I can still remember how excited I was. I ran like a little girl to my husband holding the pregnancy test that confirmed we were blessed with baby #2. I immediately made appointments, changed my diet, and prepared my life for entry to the family of 4 category. I told my 4-year old and read him books about the baby inside of mommy and all that it would mean for our family.
I spent my days reading blogs, joining mommy groups, and collecting all of the items I had saved after my son was born that would now belong to my new baby. I saw the heartbeat at 6 weeks and heard it at 8 weeks. My husband, despite my protests, told everyone he knew immediately; even the people in line when we went grocery shopping. My belly grew larger every day and I could not be more excited.
In the weeks between my 8 week ultrasound and my 12 week visit, I was so anxious. I just wanted to hear the heartbeat again, wanted to be sure that all was well. In those 4 weeks I planned our future. Finally my 12 week appointment rolled around and I dressed in my cutest maternity outfit for the occasion.
Then, there was silence.
The doctor looked at me and said, “I am sorry, but there does not seem to be a heartbeat”. I saw my baby lying lifeless on the screen and I felt my world start to collapse a little. My head was spinning and I only saw the doctors mouth move as he told me what the next steps would be. They brought my husband in, and as he held my beautiful son in his arms, I told him that we would continue to be a family of 3.
I cried. I cried a lot. I removed myself from mommy message boards and joined the healing from loss boards, deleted my baby registry, and hid from everybody who knew about the pregnancy. I found out that many women refer to children they have lost as “angel babies”. I learned that I was not alone. I decided to miscarry at home naturally. I suppose it was my way of saying goodbye. As the physical pain progressed, the emotional pain began to wash away with it. I was healing.
I started to count my blessings instead of my losses. My husband held my hand through the entire thing, probably masking his own grief. He was talkative when I needed a distraction and silent when I needed my space. He loved me through it all. My son kissed me every chance he could get and told me knock knock jokes. My mother and my sister called me every day, just to make sure I was okay. With them, I made it through.
In the doctor’s office that day when the heartbeat went silent, my son asked why Mommy was so sad and we told him. He proceeded to take out his two favorite toy cars and race them on the floor at my feet. He looked up at me and said, “Did the race cheer you up Mommy, your car won.”
As I think back to that moment, I realize that he was right.
I did win. I walked out of the office that day with a family when I know some walk out alone. I was comforted in the weeks after when some don’t ever have that kind of support. It has been two weeks since that day, but it feels like I took a much longer journey. This journey showed me how strong I really am, how blessed I have been, that the birth of my first son was nothing short of a miracle, and that love can heal even the most broken-hearted.
R.I.P. Angel Baby. As Anthony says, “you live in the sky now, with the stars”