Broken Heart – (Part 1/5)

5 Jun

This past winter, Mr. and I experienced something incredibly heartbreaking.

You may remember, in March, I posted this.

While vague, and nondescript, it was perfect. Looking back, it was exactly what I needed. Just enough to not feel forgotten, but left alone enough to be able to forget.

Well, I’m done forgetting now. I’m ready to open up.

 

The week before Christmas, I took a pregnancy test. It was positive. I hated the world.

If you have been following a while, you probably read, “And Baby Makes...” and it’s continuation, “And Baby Makes (Part II)” at the beginning of September.

In short, I found out I was pregnant, and a week later, I basically got my period. I was only about 5 weeks along. Even so, it was incredibly devastating.

Which brings me back to Christmas.

I took a pregnancy test, and it was positive. I was so scared. I was reserved. I decided not to get attached, just in case. 

I called my doctor and explained that I had had  a miscarriage a few months before, and that I would feel better if I came in and got checked out. I went in on Christmas Eve. The doctor looked at my charts, and decided to do some blood work to see if my levels were all normal. They were. She told me that she wanted me to get an ultrasound done in 2 weeks, to see where my due date was.

Being the impatient person I am, I made an appointment at a (wonderful) free clinic in town, and made my appointment for the doctor’s office. The free clinic would see me the week after Christmas. And then I would have my appointment at the doctor’s office the week after that.

Mr. and I discussed who we would tell what, and when. We decided no one would be told anything. We wanted to have this secret for ourselves for a while.

Christmas came and went. The morning sickness came, and didn’t “went”. *Whew.* Things must be normal.

Soon, I found myself in an ultrasound room in the free clinic. I was 7 weeks pregnant, according to my last period (you’re welcome, men). The nurse squirted the warm gel on my belly.

“As is expected, we can’t see anything abdominally… you are too early,” she said.

As she inserted the probe for the internal ultrasound, I felt nervous. I remember I was laying there shaking. She searched around for a few seconds and then said, “Well, the good news is, there’s the baby. The other news is, I don’t think you are as far as you think you are, so we can’t see a heartbeat.”

My heart sank.

She quickly reassured me that everything looked normal, but “normal” for a 5 week pregnancy.

Ok, so my dates were 2 weeks off. I could handle that.

I lived life as normally as possible for the next week.

I went to the doctor’s office, for my other ultrasound. It was truly uneventful. The tech did the scans, verified that I was now 6 weeks along, showed me the heartbeat (yay!) and sent me on my way. Later that night, the doctor called.

“Hi, Elisabeth. This is Dr. So-and-so. I was just looking at your ultrasound from today, and it verifies that you are indeed 6 weeks pregnant.”

“Ok…. the ultrasound tech told me that…” I said back.

She continued hesitantly, “Well, while the baby’s heart is beating, it’s beating slower than we would like.”

I didn’t know what that meant. “Ok. So, what does that mean? What do we do?”

“Well, why don’t you come in next week, and we will do another ultrasound, just to check, and we can discuss options then.”

“Options?” I asked in shock.

The doctor replied, “Well, depending on what is going on, you still have the option to either carry or term….”

“NO!” I cut her off. “That’s not an option.”

“Alright, then I will see you next week, after your scans.”

I told Mr. the news. He tried to assure me things would be fine. I was doubtful. I needed a new doctor. Termination wasn’t an option.

One week went by, and the third week in January, I went back for what would be my 3rd ultrasound.

As I lay there, staring at the ceiling, the tech says, “I need to go grab the doctor. Stay here.”

Something was wrong. They only bring in the doctor when something is wrong.

The doctor walked in.

Her face was smiling, but her eyes were not. “Hi, there!” She said.

“What’s going on?” I answered, not caring if it was polite or not.

“Well,” she started, smile lessening, “It looks like there are some issues.”

“Like….?” I asked, getting annoyed, and feeling panicked.

The doctor no longer had a smile at all as she continued, “The gestational sac is measuring at 10 weeks, but the baby is only measuring at about 6 weeks.”

“And…?” I couldn’t utter more than a word at a time at this point. I knew what was coming.

