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We decided to finally bite the bullet and start trying for a third kid. To both of our amazement, we got pregnant immediately in-spite of my advanced maternal age (38). We found out on July 31st and at first it didn’t feel real. As the weeks and baby grew, so did our excitement. We had our first ultrasound at 7 or 8 weeks, complete with the little blob pictures to show there’s indeed a baby. We told my parents when we went back to Wisconsin to visit and his parents the following weekend. Shortly after that we told our boys, who were just as excited, even though our due date fell on HR’s birthday. Somehow at 5 he already didn’t mind sharing, especially at the prospect of having a younger sister, which he was vocal about wanting.
My morning sickness was considerably worse this time around, but thankfully I didn’t have the bloating or exhaustion (or maybe I just didn’t have time for it). However, I never felt easy about this baby, even getting into a fight with Randy a couple weeks ago for telling all his friends we were expecting. I knew I wasn’t going to feel good about the pregnancy until we had done the ultrasound and genetic testing that takes place between weeks 10-13.
This Wednesday we had our 12+ week ultrasound and genetic testing. The baby was perfectly still in the ultrasound, which I thought was odd, yet slightly peaceful. The technician took some measurements quickly and then left the room and allowed me to use the restroom after guzzling the 24 oz of water to prep for it. After waiting a bit for the exam to continue and sensing something was wrong, a doctor came in. We learned the baby was only measuring 9 weeks and didn’t have a heartbeat. It could be that it died at 9 weeks or had recently and started decomposing.
The image of the perfectly still baby was ingrained in my brain. I couldn’t breath. I had to rip the mask off my face, but it didn’t seem to help me catch my breath. When I felt myself fainting I leapt to the floor to avoid falling off the examining table.
The doctor said we had three options – I could wait to see if it miscarried on its own, take some medicine to try to force the miscarriage, or have a D&C surgery to have it removed. None of these were things I wanted. I looked to Randy for guidance, but he told me it was my decision.
How was this possible? My body still acted like it was pregnant, complete with a perfect little bump, not knowing there was nothing to protect in there anymore. I wanted it to be a mistake.
We decided to do the D&C surgery, in part because they could do it the next morning, I’d be put out for it, and I could go on with my grieving without having to see the miscarriage. I waited around anxiously yesterday morning to find out when they could fit me in. We got the call at 10 and headed into the hospital where we’d delivered AL 2.5 years ago. I felt stronger than the day before until I caught a glimpse of my bump when I was changing into my hospital gown.
The nurses were great and all knew why I was there. When I woke I learned they had to keep me under longer to stop some unexpected hemorrhaging. I was again thankful I was asleep for all of it. Randy was doing school pickup and dealing with the kids since the nanny had to leave early. It was kind of peaceful to be alone at the hospital with just a nurse checking in on me from time to time. My bump was already gone, but the mesh underwear caught me by surprise as a reminder of what I’d worn the last two times I brought healthy babies home from the hospital.
I know grief can be tricky as I find myself flipping from being grateful for our two kids and thankful we didn’t get the genetic results back and be faced with making a decision on terminating our baby’s life…yet questioning “why me?” Am I being punished for being selfish and wanting more kids after having two beautiful, healthy ones? Was it the stress of being a working mom or waiting so late in life to have another?
I know the real answer is — this just happens. And miscarriages happen all the time, but people don’t come out and talk about it to realize how normal it is.
But sometimes that logic is still overshadowed by the grief and self-pity that are still living in my now vacant body.