It was a Wednesday. Two years ago. I got up, a rock sitting in my chest. My body felt heavy.
Between the waves of nausea (hindsight – maybe I was just nervous) and the nerves I got ready. I curled my hair, I slipped on my black maxi skirt – heck I clearly remember which panties I wore. Because it was April I picked a long white sleeve t-shirt. It was still chilly in the mornings. Plus it showed off my “I’m a week shy of the second trimester” pooch. I liked it.
I knew I had an appointment. I wouldn’t lie and say I wasn’t nervous. In fact, I was actually overwhelmed by doom. You see, on Sunday (two years ago it was Easter) I spent the entire day on my feet. And a trip to the bathroom revealed what every pregnant momma never wants to see, red. It was just a little bit. And only for that one day. Regardless, I called and reported it Monday morning. They happily bumped my appointment to… Wednesday.
I had spent all week telling myself it was “just because of…..”. But deep down, I think my heart knew.
As I brushed my teeth, packed a lunch, sprayed my hair and threw on my black flat – why did I wear those, I remember thinking “those make my feet stink, I probably shouldn’t wear them” – but all the while I’m singing as I get ready.
Although I was nervous, ok – terrified of the appointment I had that morning I was going alone. I was choosing to trust. Trust that everything was golden and our little peanut was just getting comfortable. I was expecting a lecture about how I needed rest and to stay off my feet for extra periods of time, or at least take a break here and there. I was fully expecting my thoughts and fears to be irrational. I was choosing to trust and choosing to know that God was good.
I popped into work- did part of my morning and headed to my appointment. Fear was welling up up-
“Whatever’s in front of me help me to sing hallelujah”
It was quickly my turn. We talked, and decided at this point we should be able to get the heartbeat from the Doppler. We had a perfect heart beat 3.5 weeks ago, so “we should be good” – she says.
She attempted to tell me that sometimes it’s harder to grab the heart beat depending on the placenta placement.
“Let’s go ahead and just do a quick ultrasound.”
Trying to hold it together I was placed back in the waiting room. Tears flooding my face. I knew it. I sent out my first text.
“They couldn’t find the heartbeat of the Doppler- waiting for ultrasound”
I sat and waited. It felt like an eternity. I had a few friends ask to come sit with me (Connor was a work and hadn’t yet received my messages). I declined- cause well by the time anyone got to me- I would be done, I’m sure. The heart beat will be there and off I’ll go and it will have all just been a quick nightmare.
I’d never felt more isolated. I searched for tissues. I was that girl bawling in the waiting room, surrounded by big pregnant bellies. I stepped up to the front desk and asked for a tissue box. Look of pity of her face. Part of me wanted to scream: STOP STARING. Yes, I’m the one with a dead baby.
I was soon lead into the ultrasound room. It didn’t take long to see the lifeless baby sitting motionless in my womb. The gravesite for now 3 babies. After about 10 seconds I began loud, uncontrollable sobs and my friend walked in, unannounced. I miss that friend. We’ve since had a falling out. She’ll be part of my memory forever.
All I remember is apologizing for crying while she was trying to take measurements, and finish her job. The next memory I have is sitting in a white room – listening to my options but only caring about whether or not we could get ahold of my husband. My next memory is stepping into HR’s office at work… Telling them my baby is dead.
That day I chose a D&C. Little did I know I would have to wait until Friday. I carried my dead baby for two more days. I wept, I didn’t eat much, I sure as hell didn’t sleep. I experienced flashbacks and outbursts of tears and sobs. All I could see when I closed my eyes was my little peanut- with no heartbeat. Motionless.
It was several weeks later we would find out our babe was a little boy. That he was sick, he had a genetic mutation that just was not compatible with life. I found healing in those answers.
But 2 years later, a rainbow baby, and my heart still aches. In fact, typing this story made me shake, cry, and feel much of what I felt that day. Some say that once you pass a certain amount of time or get your rainbow baby you shouldn’t hurt anymore. Or maybe I should be over it by now. I firmly believe you never “get over it”. It just changes.
It doesn’t rip your heart out to think about it. Anniversaries and “should have been” due dates pass by and you don’t think twice about it. But sometimes that ache still exists. And it can be strong. But it doesn’t ruin you. I often look back and think it must have all been just a bad dream. Even though it feels like it was yesterday AND a million years ago- all at the same time.
I share this because it’s real. Loss mommies don’t share their grief often enough. We tuck it away. Protect ourselves from comments or well wishers. I share this because it’s healing – for me. I still have flashbacks, I still have anxiety, I have plenty of triggers and weak moments. Moments where I wish I had ALL my babies in my lap, and not just one. Then sometimes I feel guilty that I’m happy I JUST have one… I can’t win with myself. But that’s why there’s grace.
In sweet memory of my perfect angel- Colton James Brooks