On December 1 the husband and I were thrilled with a positive pregnancy test. Baby #2! An August baby! We couldn’t wait. Our insurance had changed since the oyster was born so I had to find a new ob. I did, and within days had scheduled an appointment. We all went to it a few weeks later.
December 23 I had a sonogram. I went by myself and on the screen, there it was. Our little baby. A tiny bean, wiggling back and forth already. A healthy heartbeat of 146 bpm. Placenta in a good spot. The sonogram lady printed me two pictures to take home. I put them on the fridge. Norbert, we called our baby.
Our Christmas tree was up. We placed a “Baby’s 1st Christmas” onesie under it and texted the picture to family, saying “look what’s under our tree this year!” We told my parents it was on back order and wouldn’t arrive until August. It was a fun Christmas, although all-day-morning sickness was kicking my butt.
January 13 was my next regular monthly ob appointment. The husband stayed home with the oyster and would just go to work when I got home. I packed my blue Norbert folder for all the papers I would get at this appointment. I packed my new 2014 pink planner, to schedule my next appointment. I asked all my questions. We talked about screening tests. She got the doppler to listen to Norbert’s heartbeat.
I felt like she was taking a long time with the doppler. Poking, pressing, moving. She had me shift. Poking, pressing. The oyster never took this long. But I still have belly fat from carrying the oyster, that couldn’t be helping. She took my pulse to see if that’s what she was hearing. I stared at the ceiling. She shut off the doppler.
I’m going to get the sonogram machine, I’m just not getting what I need to get.
But I have a lot of belly fat. That’s probably why, I thought.
The sonogram machine warmed up and again she was poking, pressing. I stared at the screen. I watched, like she was.
I need to do an internal sonogram, is that ok? Baby just doesn’t seem to be cooperating.
Well maybe it’s an anterior placenta, I thought. The placenta is just blocking the baby from the sonogram machine.
I stared at the screen with my heart beating faster. Poking, poking. My heart slowed down.
Please, please just be an anterior placenta.
I looked at her. She was frowning but I wasn’t worried until she called me sweetie.
How many weeks are you again, sweetie?
Eleven. Please be an anterior placenta. Please.
This is an 8 week baby. I’m not hearing a heartbeat. I’m so sorry.
She helped me sit up and she rubbed my back while I cried. She held the Kleenex. She told me she wanted me to go to one of the other locations for a better sonogram. Even though she said it was to confirm what she saw, I thought maybe the equipment was faulty. The better sonogram would show a wiggly little baby, 11 weeks along. I picked up the husband and the oyster.
Do you see these flashes of color?
Those are reading blood flow. The big flashes, like here and here, are your blood. There should be a flash where the baby’s heart is beating.
But…it’s just dark there.
I’m so sorry. Your baby doesn’t have a heartbeat anymore. I’m measuring 8 weeks, 4 days. I’m sorry. We don’t know why these things happen.
They sent me back to my ob to talk about what we would do. I could wait. I could take meds to make the waiting shorter. I could have a D&C. Those were the options.
Which one is the least traumatic?
Well, there’s physical trauma and there’s emotional trauma.
The husband asked, Which will hurt the least?
D&C. But there’s something else.
The second sonogram showed that the placenta is cystic. We don’t know if that’s why this happened, or if it’s just the placenta deteriorating because the baby didn’t need it anymore. But if it was the first, it’s possible the pregnancy was semi-molar, in which case we’d advise you not get pregnant again for six months. We’d monitor your hormone levels and if they were normal after six months, that would be fine to try again. If not, you would need to wait another six months. But the only way to diagnose this is with a D&C.
We scheduled it for Wednesday, today.
There is a thick fog this morning. Heavy, gray, settled soundly on all the things I can see from my window. The ground is wet, the grass is wet, everything is soaked with the grayness of it.
But it is not raining.