We were supposed to hear the heartbeat for the first time today. I was at this appointment alone because Jon doesn't have any leave built up at his new job just yet. I didn't mind at all as this was just supposed to be a routine exam and bloodwork. As I was waiting in the exam room, I heard the telltale whooshing sound of a baby's heartbeat in the room next to mine. It only made me more excited to hear ours. After I had my pelvic exam, my doctor finally pulled out the doppler to listen to the heartbeat. He searched and searched in vain for five minutes.
He never found it. I have to admit, I wasn't all that worried at this point. I know from the pregnancy reading I've done that it's sometimes difficult to find a heartbeat at 11 weeks. I joked that our baby was just being stubborn, but then admitted to my doctor that the fact that I had been feeling so good had me a little worried. He said it wasn't unusual at all and called for the sonogram machine to find the heartbeat that way. I thought to myself, "Awesome! I'll get to see the baby again!"
I knew it was bad news as soon as I saw the image on the screen. I was expecting to see little limbs and a profile, but our tiny baby was the exact same size as he/she was at our last appointment. Then I saw that the estimated due date on the bottom of the screen said April, rather than March. My doctor started to explain that our baby had stopped growing the week after we first saw the heartbeat, approximately 8 weeks and a few days. That happens to be the same week I contracted the swine flu and he doesn't think it's just a coincidence. High fever + pregnancy = very bad. He told me how sorry he was and explained my options.
I could wait for my hormone levels to drop at which point the miscarriage would occur or I could have a D&C at the hospital within the next few days. I opted for the D&C because I can't imagine waiting for the cramping and bleeding to start, not knowing when it was all going to happen. It would be like a ticking time bomb and I can't go through that. I'll go in for the procedure on Friday.
When I shared my pregnancy on this blog, the thought that I might one day have to also share it's loss was always in the back of my head, but it was a risk I took. After I had a little time to comprehend what happened today, one of the first things I thought of was how awful it was going to be to have to tell everyone; our parents, our family and friends and yes, the readers of this blog. Though it may seem to be to the contrary, I am a private person and the loss of a pregnancy is one of the most private matters I can think of. I wasn't sure I was ever going to document this here. But then I read this post and it made me realize that there are other people out there like us who are hurting and are devastated and it helps to know that others have been in your shoes and have walked to the other side okay.
My biggest fear is that people will feel sorry for us or people will pity us and I don't want that at all. Pity just makes me feel worse, makes me feel shame, if that makes any sense. Yes, we have just experienced a heartbreaking loss, but please treat us as you normally would. Our baby was very here, very real and very loved and we have lost him or her. We are grieving, and are sure to be for quite some time, but we are going to be okay.