“I don’t see anything…”
The doctor’s words fell flat as I lay there on the table. I lifted my head up to see the monitor, which was all black. “I’m going to send you to a specialist; their equipment is better, so maybe they’ll see something we can’t.”
I sat up, holding back tears, trying to process the information. “Is my cervix closed?” (I had read online that if your cervix is closed then you have a good chance of the baby being safe.) “Good question,” she looked at me with empathy. “Yes, it is.”
I knew deep down in the bottom of my cracked, barely beating heart, that the baby was gone. I gave a slight smile and thanked her for her help. At least I knew my cervix was closed; that could keep me going a little longer before falling completely apart.
Our baby was unplanned, birth control coupled with condoms apparently still aren’t safe enough, but oh my, how I instantly loved my baby. It’s a crazy surreal feeling to love someone before even knowing his or her face.
Telling my boyfriend of a year and a half had to be one of the scariest moments of my life. I remember that night; we were laying on his bed talking. “I have something to tell you,” I quietly said and looked away. “What?” His eyes suddenly looked concerned, as if he already knew.
I started laughing out of fear. Something that’s never happened and one of the oddest reactions I’ve ever had. His expression never changed, though. I finally mumbled, “I’m pregnant.”
Time stood still as we both just looked at each other. Finally a shocked and slightly high-pitched “Are you serious?!” escaped his mouth, followed by him pacing back and forth in the room, then leaving down the hallway for a second before reappearing and hugging me.
The next day I went to the doctors to confirm my pregnancy and to stock up on prenatal vitamins. I was seven weeks along.
We spent the next two weeks talking about names and I even bought the baby’s first outfit. Out of some weird mommy way I wanted to be the first person ever to buy my baby an outfit. I went down to the bookstore and bought a journal to start writing to my baby. I made my first entry later that night, calling him (I just knew he was a boy, mother’s instinct I guess) my little raspberry, because that’s around how big the doctor said he was.
We had exactly two weeks from the day we found out about my pregnancy to the day I woke up in the morning with a pile of blood.
I called my mom, holding back tears and trying to stay calm. “I think I lost the baby” were the only words I was able to say.
After leaving the doctors I booked an appointment with the specialist. The next day I sat in the waiting room with a full bladder (so the ultrasound was as clear as possible) and prayed every prayer I could think of.
The results would take a couple days but I was told not to worry, to wear pads, and try to relax.
Any parent who has been in my position, told to relax over a life-or-death issue involving their child, knows how nearly impossible that is. The few days it took to receive my results felt like a lifetime. I couldn’t help but to call every single day to see if the doctor had looked them over.
Every night I rubbed my belly and talked to the baby I wasn’t even sure was still in there. Every second of the day I spent holding back tears and asking God for mercy.
Finally the results were in.
My baby was gone.
I was never a stranger to pain; it had actually become a norm in my life. Pain was a father who lived hours away from me my entire childhood and knew nothing about me.
Pain was my stepdad who had been there my whole life and raised me, cheating on my mom. Leaving one day and never coming home because he was with another woman.
Pain was the restraining order I had to get on my high-school boyfriend, who would grab me and not let go while telling me he would kill us both if I left. But this—this wasn’t pain.
This was forgetting the reason to breathe, scared to cry because you might lose your mind, heartbreak in the rarest and deepest of forms.
You think you understand something, like the word miscarriage…until you see a drugged-out pregnant woman walking down the street smoking a cigarette…or hear someone who just found out they’re pregnant considering abortion…or see the mom with three kids losing her mind over how she can never get a break.
You just want to scream at them, “Do you know how lucky you are?” You just want to scream at God until you no longer have a voice, “Why?!”
The dark thoughts that creep into your mind, the sleepless nights, crying alone in the shower…
You think you understand when you hear about it; you think you know the sadness. You offer your condolences and may even say something like “at least you know you can get pregnant,” or “you can try for another.”
You think you know until you realize all the first times you’ll never get with that baby, your baby.
The first word, first laugh, first step, first favorite of something; like a color, first ride on a swing, first day of school, first achievement…everything.
You think you know until you realize you won’t get to count their toes or kiss their chubby cheeks.
You think you know what it must feel like until you really know.
The love of a mother is instant and undying; the loss of a child never heals.