This post is not for the faint of heart. There will be no happy ending in this story. I will share information with you about something that happens so often but is spoken about so very rarely…loss of a pregnancy.
I am writing this post for those who have lost a special connection they once had. Those who are at a complete loss for words and feelings and trying to wrap their brain around the idea that what once was, isn’t anymore. I am writing this to support those that can’t help but feel, “this is my fault.” Just know, it’s not. I know it is hard to grasp that concept, but you are not alone. Here’s my story…
I was so blessed to have one extremely healthy pregnancy, and after 24 hours of semi-painless labor, I became a mom for the first time to a beautiful and healthy baby girl. I immediately thought, “I could so do this again…a few more times.” Since my husband also wanted a big family, he was on board right away. We waited until our daughter’s 6 month birthday to try and were so very surprised that it didn’t take long to get pregnant again.
11 weeks and 4 days.
We went to the doctor for our first ultrasound at 8 weeks and were elated to hear a faint, but very viable heartbeat. Although I measured at 8 weeks, the fetus was only measuring 6 weeks. With a baby that tiny, the heart had just begun to beat. The doctor immediately scheduled a 2 week follow up to make sure the baby was growing and doing well. We immediately began planning, discussing names, and how to tell our families, just as many women do when they hear “Congrats! There’s a baby in there!”
81 days total.
At our second appointment, I was excited to see the baby and get a printout of the ultrasound to frame. I should have been 10 weeks, but assumed the baby would only measure 8 weeks. We dressed our daughter in a “Big Sister” onesie to see her new little baby brother or sister. When I settled in to have the ultrasound, the tech was nervous; she couldn’t find the fetus. She quickly turned the screen away from me and asked if she could bring in the doctor to speak to me. My heart dropped. I had heard many stories of technicians not being able to hear a heartbeat, but the mother continued a healthy pregnancy monitored closely by the doctor. I kept positive and wanted to see where fate would take us.
“There is no heartbeat.”
When the doctor came in, she asked if she could do another exam. She found the fetus, and I was so hopeful…until I watched this lifeless being in my stomach, with no growth past 7 weeks and 3 days. I stared at the screen, watching the flat line of what should have been a heartbeat. It’s an image I will never get out of my head.
A baby born after a loss of a pregnancy or an infant is called a rainbow baby. A rainbow does not mean the storm never happened, or there is no aftermath to deal with. It is just a reminder that beauty still exists. This must be the storm. Although, while in the middle, it may feel more like a never-ending hurricane, it will pass. Something full of light can still come out of the darkness. Just don’t let go of hope.