Written by Keli Gerber, volunteer Miracle Mom Mentor at The Reproductive Medicine Group.
Hold on…..I can’t find a heartbeat.
The words no mother, expecting mother, mommy-in-waiting wants to hear. I literally felt time stop and my stomach in my throat.
We have 2 beautiful healthy children….conceived only by the grace of God through the miraculous technology of in vitro fertilization. One boy going on four years old and one girl going on 15 months.
We thought it was completely impossible to conceive on our own. This time….we weren’t even trying. Like….not at all. We were planning another cycle of Ivf for about 8 months from when we had our first miscarriage. I can’t believe I’m typing that word.
I thought our problem would be conceiving and we would always have to do ivf. But after that we would hopefully have smooth pregnancies. (As we had had the first Two times). Thank God! But, now….now we had become a part of another community. We were experiencing another part of infertility. Now……..we had lost a baby. 8.5 weeks pregnant…and now that little baby boy or little baby girl is GONE.
This time…we got pregnant ON OUR OWN….without even timing it up, doing ovulation kits, testing temps, etc etc etc.
It was the end of May. I was naseaous for a week or two. Then we went on a little vacation . We Had a great time. I mentioned it to my mother at one point…hey I’m really bloated, kinda crampy. She goes…have you had a period in a while. I replied hmmmm I’m a little late! yeah…what if I’m pregnant. Half joking….the other half always wishing it was possible to experience it naturally like many others get to.
That was that and we forgot about it and had a great time.
We came home from our weekend away. Getting ready to Do our grocery shopping, I do what I always do and add random things to my list all morning.
20 mins later – “bananas” …..
10 mins later “shampoo”….
a half an hour later – …….
It was so weird to write that. And I couldn’t even believe I was. I thought I was crazy. Just as crazy as when I was actually picking them up and putting them in the cart. I kind of then forgot about the tests the rest of our shopping being busy with 2 kiddos in the store! Ya know how that goes!
But the second we got home…I got the kids and groceries into the house and had to use the ladies room really bad….so to the restroom I ran….box in hand. I could barely get it open quick enough.
As I started watching a pink line appear………a 2nd slowly started to appear. Faint at first, but already forming within seconds of taking the test. As I barely even first saw it there…..almost even before it started forming….I thought to myself….I’m pregnant! Like at that moment of taking the test….I just knew it. Even though I didn’t “know it” before.
3 minutes later…confirmed! (No way!) TWO LINES!
Then I took the 2nd digital test in the package that is supposed to confirm the first old school one….and that one said those beautiful words….PREGNANT. !!!!!!
Ok so here is where I could spend 3 more hours telling you how excited I was, how I couldn’t think, couldn’t function, figured out a fun way to tell my husband….etc etc etc….I’ll save all that for another time because it would be incredibly long! But let’s just say that day and the next 2.5 weeks we couldn’t believe it! We were in shock, but a good shock! We had such a wonderful surprise! Such a natural thing that so many get to experience. I couldn’t wait to tell the world but also could because I was just in disbelief. As well, I wondered if people would judge us since our 2nd baby was only 13 months at this time and would only be about 15 or 16 months when we revealed to family and friends. Would they think we were rushing it? Would they think that was too soon for the 3rd? But in my heart I knew it was Gods plan. His timing. His doing. It had nothing to do with us. We weren’t even thinking baby #3 yet. Well, we were thinking about it….Just not quite right then!
I called the OBs office to tell them the news and ask them some questions. But I couldn’t get in for 4 more weeks because of their schedules. So I called and called and called to hopefully find that they had had a cancellation.
Finally…..at 8 weeks 2 days pregnant they agreed to see us the next day. I had had some light cramping and the nurse thought I was fine as cramping is normal. But she asked if I felt like I needed to come in and I said yes just for peace of mind. I was hoping they would do a urine test just to confirm and I was really praying they would do a sonogram! My anxiety would finally be at ease that this baby was healthy and thriving and I could truly let myself believe in this pregnancy! And let myself get my hopes up. Let myself be truly excited!
So we head in the next day and the receptionist calls me on my way to inform me that the doc wants to do a sono. Yayyyyy! Thank God! This I what I had hoped for.
But my heart was racing. I was almost panicky. As I had found myself the day or so before.
We go in to the office and were joking with all the girls that we know well now from our previous pregnancies! Joking how it happened on our own. Joking that it was a little sooner than planned. Kidding about how this probably happened the ONE LITTLE TIME that mommy and daddy got away on a 3 night cruise!
Then we get called back. we go in the room. Mommy got ready. The sonographer began the exam. As she has done before with our other two…she proclaims “there’s the little peanut!”
And I say “yayyyyy it’s real! A real baby?! It’s there!”
She stops me in my tracks and says…”hold on sweetie. I don’t see a heartbeat.”
The words no one wants to hear. We wait as she tries. She can’t find anything. I cry. He squeezes my hand tight. I cry some more. She tells me she’s so sorry. Then she proceeds to go get the doctor. The doctor comes in to confirm.
Yes I’m so sorry sweetheart.
Our baby is gone. 8 and half weeks gestation. Two and a half weeks of knowing of this miraculous life. And somehow just like that….just in recent hours or day or two…. we had literally just lost this child. I felt empty. Horrible. Sick. Nauseous. I couldn’t believe it.
We spent the afternoon planning for the next day when I would have to have a D & C to remove the fetus and tissue. And try to figure out how to deal with this in my heart. While also taking great care of my two beautiful children and keeping them from knowing something was wrong.
I remember riding to the hospital sobbing. My husband held my hand and talked me through. I just remember telling him “we’re going to the hospital with a baby in my tummy and we are going to come home without it. With nothing.”
I felt so empty.
I’ll never meet him. Never name her. Never see what he looks like. Never see who she will be become. Never celebrate a birthday, a graduation, a wedding, the list goes on and on. I’ll always wonder. I’ll never know. I read that you don’t just “lose a baby.” You “lose a two year old, a 16 year old, a 25 year old, the lost goes on.”
The following weeks brought heartache. Brought questions. Brought guilt….as if I had done something to cause this. But in my heart I knew I hadn’t. That’s what everyone says at least. I was melancholy at times. I was so Empty at times. Lost at moments. Just felt confused and sometimes spinning and unable to concentrate. Grieving. But all while trying to be composed and be there for my babies.
Many quotes have helped me. Many poems. Many photos. Many prayers. Support from friends and family. Many ways that I found that worked for me.
Jesus is getting me through. It’s not easy but I can feel myself slowly healing. Not forgetting. Just able to live my life, all while somehow having this huge void. Im able to find joy and laughter and smiles in the everyday. All while still feeling like a huge part of me is now missing.
It’s still devastating. This will go down as a very hard year for me. A year of loss. I’ll always wonder and always grieve you sweet baby. I’ll never forget you.
My baby you will always be.
“I carry your heart. I carry it in my heart.”