We sat in the waiting room with nervous energy. Ketan scrolled through his phone and I scanned the room at all the pregnancy brochures everywhere. I put my head down on his shoulder saying one last prayer before we were called back.
We walked into the ultrasound room. It was smaller than a normal exam room with all the normal ultrasound machines and a large screen at my feet. The tech was amazing — calm, compassionate and empathetic. As the ultrasound began I squeezed Ketan’s hand and started to cry. Not sure if the emotions were from the many experiences before or if somehow I knew what was going to happen. At first I was hopeful as I saw the bright colors around the baby –that showed the blood flow around the baby. But then the flicker of the heartbeat never happened. The tech calmly said “I am so sorry.” We knew.
She took some last scans for the doctor and asked if we wanted a picture. We had never been asked that before when this happened and I didn’t know how to respond. Reluctantly I said yes. She printed a copy of our sweet angel and placed in in an envelope. The baby had stopped growing only a week before the ultrasound — we will never know why.
All I could do was hug Ketan and say that I was sorry I had failed. The overwhelming feeling of failure had already set in. How could this be happening again? How could we conceive on our own, get to this point, only to fail again. What had I done wrong? What was wrong with me? Knowing I had done everything right, I could only feel like it was my fault and I had failed our family.
We were taken back to a regular exam room to talk to the doctor. But this time a rose was placed on our file. We walked in and the nurse was entering info into the computer. She stopped and walked over to give me a hug. The tears flowed as if they would never stop. My body felt heavy and almost lifeless. There is an unexplainable feeling when you learn that your womb holds a baby that has already gone to Heaven.
We silently waited for the doctor to come in. We knew the drill; decide if I would have surgery or let this happen naturally. I was already spotting so we knew that the process was already beginning. After naturally miscarrying our first pregnancy nearly 5 years ago Ketan pushed for the surgery. The physical pain was excruciating and the emotional pain was just the same — I agreed.
The doctor came in the room already knowing what had happened — she saw the rose. She was incredibly gracious with her time and emotion — she had walked this path with us many times before. We spent a lot of time trying to understand what is unexplainable. So what next? After we finished with IVF I kept saying that if I could just get pregnant one more time maybe it would work. This was next time and didn’t work — it was over. There would not be a next time.
We scheduled the surgery and prayed my body would not take over before then.
The days that followed have been okay. I had the fortune of being able to work from home and avoid seeing anyone. It seems like during this time I only want to be with Ketan. He and I are able to have the unspoken conversation of what has just happened. It was a good day when I got dressed and took a shower. Each day has gotten better. Each day has been staying busy and not letting my mind wander.
The weeks that have followed have been interesting. Those that have reached out have touched us and we are forever thankful. Just acknowledging our loss has meant the world to us. You may be surprised at the silence that surrounds us most of the time. People that knew we were pregnant just don’t say anything. You can tell they know but just stay quiet. This is a tough topic, but we are 1 in 4 — it’s time to talk about it.
Walking this path is incredibly lonely and silent — just like the single rose placed on our file.