I loved you, even for just a short while
11 Apr 2016
In my alternate world I would be sitting on my couch right now, holding you and admiring your tiny little face.
You’d have your dads brown eyes and his olive skin, but I would also be amazed at how much you look like your blue eyed big sister.
Those little fingers that I saw on your ultrasound would be wrapped tight around my finger and I would be in awe of how tiny your little fingernails are.
I would be tired… Oh SO tired…
Your sister would come over to kiss you on the forehead again. She would love her little brother so much and would be constantly asking to hold you. My heart would melt every time she stroked your face.
I wouldn’t have had a lot of sleep and there would probably be some tears. A different kind of tears though than the ones I cried after your ultrasound.
You pop into my mind every so often, but not as often as you have this week leading up to your due date.
I remember seeing those 2 lines come up on the pregnancy stick and feeling excited and scared at the same time. ‘Holy shit’ was one of the first things I said. ‘Am I going to be able to cope with two kids?’ ‘Will this be another tough pregnancy like my first?’
Then the realisation kicked in ‘Uh oh, this is going to hurt!’
My husbands excitement eased my fear and I thought about how wonderful our daughter is and how lucky we were to have another awesome little person on the way.
Due 10th April 2016 were my calculations.
I went to the doctor and a blood test confirmed the pregnancy, but my hcg levels were low. So low in fact, the doctor told me I had my dates wrong. I was pretty sure I didn’t, so the low hcg concerned us a little, but the doctor said everything should be fine.
His words were ‘It might not be a viable pregnancy, but most likely everything will be fine.’
I was a little worried, but patiently waited for the scan booked for 7 weeks to learn more.
The all day nausea kicked in early, just like last time and I remember thinking ‘How am I going to get through this?!’
But when I saw my babys flickering heart beat at the 7 week week scan, a healthy 136 beats per minute, I knew this horrible feeling of needing to be sick all day every day, was going to be worth it. The tech said everything looked great and that my hcg levels had risen so there was nothing to worry about. We let ourselves get excited again that everything was going to be OK and that the low hcg at the start was just a false alarm.
I imagined what my baby was going to look like. I thought about how excited Miss E was going to be about being a big sister. I wanted so much to tell her, but I thought I better wait until 12 weeks just in case something went wrong…
I think we all worry that something could go wrong, but whenever those thoughts popped into my mind, I would focus instead, on all the things that could go right. No point worrying about something that is unlikely to even happen. One in four pregnancies end in miscarriage, but the odds are even more in your favour once you see the heartbeat, so I focused on everything being fine.
Miss E had blurted out one morning ‘Mum, there’s a baby in your tummy’ I was surprised that she had said that, but I just changed the subject, as it was too early to tell her that she was right. She very confidently told me that there WAS a baby in there, it was a boy and his name was Woody. (She had clearly been watching too much Toy Story at the time)
At around 9 weeks my usually flat belly was starting to protrude a little. We told a few of our friends and family our good news and some people guessed when they saw that I was wearing loose tops to cover my little belly.
At 10 weeks, the day of my first obstetrician appointment came around. I was excited to see my baby on the ultrasound again. My sickness had died down just a few days earlier, so I was feeling better and wondering if that might mean I was having a boy since I was so sick right up until 14 weeks with my daughter.
My husband and I were both at work, so we drove separately to the appointment and met out the front of the building. We chatted to my obstetrician Sze Lee for a bit and I lay down on the bed ready for her to do a quick ultrasound to make sure everything was progressing nicely.
I suddenly got worried. What if something was wrong? What if my baby had stopped growing, what if, god forbid, there was no heart beat?’ I remembered back to having a scan with my daughter and being so worried then too, but everything had been fine.
I looked up at the screen and there was my baby. I gave a sigh of relief even though it was a bit smaller than it should have been. It was measuring 9.5 weeks instead of 10.
‘Hang on, where’s the heartbeat?’
My OB tried a different angle. She waved the wand around while I lay there in silence. I had to remind myself to breathe there for a second. There was definitely no flickering where the heart should be.
‘Fuck there’s no heart beat’ I heard myself say out loud. My husband said something reassuring but I knew it was bad. ‘Fuck, oh fuck’ some more swearing and disbelief.
Sze looked at me with her kind eyes and said ‘I’m sorry I can’t find a heart beat, I want to send you down to the ultrasound place downstairs to confirm, I hope somehow my machine is wrong, but I am sorry.’
I was shocked. We walked downstairs in a blur of confusion and tears and we sat in the waiting room for a painful few hours. The wait was killing me.
Finally we go in. The technician asked why we were there. I told her that Sze couldn’t find a heartbeat. She lay me down in front of a big TV screen and I quickly saw a big image of my baby come up. I looked intently at the picture. I was looking for a flicker, any little sign of hope. The tech showed us the umbilical cord and explained that there should be blood flowing through it, but that there was definitely no blood flow. I knew our baby had passed away, so I asked how long ago that would’ve happened. She said it likely happened just a few days before.
As the tears poured quietly down my cheeks and I squeezed my husbands hand, I asked a few more questions and then asked if she would print out a picture of my baby for me. She had taken multiple photos, but there was this one showing those cute little fingers, so I wanted that one. I had no idea what I would do with it, but I wanted to walk out of there with something to remember my baby by.
We headed back into my Obstetricians office but by this stage it was quite late, so she had left for the day. Even though she had left, she called me to make sure I was OK and we talked on the phone before my husband and I left. I looked over at one point and her assistant Jane was giving my husband a hug. Seeing how caring my Doctor and her nurse were, was really beautiful. My husband and I then had to drive home separately. This sucked!! I so wished we had come in one car so that I didn’t have to drive.
The drive home was tough.
I would go from disbelief, to fear of what would happen next, to full ugly cry!! At one point I remember sitting at the lights and I contemplated parking my car somewhere and jumping in his car, because it was really tough driving while wiping away tears constantly. I spoke to a couple of friends when I got home and I will always remember the support I got from so many wonderful friends and family.
And so here I am today… my due date… but without my baby. But, l am OK.
Life goes on and it certainly has with us. So many wonderful things have happened and even though I am sad that I don’t have my baby here with me, I know that it just wasn’t meant to be. So instead of spending my week looking after my newborn, I have been playing with my daughter, working, catching up with friends and generally enjoying myself.
There is so much more I have to say, but I will save that for another time.
If you would like to hear more about what I went through, please let me know and I will post more about my experiences in the weeks and months afterwards.
I am happy to share the good and the bad with the hope that by sharing my story, it might help someone else who has gone through this or is going through this now. It doesn’t get talked about enough and I think it should.
Kellie Claire xx