The doctor’s office estimated nine weeks, but I knew I was in my seventh. I’d done my research, and had well charted out and planned this pregnancy. So when, at the first ultrasound, my husband and I were told that the quick, cursor-like flashing could not be absolutely confirmed as a heartbeat, I was on guard, but hadn’t lost all hope. It was still early.
The day before my second ultrasound, I was given a call. My pregnancy hormones were rising; this was a good sign. I let out the breath I had been holding for a week and instinctively rested my hand on the location of our child. (Lower left side of my abdomen.) You’re going to be all right, little buddy.
On the wall, a big screen TV displayed the ultrasound image as the measurements were taken: 7 weeks 3 days, 7 weeks 2 days. I knew it. The tech performed her trade wordlessly. Mouse clicks and the gentle, vibrating hum of the mini printer capturing each image of our baby contested the heavy silence of the room. As my husband and I were escorted to the front of the office to await the doctor, I swallowed the lump in my throat.
The ultrasound confirmed a missed miscarriage. Our fetus had died, but my body was still holding onto it. No explanation was given for how they knew our child was dead. Instead, we were immediately directed into a discussion of options for how to get rid of it. Being a Friday afternoon, the D&C procedure was scheduled for Monday morning.
My eyelids stung, raw and red, when I awoke with the sun on Saturday morning. The two of us slipped quietly out of bed and into the room that would now remain an office for a bit longer than anticipated. Silent tears trickled down my face as I revisited the texts and messages of encouragement from friends and family. I could stay strong with such a great support system.
The nurses at the hospital were exceptional. After my experience with my OBGYN, I wasn’t expecting much compassion on the day of my procedure, but my expectations couldn’t have been further from reality, and for that, I am grateful. Their empathy and tenderness made that dreadful morning much more bearable.
In the days following, there were occasional sharp, blueberry-sized stabs of pain in the lower left side of my abdomen. A physical reminder of where our child was pulled from my body. Each jab left me longing to rewrite the past, but I knew I needed to keep looking forward. Just as the bodily pain fades, so will the grief.
I miss you little buddy.