This was my 3rd pregnancy and like my previous two, I got pregnant pretty much by just wishing to be pregnant. I was among the fortunate fertile people that didn't have to try very hard. I went in for my first OB visit at 6 weeks, got to see my little growing baby and all was well, heart beating strong. I was, as usual, sick as a dog. I went back 4 weeks later for my monthly check up (by myself) and had another ultrasound. I know my OB pretty well and I could see that her face dropped when she looked at the ultrasound monitor. When I asked what was wrong she said..."well, I can't find a heartbeat. But it might just be too early." I reminded her we had seen the heartbeat 4 weeks earlier and that this wasn't my first rodeo and I knew it wasn't too early.
She sent me away and told me to wait a week, come back and we would check again. I drove back to my office, devastated and sobbing. I had to leave work for the rest of the day...I was a wreck, no way I was going to get anything done. I called my friend, Dawn, in Florida on my drive home and asked her what I should do, knowing that I was going to go crazy in one week's time. She had me call my doctor and get orders for HcG testing, 48 hours apart. (If it rises, it's a good sign, if it falls, it means the pregnancy has ended) That 48 hours seemed like an eternity. Sure, enough, there was a slight drop in my hormones in 48 hours...not much, but enough for me to know.
I went in on March 9th for one last ultrasound, to be followed by my scheduled D&C (essentially, it's an abortion you wish you didn't have to have). I remember that day so vividly...the nurse, the anesthesiologist, my doc. I remember exactly what they said, how they said it, the smells, the room, the lights. It's a vivid picture. The nurse held my hand and told me that she, too, lost a baby and that she was never, ever the same (she was in her mid-50's). The anesthesiologist told me that he would see me in the delivery room next year. Everybody was amazingly kind.
There's always a silver lining to everything, I believe. Sometimes I think this loss was a sign to me to get out of my already crappy marriage. I could beat myself up about that for awhile, but I'm pretty sure I've done enough of that. After I lost this baby, I met a group of the most incredibly strong women who also had losses. These women, who are still my friends today, got me through what were some of the most emotionally difficult months of my life, second to my divorce. We have all gone on to become mothers [again] by some means or another and all of these women (Lisa, Beki, Shaney, KristAn, Tracy, Toni, Linda, Amy x2...who am I forgetting??? there's more, I know) are THE most incredible mothers to their children that I know. They are amazing people who have cried with me in my times of grief and have shared in my joy as I welcomed my Washbellies into the world. Everything happens for a reason. My loss made me stronger in many ways. It made me a better person...it made me more compassionate and sympathetic towards other women.
During my week of waiting for my D&C I did a lot of jigsaw puzzles. It was somehow therapeutic for me. I realized then that life is sort of like a puzzle and losing this baby was a piece of the puzzle of my life that I had lost. At the end of my life when my puzzle is complete, there will be one piece missing. When you find out you're pregnant you immediately start dreaming about that child and what they will become. Letting that dream die was a very painful experience.