The Worst Day of our Lives
Date: Sat, 12 Sep 1998
I am up in the middle of the night. Not unusual because I am an RN who works nights. This is my story. In December 1997 my husband, Mark, and I began the next chapter in our lives. We had decided that after I had finished college and worked for a while that we would stop taking the pill. We have been married for 3 years, this month. I became pregnant in February. I knew the signs because I studied my nursing school OB book religiously. I knew the appropriate times to conceive. Mark said I wasn't trying to have a baby, but to kill him. Hey, a woman's gotta do what a woman's gotta do, right? Anyway, after I did the test, I waited a few weeks until his birthday and gave it to him as his gift. He was very excited, and I was relieved to let out my secret. We waited a few more weeks before telling friends and family. Then we decided to make the big announcement.
We live in a small town and it didn't take long for EVERYONE to find out. I am very petite, and began to show quickly, so we couldn't hide it. Anyway, I knew exactly how far along I was and when I was due, November 20,1998. I didn't care about being miserable thru the summer (we live in Florida). At my first OB appt I was 8 weeks along. My doctor knew we had been trying and was expecting us. I was so excited sitting in the lobby surrounded by beautiful full term women and women with precious newborns. Then we went in for my exam. My doctor wanted to do an ultrasound to be sure of my dates.
So there I was on the table. She couldn't find anything with the external monitor, so she proceeded to use a vaginal wand. I began to get a little nervous, but was still too delirious to catch on. Then she found the baby. There it was on the screen, perfectly still. No heartbeat. What a way to find out. I was in absolute shock. It wasn't supposed to happen like this. And what a great experience for my husbands first encounter. We went home over the weekend to come back for another series of ultrasounds "to be sure". It was awful. I lay there for hours while they took pictures. They asked me to hold my breath so they could look for even a faint heartbeat, but there was none. I trusted my doctor's judgement when she told me that if she thought it could become a healthy baby later we would wait. But she didn't. She said by the appearance of my baby it had died at 5 weeks. This is what disturbed me most. My body was not rejecting this child. What did that mean? I had now been carrying and loving an infant that had passed 4 weeks earlier. Yet, my body still grew, I still had all the signs of being perfectly pregnant.
I knew the risks of waiting for my body to figure it out on its own, and opted for a D&C the next day. Under general anesthesia, which was a relief because I didn't have to see my legs up in the air or risk seeing my baby. When I woke up I knew immediately what had happened and began crying. Everyone who cared for me was very helpful and sympathetic. I took 3 weeks off from work. I couldn't bear the thought of having to tell everyone. I asked my family to relay the message to friends, so I wouldn't have to run into them at Wal-Mart and break down. The worst part has been watching my friends having babies and trying to be happy for them. I take that back, the absolute worst part is that I still count the weeks. I would have been 30 weeks pregnant today. I feel crazy for doing this but I can't stop. I told my doctor, who wanted us to wait 2 months before trying again, that getting pregnant ASAP would be the only thing to comfort me. Yet, here we are. September and no baby on the way. I am terrified of the calendar.
Will I have a complete breakdown Nov 20? What if I can't get pregnant again? What if I can't give my husband a child? I know that I will not be complete without children. A mother has always been part of who I am. Thanks for listening, I hope to send good news soon.
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