My hands are trembling and my heart is pounding.
And I don’t really know how to write about this…..
But I crave the special release that comes to me only when I write and record these heavy feelings, so I’m going to face my fears and be honest.
Last Thursday morning, July 17th, 2008
“Thanks for watching him, Lisa,” I said to my friend as I walked into her apartment carrying my son.
“No problem, Heidi,” she said with a smile, closing the door behind me and then stepping back.
“We’re going to have an ultrasound at the hospital and then our monthly doctor’s appointment and then I’ll be back,” I explained as I took off Bubbers’ shoes and set down his diaper bag.
“Sounds great!” she said and then gave a welcoming smile to my son.
Bubbers got suddenly shy and backed up into me.
Sensing that I was going to leave, Bubbers turned and looked up at me with sad eyes and held his arms out to me.
I smiled and gave him a big hug.
“It’s okay,” I said as I squeezed my dear boy, “I’m going to get Daddy and then we’re going to find out how old our baby is. And then we’ll know when you’re going to be a big brother!”
I smiled wide enough for both of us and then encouraged Bubbers to go off and play with Lisa and her daughter.
As he walked off, I snuck out the door and headed back to my car.
As I drove to pick up Charming from work, I envisioned how the ultrasound would go.
We’d hear a cute little heartbeat.
See a profile shot of the little tyke next to its sac.
And watch little kicks and punches that would make me laugh with joy.
And then we’d get a precious little picture to take home and frame.
So then I can finally announce it to all my friends and family, I thought with excited anticipation, It’s been so hard to wait and not tell everyone, so I’m so glad we’ll finally be able to!
Charming was waiting for me in the parking lot of his work.
As he hopped in, he gave me a smile and a kiss.
“Are you ready to see our baby?” he asked with excitement.
“Yes!” I answered and we drove off in expectant parent bliss.
“Hello, Heidi?” a man said to me as he walked around the curtain that had been pulled to give me privacy during my ultrasound.
“Yes?” I answered, looking up at him from where I still laid on the table.
“My name is Dr. Cook,” he went on, “I’ve looked at the ultrasound results and we weren’t able to find a heartbeat.”
He paused to let it sink in, but I still looked at him without concern.
Okay, I thought, It must be too early for them to find a heartbeat. That’s no big deal.
The doctor searched my face and then continued, “Given the size of the fetus, the size of the gestational sac and your hormone levels from your last blood tests, we should be able to find a heartbeat.”
Again, I looked at him with only slight concern.
Hm, that’s funny, I thought, The baby is probably just being shy about showing us the heartbeat.
Finally, the doctor said, “We have reason to believe this is a case of fetal demise.”
For the first time, my heart skipped a beat.
“We’ve paged your doctor to tell him, but you’ll want to go over the results of your last blood work with him before deciding what to do,” he said, and then he was gone.
I looked at Charming and he looked at me.
We didn’t know what to say.
There were still a lot of questions hanging in the air, but we were sure there were good answers for all of them.
And that our baby was actually just fine and there was no reason for fear.
As I got dressed, I suddenly looked up and said, “They never gave us a picture.”
Charming replied, “Well, we can ask again, if you want.”
“Yes, I want a picture,” I said resolutely.
When the ultrasound technician came back in, Charming asked her, “Can we still get a picture?”
She froze and stared at us.
“Well, we don’t usually give a picture if we don’t find a heartbeat,” she said with evident discomfort.
“I still want one,” I said firmly, and then I bit my lip and my voice broke as I explained, “It might be the only one we ever get of the little guy.”
She finally consented and printed a picture for me.
I held it carefully in my hands as we walked back out to our car.
I was still holding it when we drove to see my OB.
“I am so sorry, Heidi,” Dr. Brown said as he met my eyes.
As soon as we arrived at his office, he had ushered us into his conference room.
“I’m so sorry,” he repeated and I could see the tears in his eyes before he looked down and cleared his throat.
I had held out hope that everything was a mistake and there were logical explanations for why my baby was really fine but didn’t look fine–until my dear OB looked at me and said those words.
And then my eyes filled with tears and Charming reached over and took my hand.
After it was all over, I went back to pick up Bubbers.
“How did it go?” Lisa asked with a smile as she opened her apartment door.
I looked down and said, “Not good,” as the tears threatened to surface again.
Then I hastily found the Bubbers king eating cheerios in a highchair and my heart overflowed with love for the little boy I still had. For the mother I still was.
“Hey little man,” I said with a shaky voice, “How are you?”
He looked up at me with his dear Wooga eyes and I couldn’t help but smile at him.
As I walked back to the car with the little Bubbers in my arms, I pressed my cheek to his and quietly said, “It looks like you’re not going to be a big brother, yet…..”
My voice broke and the tears came, but I continued through them, “Our baby went back to Heavenly Father.”
That night, Dr. Brown called with results of the new blood tests he asked me to get right after I saw him.
“I have good news,” he said and I held my breath, “Your hormone levels are still normal….. So there may be some hope. Let’s try again and do another ultrasound just to see if we might be able to find a heartbeat.”
My heart that had become numb from sorrow and pain suddenly began to feel again.
“Really?” I said into the phone, “Okay, that sounds great.”
So, now we are waiting.
Waiting a couple weeks for another ultrasound.
Praying for a miracle that saves our baby, if it is God’s will.
Please pray for us.