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Sindija 
Mom to Baby #2
February 9, 2018
Sweden

“If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” What form does mourning take when the only proof of a life is a single picture of an ultrasound of an already dead fetus and my own vivid memories of a tiny, lifeless, human-like body. This is the story of my missed miscarriage.

In the summer of 2012, I was pregnant with my son. At six weeks I started bleeding and was told it was a threatened miscarriage. The bleeding subsided, the scan a week later showed a growing embryo, but no heartbeat. I asked my husband to come with me to the twelve week scan at a clinic an hour drive away because I was sure my baby was dead. I was so wrong. There on the large screen on the wall, I saw my precious baby moving. The rest of the pregnancy was uneventful. I was induced because two weeks after my due date my water broke and it was green. There was a risk of infection and issues for my son, but all turned out ok. I lost quite a bit of blood during labor and received blood transfusion.

Fast forward to December 8, 2017. I found out I was pregnant. The pregnancy was not planned but as the new year approached, both my husband and I began planning a future with two children. I had morning, well all day sickness, and very sore breasts. I was definitely pregnant. My waste line was thickening fast and soon I began wearing maternity pants to work. As the 12-week mark approached, I told some of my family members and my two supervisors at work. Once I have had my twelve week scan, we would tell everybody else.

February 5th, 2018. I am 12 weeks and 3 days. This time I went to the scan myself. The same clinic an hour drive away. It was just a routine check up. The midwife asked about my previous pregnancy and I told her about the scare with the bleeding and how my body had no clue of what to do when it was time to deliver the baby. It was as if my body wanted to keep the baby forever. I got onto the table and faced the same huge screen so had five years earlier. The midwife had a hard time finding the baby and once she did I knew something was terribly wrong.

Instead of a bouncy baby what I saw was a tiny and completely still bean. Before the midwife said anything, I uttered the words: “there is no heartbeat.” She asked if it was ok for her to take some more measurements. She printed a picture and squeezed it into my hand. “You will be glad to have this,” and I am, I am so grateful she gave me the ultrasound picture of my bean. My baby measured at 8 weeks and 3 days. For four weeks I had carried a dead being and my body had remained blissfully unaware. I was advised to get in touch with the women’s clinic in my town and not to wait too long because I had an unusually large placenta. It had kept growing for the four weeks. I decided to have a medical abortion.

On February 7th, I went to the hospital to get the first pill. I told the midwife how I was scared of bleeding too much and they listened and admitted me to the hospital a day early. Nothing happened that Thursday. I saw a counselor and cried. On Friday, I got the second set of medication that would start contractions. The counselor came up again and talked to me. She wondered why my husband was not there with me. I told her that there are only two things I wanted. First, ideally I want to come back to labor and delivery in mid August and have this baby. But that is not possible. Second, I wish someone could take my body and go through this for me, but that too is impossible. So the only way for me to do this is to do it by myself.

The midwife gave me lots of pain medication so I felt nothing when the miscarriage happened, but there was so much I was not prepared for. I was not prepared for my water to break, I was not prepared to feel the baby pass, and most of all I was not prepared for the tiny finger, the eyes, the budding ears, the translucent skin, the tiny body that would grow into my baby. I had asked in panic before what would it all look like and what would happen to my baby. I was so anxious about it ending up in the toilet. When I saw it, my first instinct was to take it home. There I sat on the floor, in a pool of blood, talking to my unborn child. I told him (I do not really know what the sex was) how much I loved him, how sorry I was that my body could not protect it. I wrapped him up and put him in the rubbish bin.

The hospital did not have any policy about what to do with the remains of “the products of conception”. But I had said my piece and goodbyes. I had seen beauty where I did not expect to find any. A month later I went for a check up. The pregnancy test was still positive and I had started bleeding heavily on couple of occasions. The midwife went to ask a doctor for an ultrasound, but the doctor (he) dismisses my and her concern and said it was probably a period. Two days later my husband drove me to the hospital hemorrhaging, blood gushing out of me. I lost about 1/3 of my blood volume and ended up with an emergency D&C. I want to hold my newborn baby, my baby that was not to be.

 You can connect with Sindija via email here.

 

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