"There is no heartbeat"

It was a struggle to get pregnant… We have been on a long, hard journey trying to have a family.  Adoption was on the table, then off.  Getting pregnant we were told was virtually impossible, and the whole thing took a toll on us both individually and within our marriage.

As we were coming to grips with it all, we suddenly we got pregnant.  This was exciting and terrifying all at the same time.  At first, Tim was the excited one, and I was the terrified one.  I knew… I knew the statistics of miscarriages early in pregnancy.  I knew 5 weeks pregnant wasn’t a reason to get excited yet.  I knew there were no guarantees.  At one point Tim told me I would eventually have to get excited.  I told him I would after the first trimester. 12 weeks and the chances of success improve, right?

It was Mother’s Day at that time.  And this was a confusing day for me as I had initially planned on disappearing that day in sorrow.  Let’s forget about it, and move on.  Now I’m pregnant but still so cautious.  I remember having a conversation with God the week leading up to Mother’s Day, “God if I’m not going to have a kid next year for Mother’s Day, if I’m going to have a miscarriage, could you make it happen before this Mother’s Day.”  I didn’t want to walk into Mother’s Day thinking “next year at this time…”

I made it through!  I made it through 12 weeks.  I made it to 17 weeks when I finally told my mom.    I made it to 21 weeks when we had an ultrasound and everything looked good!  I made it to 22 weeks when I told the world (you know, Facebook).

I attended my appointments every month, then every other week, then every week.  I was on track.  Blood pressure, baby’s heartbeat, and measurements were all on track.  No concerns.  I left every appointment feeling good, healthy.  The baby was healthy.  I had no reason to doubt.  I had no reason to think anything differently.

40 weeks came, and I was having contractions.  I would be delivering a little boy or girl any day, and Tim and I were thrilled!  This was our long awaited baby, and we were ready to meet him/her.

Then Tuesday, December 8th, just a few days past my due date I walked out of the office and said to our administrative assistant, “I have an appointment, I’ll be back in an hour.”

I went to my house since I had a midwife who would come there occasionally.  My midwife’s assistant was there that day.  I like her.  She is easy to talk to.  We went through the normal questions: blood pressure, measurements, etc.  Then we got to the heartbeat monitor.  She tried and tried but couldn’t find a heartbeat.  Putting more jelly on my belly, she tried again.  Still nothing.  Once again, she put more jelly on and tried for a third time.  There was nothing.  Then she looked up and asked if I had felt the baby.  Truthfully I hadn’t, but I had been having so many contractions that I wondered if it was all blending together.  I told her I hadn’t, and she said I needed to go to the hospital for an ultrasound.  I began to cry.

I walked downstairs and through my tears told Tim I needed him upstairs.  He was on the phone.  He saw I was concerned and within a minute he walked into the kitchen, where I stood with my coat and boots already on.  He asked what was wrong.  I replied “they can’t find the heartbeat we have to go to the hospital and get an ultrasound.”  He started to cry, grabbed his forehead, and said “Oh no.”  He put on his coat and boots, and within minutes we were headed to the hospital.

It doesn’t take long to get there and in no time we had arrived.  Immediately they took us to a labor and delivery triage room.  A doctor came in soon after arriving and did an ultrasound.  Tim held my hand.  It was obvious.  I could see that our baby wasn’t moving.  I could see that his/her heart wasn’t beating.  The doctor looked at me and said, “I’m very sorry.  I have looked extensively, and there is no heartbeat.”  All the medical staff walked out of the room so Tim and I could be alone.  I rolled toward him and began to cry.  My baby had died.  In 20 minutes  my life was wrecked.  Our hopes and dreams for this little baby were destroyed.

We still don’t know exactly what happened.  Although I was growing and all signs seemed to be pointing to a normal, healthy pregnancy and baby, he was not.  It wasn’t until he was born that we realized he stopped growing & developing early in the third trimester.   We still don’t know the exact cause, but even if we had learned this earlier, it wouldn’t have changed the outcome.  It was all a shock.

I replay that morning in my mind everyday, over and over.  I hear that phrase 1,000 times a day “there is no heartbeat.”  I woke up that morning thinking I would go into labor in the next day or two.   Instead, by the end of the day, I would be induced and deliver our dead son, Enoch.

We didn’t see it coming.  Three weeks later I continue to say, write, journal, and text “My baby died, I don’t know how that happened.”  My mind still can’t completely comprehend that this is the end of this part of the story.

 

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