“It appears there is something wrong with Baby’s heart. It doesn’t seem to be beating properly, and that is slowing down the growth.” She must have sensed my dire need for information, because she just kept going, “The baby may very well make it to term, or at least close, but if it does, we are looking at some major health issues. Also, I’ve never seen a baby with these issues make it past the first trimester. With all of that said, the heart is still beating, the baby is still growing. I want you in for weekly ultrasounds to keep a close eye on things. If you don’t have any questions, I will see you next week.”

I couldn’t decide if I should sigh a sigh of relief, or a sigh of despair. The baby could make it, but then what?

“Thank you.” I said. I didn’t have anything else to say.

We had decided that Mr. would stay home with the 3 kids. We hadn’t been expecting bad news. I had to keep it together so I could drive home.

It was a long drive, but I felt good. Health issues? I could handle that. It would change our life, but we could make it work. We had to make it work.

I got home and told Mr. the news. He seemed to be on the same page I was. We could do this. We would do this. I had already lost one baby, I couldn’t do it again.

A week passed, and I went in for another ultrasound.

There had been a few changes. The baby had grown, and was now measuring at 7 weeks 2 days, the heart was still beating, but had slowed down even more. The gestational sac was now measuring 11 weeks.

The doctor came in and spoke with me again. This time, there was no smile. “It looks like the baby is slowing down. It probably won’t make it much longer. I still want to see you next week, though. Just in case.”

I got in the car, once again, and drove home.

When I got home, Mr. and I had a very different conversation than we had the week before. We no longer felt hopeful. It was a waiting game at this point.

The next week, we discussed Mr. coming with me to the appointment, but I felt it wasn’t necessary. He wanted to come, but we had 3 other kids to worry about. We knew what was going to happen. I was prepared.

As the tech scanned around, she began to look puzzled.

I asked her what was wrong.

She flipped the TV monitor on. I was expecting the worst.

As the image became clear, and my eyes focused, I realized, I wasn’t so prepared after all. The baby’s heart was still beating. I looked at the measurements.

Gestational sac average: 12 weeks

Fetal age average: 9 weeks

WHAT?! The baby wasn’t supposed to make it. More so, the baby shouldn’t have grown by 2 weeks in 7 days. I was confused.

I stared blankly at the screen, unsure what to think.

Then, without a word, the tech aimed her little white arrow to the bottom left hand corner on the screen.

72 BPM

I’m not an expert, but I knew that was too slow. I glanced back up to the baby, and saw the little flicker, flicker, flicker….

She said, “I just want to double check that quick.”

She zoomed in to the heart of the baby. The computer went to work.

66 BPM

I quickly looked back and forth from the 66 to the baby. Back and forth. Back and forth. Desperately trying to will the little heart to pick up speed.

It didn’t.

“Please check it again…” I begged.

“I can, but it won’t change anything,” she replied, sorrow and compassion in her voice.

“Please. I need to see it,” I said quietly.

“Ok. But, please let me know if you need me to stop.” Her words were nothing special, but her eyes were so kind.

She scanned the heartbeat again.

I watched. I held my breath. I silently pleaded with God. Please, Lord.

The computer did it’s work.

42 BPM

PLEASE, GOD! DON’T DO THIS TO ME, AGAIN!

Please. Do it again.” I was desperate. I don’t know what I was expecting. I knew what was happening.

“I really shouldn’t….” she said hesitantly.

“I need to know for sure.” I answered.

“One more time,” she said slowly.

She scanned. She sighed. She scanned again.

The results popped up onto the bottom left hand corner of the screen.

0 BPM

That was it. It was over. The baby was gone.

 

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3 Responses to “Broken Heart – (Part 1/5)”

  1. Sarah Farrell June 5, 2014 at 11:40 pm #

    My dear friend I love you so much!

  2. kenzelsfire July 23, 2014 at 3:15 pm #

    Boy, do I relate. I just wrote my story not long ago (called Facing my Giants). Onto part 2

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. My Miscarriage Story | just like dandelions - June 26, 2014

    […] can read Part 1, where I talk about right before the miscarriage […]

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