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Blue paper pants. You know, the huge ones with the weird, recycled-looking waffle texture, they swish really loudly when you walk so everyone notices you. But no one really sees you.

They don’t see the knot in my throat I just can’t swallow or the pain in my stomach that makes me want to puke. They can’t see my heart dragging through my body, hanging low and feeling heavy.

Thankfully, they can’t see the massive blood puddle that just splooged out when I sat down either.

Stand up, try to walk to the bathroom. Turn around halfway there, ask the lady at the front for a new pair of blue paper pants. Sploosh. Shuffle quickly back to the bathroom. It’s a mess, the nurse brings me shower wipes. Despite wearing a diaper, blood has leaked everywhere.

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Why is this embarrassing? Why do I even care what people see or think right now? Where is my husband?!

Wipe the tears, grit my teeth, try to swallow that huge knot again.

Don’t puke, please don’t puke! That’ll just push more out. Thank the nurse with the kind eyes who keeps patting me on the back and squeezing my arm. Walk slowly, very slowly, little steps back to the waiting room.

Oh, thank God he’s here.

No words, he just hugs me and holds my hand.

We’ve been here before. We don’t need to say those comforting words that just fill the space around us, they just make the air heavy. No need to call anyone this time, we haven’t told anyone. I didn’t want the worried looks or the awkward just checking in phone calls.

Just hold my hand, let me work on this knot in my throat.

The nurse is back with a wheelchair covered with a puppy pad (because that’s not obvious). I just nod, stand up, sploosh. Running down my leg again. Back to the bathroom.

Twenty minutes in the waiting room, two pairs of blue paper pants, one exam room I left looking like a murder scene. I feel awful for whoever has to clean this room. The ultrasound tech looks mortified, she knows this is pointless but required. Follow my puppy pad path back to my clothes, more shower wipes.

Finally my own room. Turn the lights off, let me lay in my diaper on my puppy pad sheets in peace.

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I wish he wouldn’t look at me. He has that look on his face, he wants to smile at me to reassure me, but he knows better, so we leave no room for false hope again.

But what he doesn’t know is how long before I leave my room again, or how long before I’m me again, or how long until we’re back here again. It’s only been a few months. The doctor was actually impressed with how quickly I got pregnant again.

But getting pregnant has never been the problem.

Two nurses, two bags of fluid, one blood band, and three hours later the doctor comes in. I can’t hear anything he’s saying because I’m waiting for those familiar words. He’s nodding a lot. Why is he smiling? My husband’s face is changing.

“Wait what?!?” I say way too loud. The doctor walks over and sits on my bed. I get nervous and check to make sure I’m not puddling around him. He grabs my hand with both of his and takes a deep breath, “The baby’s heartbeat is strong, I can’t make any . . .” he said a lot of words, but I didn’t hear any more.

My baby’s heartbeat is STRONG!

Elizabeth Haselhorst

I’m a stay-at-home mom of three, living in Eastern NC. Shortly after adopting my nephew, we found out I was pregnant with our miracle baby. After carrying one, we wanted to try for another and were blessed with our rainbow baby earlier this year. Pregnancy was hard and ultimately kept me from work, but I’ve decided to embrace the craziness and stay home and soak up as many of the special moments as possible. 

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