I had always known I wanted to have more than one child, so around the time my son turned two we started talking about adding to our family. After a few months of trying, I got that hopeful positive sign on the pregnancy test.
At first things moved along smoothly, I got all the normal symptoms of pregnancy I get each time. Then one day the nauseousness that had been creeping in stopped. I was really sick with my son, but each pregnancy can be different, so I just thought I was lucky this time around. After a couple troubling signs of miscarriage I started getting nervous, so my doctor had me come in at 5 weeks and see what was going on. I had an ultrasound and there it was. A little tiny flicker of a heart beat, slow but not worrisome for how early I was in the pregnancy. With that heart beat hope blossomed and grew. Plans were made, futures mapped out.
Three weeks later I went in for the routine 8 week check up. Just before I was ready to leave they had me do another ultrasound, to check on the baby since the heartbeat was slow at the 5 week ultrasound. I watched the screen as they checked everything out, and I had a feeling something was wrong. She said the words every parent to be dreads hearing, “I can’t seem to find the heartbeat.” Followed by a reassurance that it could just be the ultrasound machine they use in the rooms and that she doesn’t do as many ultrasounds. They set me up with an appointment in the imagining center to get another look with the better ultrasound sound machine.
They couldn’t get me in for two hours, so for two hours I panicked. I was losing hope that it would all be ok. That we would go back and magically the heartbeat would be there. I had that 5 week ultrasound to compare with, and as I lay on the table I did not see a flicker on the screen. No little heartbeat working so hard to grow into a baby. My fears were confirmed with the 2nd ultrasound, there was no heartbeat. I am fortunate to have a wonderful doctor. The moment she saw us in the exam room after getting such horrible news, she hugged me. She hugged me and told me that this wasn’t my fault. That miscarriages happen so often and it is really amazing just what a fetus has to do to become a baby.
I look back on those days now that I have had two more joyful positive tests that blessed me with my daughters. Yet, at times a sadness still hits for the baby that wasn’t meant to be. In my heart I have 4 children. Three are alive and one that didn’t quite make it past the 8 week pregnant mark.
I will forever be grateful for that 5 week ultrasound. For the picture of the baby when it was still alive, when I could see the little flutter of a heartbeat on the screen. There is a line from an Elliott Smith song that goes, “I’m never gonna know you now, but I’m gonna love you anyhow.” Which is exactly how I feel about that baby, the little flutter that lived for a moment.