We had already been blessed with two healthy sons when I peed on the pink plastic stick and discovered baby number three was on board in my belly. “Oh, brother!” I shrieked then laughed with the follow up “or sister?!” I wondered if our prayers would be answered.
As I chased around two boys ages three and one, the baby bump had begun to burst, and life was good. With kisses and hugs, we waved goodbye to our two sons as we dropped them off at Grandmas. Heading out for a routine check-up, we promised to share any news upon our return. At the doctor’s office, our hands were held, interlocked over my belly as we waited our turn.” Gray”, the nurse called out. This being our third pregnancy, we felt comfortable with the routine and casually walked back to the exam room. Up on the table, I laid back and relaxed while I gazed at the painted flower scenes on the white foam ceiling tiles. Next came a squirt of cold jelly on the belly. I giggled at the sound like a 5-year-old then declared, “I’m hungry. Let’s stop for breakfast after.”
As the technician rubbed the ultrasound wand across my belly, I anxiously waited to hear the updates on our growing baby. Suddenly, the tech’s face appeared to turn a light ash color while she stared intently at the monitor. A wave of intense heat and clamminess overwhelmed my body, and I broke out in a heavy sweat. In complete desperation, I twisted my neck to catch my husband’s reaction then quickly shot a look over to the tech. “What?” I shouted. The tech left the room and soon returned with a doctor. Again, I pleaded “What’s going on? Tell me please!” The doctor’s response was grim, but to the point “There is no longer a heartbeat.” “That is not possible,” I shouted emphatically. “Feel my proud belly? My heart is beating. I am giving this baby life.” Although my eyes were cloudy with tears, I could clearly see the silhouette of the fetus on the screen. The tiny heart shadow, however, was indeed, still.
When we arrived home, I laid on the couch while QVC Christmas continuously played on the TV. Knowing that our next appointment would be to medically remove my never-to-be-born child, I was completely numb. The next day my body would be forced to release the lost life inside of me. Time passed; it always does. Our two little guys were both in school and our days were filled with trucks, trains, and T-ball games.
One early summer morning, my test taken at the toilet revealed we were pregnant once again. This time, we prayed for a healthy baby.
Laura, it made me sad to read of your loss and can only imagine the pain that must have caused. Thank God you were able to conceive again and are blessed with your three boys but I know that little girl will occupy a tiny space in your mind, and every now and then you’ll wonder who she may have been. Thank you for sharing her with us.
Wow Laura – you’ve faced and overcome a lot. Bless you, and yes, she will always be with you and her family.
Thank you Carol for reading this piece and for sharing your love with me!
Thank you for sharing your stories, your life and your heart on paper. You are an amazing woman and writer.
In the wake of your words, I am left with a higher degree of compassion for those I have never met.
I am sure this is not part of your introduction to others. But here, your heartbreak gives us all permission to pause and hold your pain.
Carolyn, as a writer truly experiencing a sort of rebirth, I am always so honored and humbled when you read and comment on my work. I am so grateful for being welcomed into this writers nirvana. Thank you.
Thank you for sharing this with us. I can’t imagine the loss you felt. Having grown two of my own tiny humans, it’s such an immediate connection. I hope writing about her helped process some of that pain. Although she may not have made it to term, she will always be your child. And you, her mother. You should feel free to talk to her and about her. <3
Ahhh. Joanna, thank you for honoring the child lost. She earned her wings early and I believe serves as a guardian angel for her 3 brothers. Thank you for taking the time to read this piece and to comment with love.