I was almost 36 weeks pregnant and had started my maternity leave a bit early to get the house ready for baby #2. I had noticed a bit of lightening and a decrease in movement for a couple of days, but that’s normal in the final months of pregnancy because the baby has less space to move, and I still felt the baby rolling and turning and at times it felt like he was stretching out in there so I just brushed it off as being normal. The Friday before he was born I went to Toys R Us to buy him an infant rocker and I remember while I was sitting on the floor at home putting it together that it seemed a bit easier to move around, I just figured it was the lightening you hear about as the baby begins to drop…
Everything began to unravel for us when I went in for my dating ultrasound on May 11th. Having never been pregnant I was not sure what to expect, but I thought that seeing your baby was a sure thing. The tech was very quiet throughout and would not let my fiance in. She asked me to empty my bladder for an internal ultrasound, after which she asked me to just wait outside. Grasping for anything and confused, I asked for a picture of my baby. While we waited I talked to my mom and she asked me what the heartbeat was and I felt my heart drop, I never heard a heartbeat. I did not want to give up hope and began to sob when my fiances mom said “these things just happen you know, you can try again”. After what seemed like an eternity the technician came out and handed me a picture of my baby and said that I should head to see my midwife. When I got there I was informed my baby had stopped growing at eight weeks and gave me my options of waiting, taking medication, or having a D and C. I began asking right away for a D and C, which she would not schedule saying I could expect to miscarry any day. I did not want to have a miscarriage, the thought of seeing what I percieved as pieces of my baby frightened me. I kept thinking that something had to be wrong, my baby looked so perfect, and I did not feel that I was miscarrying. I talked to my midwife and was able to get another ultrasound which confirmed my baby was gone. After two more weeks of being told to wait for my body, I went to my local emergency room begging for help. I could not go on carrying my baby inside of me anymore. The doctors were shocked that I had been carrying my baby like this for five weeks, and had me into a specialist the next day. The following day I had my first D and C.
In November 2008, on my first wedding anniversary, I found out I was pregnant with a surprise baby. Although surprised, my husband and I were thrilled. We started seeing the doctor and went in for a routine 6 week ultra sound. The technician told us the baby’s heart beat seemed a little slow but not to worry. It was probably just because it had just started beating within the last few days. We did not worry at all. We went on our way without any problems. At 11 weeks we went in for another routine doctors visit and our doctor said we could hear the baby’s heart beat and put an instrument on my tummy to find it. She searched for 10 minutes to find the baby’s heart beat and never did. I began to worry and asked her if anything was wrong. She said, “You had an ultra sound at 6 weeks right?“. I told her I had and she said she was sure everything was fine and the baby was just too little to pick up the heart beat yet. Again we were sent on our way and told not to worry. So we went on our way and did not worry. When I was 12 weeks pregnant I can remember thinking, “Oh good, I am past the first trimester and the worst time for miscarriage”. I was relieved. Later that same day, after shopping for nursery furniture, I started bleeding very heavily. It was a Sunday so my doctor’s office was closed. I called the ER and spoke to the on call doctor who informed me I was probably miscarrying and I needed to call my OBGYN the next day to confirm this. I asked him if I needed to come in to the hospital that day and he said, “No. If you are miscarrying, you are miscarrying and there is nothing I can do to help you.” My heart dropped when I heard him say this and I did not accept this. What if my baby was still alive and just needed some help? So I ignored the doctor and went to the ER anyway. I was admitted and a doctor (not the same one I talked to on the phone) came in to examine me. He said my cervix was still closed which was a good sign but unless he did an ultra sound he could not confirm the baby’s condition. We opted to have the ultra sound. The technician came in and quickly found the baby on the screen. He started telling me where the legs and arms and various body parts were and I sensed he was avoiding telling me the only thing my husband and I really wanted to know. I asked him if the baby’s heart was beating and he paused and then very nicely and quietly said, “I’m sorry. I am not detecting any fetal heart movement.” I said ok and sat silently while he packed his machine up and left the room. Our family was waiting outside the door. As soon as he was gone my husband and I both starting crying and hugging and all I could say over and over again was how sorry I was. When our family came in to see us I just kept telling them how sorry I was. It is interesting, as a mother, how you fully take the blame for a miscarriage right away. Everyone kept telling me it was not my fault, but all I could say was how sorry I was. This was the first grandchild on both sides of our family and everyone was so excited. I felt I had let them all down and their hearts were broken just like mine. I actually felt bad for them. My father-in-law, a man known professionally for being very strong and not emotional at all, put his hand on mine and never let go of me the entire time we were in the hospital room. That was January 3rd, 2009.