“I have an appointment for October 11th that was supposed to be for my 12-week visit. Can I cancel it please?”
I could feel my voice shaking as I spoke to the receptionist sitting there that morning. I could hear my tone change when I used the word supposed. I could see the look in her eyes as she slowly started to piece together what I was trying to say without having to say it.
Fortunately, she was experienced enough to understand. “I’ll change your appointment type and make sure everyone knows so there are no accidental conversations you don’t need to hear. I’m so sorry.”
I don’t need a 12-week appointment to check on my baby, because I no longer am carrying that baby.
Except the thing is, that I was. And until my body finally decided to process the same information that I had spent nights trying to, I would still be standing here having awkward conversations and making temporary appointments.
It all felt so cruel. Like a terrible nightmare that just couldn’t seem to end no matter what I did. It was moments and conversations like this that hit so incredibly hard because they aren’t ones you are prepared for.
You are ready for empathetic faces. You are ready for the words of wisdom and the phrases we all have heard in similar situations. You are ready to feel that twinge of jealousy over every baby announcement splattered across your Instagram feed.
But breaking down over canceling an appointment was not something that ever crossed my mind. Not that any of this did.
I was unprepared for that first doctor’s visit. While everything in my mama gut told me the worst had happened, I was still surrounded by so much hope that I was wrong. I still spent those weeks in waiting searching for symptoms and holding my belly as if that would magically fix this. It never crossed my mind that my doctor would end our visit by saying “congratulations” only to call the next day and say my gut was right and our pregnancy was no longer viable.
Yet, the cruel joke kept on going. Even with the clear-cut test results, I still needed one last appointment for an ultrasound to confirm our 99.9 percent diagnosis. I thought that was it. I didn’t expect to see my doctor’s number flash across my screen 24 hours later to say that it wasn’t the end yet. That I would need to spend the next few days curled up on my couch trying to force my body to finish what it started.
It wasn’t the pain that got me. It was the painful awareness of what was happening. I couldn’t dismiss it as cramps or a stomach virus when I was so completely aware of what my body was attempting to do. Aware of feeling like my own body was turning against me and yet I just had to let it happen. I couldn’t fight back. I couldn’t protect what I had already lost, but going through this now was my way of attempting to protect us from future losses.
In some ways, it all felt so endless. Like we had been going through this for an eternity when really it was just a matter of weeks. But it also felt like I blinked, and I was right back at the doctor’s office. The same one I walked into so cautiously optimistic just 2 weeks before, carelessly scheduling that 12-week appointment on the way out.
Now, I was back here asking to cancel an appointment I prayed so long to be able to make. Crossing it off the list like just another chore. That’s a kind of heartbreak no one prepares you for.