“Butters is going to be a big brother! Baby is due March 31st. All very exciting and planned and all that, but mostly I’m just super nauseous and hormonal.”
All my thoughts of the future included my husband, Wyatt, myself and the baby in my belly. I’ve always envisioned a family of four. When we found out about our fertility struggle it became a very real possibility that may never happen. Then Wyatt came, a little miracle. Then we implanted our second and last frozen embryo. I couldn’t believe our luck when we found out I was pregnant again! It did almost feel too good to be true. I felt greedy for the luck of both my IVF tries being successful. I know that sounds stupid. When the 13 week came and baby was still healthy and doing well, I dropped my guard and really saw it. I saw the two little kids that would be around the dinner table. I saw a car full of gear as I hauled them to and from sports events. I saw a busy hectic life that would come from two kids, a life filled with love, sibling rivalry, and battles over who is touching who.
Today our future changed again. I had my 16 week OB visit. I had to bring Wyatt because I didn’t have a sitter. He was throwing fits as the doctor listened and listened for a heartbeat. I was trying to distract Wyatt by explaining about the baby brother or sister that was in mommy’s tummy. When the OB couldn’t find the heartbeat I thought nothing of it. Baby is probably in a weird position. Then came the small portable ultrasound. Still nothing. The doctor was getting worried. As we walked to the big ultrasound machine she said “I really hope we find a heartbeat”. That’s when it sunk in for me. This is real, this could happen. As they looked at my baby, we saw the baby’s head and body, but the very vital part was missing. No heartbeat. Then even more proof, the baby was swollen and had likely died a week ago. I will have to go into the hospital in a few days to be induced into labor to give birth to my dead child. I guess it can’t even be called giving birth. To push out my child? I don’t know.
As I try to make sense of this, Wyatt is blissfully unaware, wriggling and fussing to get off my lap and get his hands on the ultrasound gel he’d been eyeing. I just learned that the child inside of me, that I’d carried for 16 weeks is dead, yet I still have to parent. I still have to put him in the car and drive home. I have to say the words “I lost the baby” over and over as I tell my husband, parents, my brother and other family and friends. My heart breaking again and again and again. I am broken. I am empty. I am numb. At the same time the strong, sensible, planner part of me is thinking what is next. Telling myself I will get through this. I see Wyatt and thank God for him, for his sweet, wild, curly-headed self. I have so much good in my life. But the hurt of this loss peeks through my thoughts and I feel it again. The pain will fade and change with time, but the hole will always be there. It is a part of me, a part of my family, a part of our lives.