Mom to our baby girl, Rose
Lost at 14 weeks on February 15th, 2011
Thousand Oaks, California
My husband and I found out in December of 2010 that we were expecting our 2nd child. We were thrilled that our children were going to be close in age just as I was to my sister. We had our son Carter in September of 2009, and I was secretly hoping we were expecting a girl next. My pregnancy seemed much different the second time around. I was a lot sicker than I had felt with my son Carter, and I had constant headaches. Some days, I felt like I couldn’t get out of bed, but as a full-time working mom I had no choice but to keep going. I kept reassuring myself that I would find relief soon in the second trimester.
I was anxious to find out the gender and for fun, my husband and I decided to have an elective ultrasound done at 13 weeks. We were told they could try and get a peek this early. At the ultrasound we saw our beautiful baby and he/she had a very strong heart beat. The baby was moving around and seemed perfectly healthy, however the tech wasn’t able to get a good look at the goods. She also mentioned my fluid seemed a little low but nothing that needed medical attention. We re-scheduled for the following week, and I went home with a plan to drink a lot more water. We would not make our next appointment.
Three days later we celebrated my husband’s 35th birthday at a local restaurant. While driving to dinner, I felt an intense sharp pain, almost like a very strong contraction that took my breath away. My husband was concerned but once it subsided I chalked it up to stretching ligaments, and we enjoyed his birthday dinner. It was around this time that my headaches and nausea calmed down and I felt semi-human again, I had been drinking more water, so I thought that I probably had been dehydrated the entire time and was feeling better because I was drinkning more fluids. I was also officially in my 2nd trimester and finally enjoying my pregnancy. I had just purchased new maternity clothes because nothing seemed to fit anymore and was very excited about the little one I was growing.
On Monday, February 14th (Valentines Day), my husband had to go out of town for a quick business trip. I originally had my 14 week appointment scheduled for this day, but switched it to the following day. Tuesday, February 15th started out normally. I got my son ready for daycare, gave him a big kiss, and headed in to work. At 9am, I told my co-worker that I was leaving for a quick appointment and should be back within an hour, I was wrong. I got to my doctors office and did my usual routine and then sat in the exam room with a gossip magazine and rubbed my belly while waiting for the doctor. The doctor came in, asked me basic questions, and then she told me to lay on the exam table so she could listen to the heartbeat. I was always nervous that something would go wrong, but after having one healthy baby and pregnancy, I trusted that everything would turn out okay, and I was out of the 1st trimester so chances of miscarriage were very, very low..
I remember laying on the table and she kept looking for the heartbeat. It can take a minute to find so I still wasn’t that nervous, and we just heard our baby’s strong heartbeat less than week before. At this point the doctor said she’d like to cheat and do a quick ultrasound to find the baby’s position. My nerves started in at this point, but still kept thinking everything was okay as this happened once before with my first pregnancy, and we ended up seeing a beautiful heartbeat on the screen. She starts the ultrasound, and I saw our baby laying there, still. I quickly check the chest area to see that flicker that always brought me peace, and it wasn’t there. I was in in shock. I started to panic and my doctor told me she wasn’t sure yet, but she was going to send me for another scan at a nearby imagining clinic. I was completely alone, frightened and got into my car and drove to the clinic all the while praying that our baby was okay. I walked in, filled out paperwork, and I cried silent tears. I laid down on the table , but they had the ultrasound screen facing away so I couldn’t see my baby. This was not a fun ultrasound appointment. I remember tears streaming down my face on the paper below me while I waited for an answer. The ultrasound tech was very kind, and not able to tell me anything, and silently took images. When finished, she called my doctor in front of me. I heard her talking, and then I heard the words I’ll never forget “fetal demise at 13 weeks, 5 days.”
That was it. I lost it. My silent tears were no longer silent, and I cried out in large loud sobs. The tech hung up, and I saw tears form in her eyes. She walked me to the bathroom where she helped me wash my face, and hugged me. To this day, I’ll never forget how sweet she was to me. I walked to my car, crying, alone, and started making the worst possible calls of my life. My husband cut his trip short and came home immediately. I had to go back to my doctors office to discuss where we went from there, and my mom met me so I would not be alone even though I kept asking to be alone. I’m glad she didn’t listen. My doctor and I discussed my options, and we decided to have a D&E procedure as I couldn’t bare waiting for my body to miscarry on it’s own, especially at 14 weeks.
I was able to get an appointment in for that Friday. My doctor prescribed me Cytotec to soften my cervix and begin the labor process at home. I started to cramp and bleed heavily within a few hours of taking the medication. Every time I went to the bathroom and saw bright red blood, I cried. I said goodbye to our little baby and apologized for not being able to save him or her while rubbing my belly. I told my little one how much they were loved and that I would always be their mommy. The next day, I went in for my D&E procedure. Because I had to fast all day (while cramping and bleeding), the nurses weren’t able to get an IV going and it took almost an hour while I cried and bled in pain. Right before the procedure I asked the doctor if we could have chromosomal testing done on the fetus, and he agreed. It was a last minute decision of mine, but I’m so glad I did. I woke up an hour later, in pain, dazed, confused and somewhat relieved that I could move on. My recovery wasn’t too bad, but the emotional recovery is still taking it’s toll.
A few weeks later my doctor called with the testing results – the report said our baby was a perfectly formed fetus of 14 weeks with no obvious abnormalities. The chromosomal report showed 46XX. There was nothing chromosomally wrong, and no obvious reason for our baby’s heart to stop beating. We will never know why, and sometimes that is the worst part of it all. Our baby was a little girl. We decided to name her Rose because we lost her around Valentines Day and she was our little Rose. We always wonder what if and why. A day does not go by that I don’t think about my baby girl waiting for us in heaven. We love her so much and can’t wait to meet her one day.
As time passes, my wounds are not healed nor will they ever be. In the Nicole Kidman movie “The Rabbit Hole,” they compared grief to that of having a brick in your pocket at all times. Some days it’s not that noticeable, and other days, it’s all you can think about. No matter how much time passes or what happens in your life, when you reach in your pocket it is still there and doesn’t go away. And that’s how I feel. Our due date (August 16, 2011) recently passed, and we are focusing on trying to conceive our next miracle, but we will never forget our baby girl. She will always be my daughter and that can never be taken from me.
Michelle blogs at http://prettylittlemommythings.blogspot.com/
You can contact her at MYork28@gmail.com