pregnancy test. I was hoping this one would stick but was afraid to be excited. I didn’t want to suffer the same disappointment I had the two previous pregnancies.
Going in for my 6-week ultrasound appointment, I was certain this fetus would not be viable, and we would be starting over at square one.
I still remember the ultrasound technician saying nonchalantly “there’s the little heartbeat”. I’m sorry, the what? This was the first time I had seen those little beautiful little blips on the screen. I immediately called my husband to tell him, but we held off on telling any other family for a few more weeks. Even though it was promising that there was a heartbeat, I was still not ready to let others in on our news.
For the next 34 weeks, my fear did not really go away. I was a nervous wreck through the 1st trimester, and really remained so up to the point where I could feel regular movement. I was labeled as a “high risk” pregnancy, so I got tons of checkups and ultrasounds to be able to see my baby, but that still didn’t take away the fear. Even though all our test results were good, and I was told over and over that I was carrying a perfectly healthy baby, I could never really relax. Every appointment I expected to learn that our son had passed away in utero.
It was not until the day that I held him in my arms that I finally let out a sigh of relief.
Now 37 weeks pregnant with our 2nd child (4th pregnancy), I am still feeling the same fear on a daily basis that something will go wrong. I will continue waiting with bated breath until I can hold him in my arms.
I think that’s what loss does to you. It changes you. You are no longer able to have a carefree pregnancy, when every minute you are waiting for something to go wrong. It isn’t a joyful time of your life. It’s a stressful one, and you just can not wait to get to your due date.