I must admit that this will be raw. I can’t bring myself to put on a face.
I originally had an appointment scheduled with the OB who delivered baby #5. They had to change my appointment to the new doctor in the practice (who I had not met) when the on call schedules changed. So, ever the lover of change (pretty much, no.) I decided to determine that I would like her. It was going to be a good appointment. I did the normal weight check, BP check, etc and then waited for the doctor. It was also time for my annual exam so we chatted as she did the exam.
Then, she said, “let me listen to your baby” and reached for the Doppler. I’m only 11 weeks so I wasn’t surprised when she didn’t hear a heartbeat with the Doppler. None of my babies could be heard with Doppler until after 12 weeks and I wasn’t concerned. She said, “I’m just going to grab the ultrasound and we will look at the heartbeat.”
She had her nurse bring the machine in and started the external sonogram. She didn’t say much at first and then said “I think we are gonna do internal sonogram because I can’t see the heartbeat.” I still wasn’t as concerned. I only thought, “leave it to our last baby to force us to look at him/her with an internal sonogram at 11 weeks.” There was the fleeting thought of simple biology. The fact that a baby at 11 weeks gestation should be clearly visible with an external sonogram. And the heartbeat should be also.
She started the internal sonogram and I could clearly see my baby. With no heartbeat. She said the words my head was screaming “There’s no heartbeat. I’m sorry. I can’t find a heartbeat.”
In the moment, there’s shock, anger, sadness, devastation, confusion all flooding in while the tears are flooding out. I see her measure my baby and say “Yeah, measuring 9 weeks 3 days….” And I know I’m 11 weeks. I know the cold fact is my baby has died.
She asked if I wanted her to get my OB and have her do a second look to see if she can find the heartbeat. I’ve seen tons of sonograms and I know the futility of my “please.” I can’t help but hope. Perhaps the new doctor is inept. Perhaps …
My OB came in and did the sonogram. The results were the same. No heartbeat. “See the circle with the line in it here? That’s the heart. It should be beating. The baby is perfectly formed if you were supposed to be 9 weeks. There’s just no heartbeat.”
I cried. A lot. My OB rubbed my back and, honestly, spoke a lot of words I don’t remember. I know she tried to comfort me.
“Not your fault”
“Come back Monday and we will do another ultrasound to make sure nothing’s changed.”
So, this is my new reality. I’m still pregnant. I’m still carrying my baby who died 2 weeks ago and I’m devastated.