Still, pregnancy after a miscarriage came with much more anxiety and fear than I had expected and I found myself dreading every appointment, fearing that I would once again experience the deafening silence of a tiny, still heart.
After a long and stressful 3 months, that included a possible vanished twin, episodes of heavy bleeding and weeks of a threatened miscarriage, we were relieved to make it to 14 weeks. Our midwife assured us that the threat was over. Our baby had made it to 14 weeks and the bleeding had stopped. She was confident--and so were we--that we would have a healthy baby in our arms in less than 6 more months.
As the next few weeks went by, I was getting noticeably bigger and I even started to feel tiny flutters of movement. I knew that everything was going to be okay.
Going in for my 17 week appointment, I was nervous as usual, but I reassured my husband that I didn't need him to come to the appointment and would call him after. I asked to check the heartbeat first to but my mind at ease. I laid back, ready to hear my baby. Instead, we heard only the sound of my own heart, pounding harder and faster as the time went on and no baby was heard.
My midwife suggested an ultrasound to see what was going on. It was concerning, she said, but not a sure thing. The baby could be hiding somewhere.....
I went home, worried, but reassured from the many message boards with posters describing how their doctor couldn't find their baby using a Doppler but the baby was found to be alive and well on the US. By the time I left for the ultrasound appointment, I was feeling hopeful. Surely if my I was going to lose this baby, it would have happened earlier, when I was experiencing actual miscarriage symptoms.
Unfortunately, it was not meant to be. There was my tiny baby, lying still on the screen. The radiologist thought the baby had died not more than a week ago. I was floored. How could this be happening again? Why, after two live births was I suddenly unable to carry a baby past 19 weeks?
I spent the next two days trying to figure out what to do. I knew I should go to the hospital but I couldn't stand the thought of going back to the labor and delivery floor just leave with empty arms. I wanted to have the baby at home, but that wasn't a good option either--I needed answers, answers only a doctor can give.
In the end I opted to be induced.
Over the course of 5 hours and two doses of Cytotec, my body began to let go. I labored in the darkened room, breathing deeply to soft music.
The meds made me sleepy as I waivered on the verge of sleep, I had the most wonderful vision. I was walking to a bench in a quiet field and Jesus came along beside me, wrapped his arms around me and led me to the bench to sit. For the first time in what feels like years, I really felt that God was there, physically with me. It was a beautiful moment.
At 9:47 that evening, my baby slipped into this world. It was quiet and peaceful. We called in the nurse and doctor who gently pulled my baby from his sac and I held my tiny, perfectly formed baby and admired his tiny ears and perfect hands and feet and then I handed him over to the nurses and left the hospital with empty arms, an empty womb and a heavy heart.