In my previous blog, I discussed finding out I was pregnant and the symptoms I experienced. When we finally made our way to our first ultrasound, we were elated. We have a picture from the night before the ultrasound that we often like to look back on. Jeff and I have huge smiles on our faces, without a care or concern in the world. We were so confident that our little baby was going to be healthy and that we were going to be the most loving parents in the world. Little did we know it would be a very long time before those smiles would be back.
The ultrasound technician had a perpetual frown on her face and was very largely pregnant herself. The room was cold and bare and I remember wondering how could she and the room look so unfriendly when they had the best job ever! She got to work with excited couples every day who would hear their babies’ heartbeat for the first time. I couldn’t stop smiling myself.
As she started doing the ultrasound, it was hard to tell if something was wrong. Since she already had a frown on her face, nothing looked different. After several minutes of silence and her searching around, she finally said the dreaded words. There was no heartbeat. I will never forget the feeling that I had at that moment. It was pure heartbreak. My stomach dropped and I actually felt my skin whiten. I quickly turned it into denial. There must have been some mistake. She kept looking around, but after printing out a couple of pictures she told us that we should go to our doctor. The baby was still the size of a nine-week-old and there appeared to be no heartbeat. I was very confused and afraid. I thought that when someone had a miscarriage, they started bleeding or they had stomach pains at the very least. I had absolutely no symptoms! It couldn’t be. My baby had to be alive and well. I felt so connected to him/her, my baby was still a part of me.
The rest of that day’s events are a complete blur. Quite literally, since I was crying the whole way through. We were able to go straight to the doctor even though we didn’t have an appointment. She tried comforting us but, as I explained before, she barely spoke a word of English. It was lucky Jeff was there because I don’t remember what she said at all and I would not know what to do with myself as I was in complete panic and distress. Sometime around then, Jeff told our families that the baby had no heartbeat. It was good I was not involved in this either since I would not be able to stand the disappointment of our families too. I was so disheartened and all I could think about was how empty I felt and how disappointed everyone else would be.
We took the train to the hospital and I was still crying. I remember everyone giving us confused looks, but we were on such a tight budget we had no money to take a taxi even when we were going through such a rough emotional time.
We spent hours waiting in the hospital. We first had to go through the emergency room, then we were sent to an OBGYN to check me, then another ultrasound, and finally banished to some far-out wing of the hospital where we were given instructions on what to do next. We were in the hospital for at least five hours, waiting most of the time along with other women in similar situations. I was by far the youngest in the room and definitely crying the most. All the other women tried comforting me, how I’m still young. We played some word games on Jeff’s phone to keep our mind off of the horrible news and, to this day, I can’t look at that word game without feeling pangs of sadness. Finally, we were told to come back in two days for a D&C (dilation and curettage). At one point in time that day, we were told that I had experienced a missed miscarriage. This is when the baby’s heart stops beating, but your body doesn’t show any symptoms.
During the next two days, I had a baby inside me that was not alive. It was the strangest and creepiest feeling I have ever had. At that point, I just wanted the baby out. I couldn’t bear the thought that the small creature inside of me was never going to grow up and that I would never get to meet him/her.
Sara’s pregnancy journey continues here.