The Child That Did Exist
I entered my second pregnancy with my usual positive (and yes naive attitude). Miscarriage won’t happen to me. I live life that I am not exceptional. Indeed, I am the rule not the exception. Except this time I was. I lost my baby at 9 weeks. Despite seeing a heartbeat at roughly 5 weeks, a few days following my baby stopped growing, soon to be the baby that never was.
The sonogram tech said the words no mother wants to hear. There is no heartbeat. The words echoed in my mind, as if to inflict a deep wound with a poison dagger to my heart and permeating my soul. There is no heartbeat.
Such certainty in that phrase that leaves no room for interpretation. There is no heartbeat. It was one of those life events that change your life, and you know that as it happens, that the world as you saw it has changed, forever to be viewed through a new lens.
What followed was confusion. The doctor, compassionate and tender in his words, explained that it was not my fault. This is not a rare event. 1 in 3 pregnancies end in miscarriage. So yes, the numbers that usually are on my side, this time, were not. Tragic but not uncommon.
My options were explained, there were three paths to choose: a procedure know as D&C, a pill to move the “missed abortion” along, or do nothing and let the body take its natural course.
Why had I never heard of any of these options? Somewhat blind to the options as I knew nearly nothing about the missed abortion process, I knew the emotional pain was sure to be exponentially worse than the physical. I was grateful for some control in my baby’s inevitable destiny. Essentially my first and last act for my baby that never was to choose how he or she would leave this world. I chose option 2.
Alas my body had other plans. Before I took any steps, my body expelled my baby. The date it chose? The fifth anniversary of my sister’s death. Life can be cruel, no explanations and no apologies given. It will kick you down when you are on your knees, just to see if you will arise again.
I awoke the next morning not pregnant. Whatever physical pain I experienced was nothing compared to this. Gone were any signs of pregnancy I enjoyed for 9 weeks. My tiny baby bump was replaced by a flattened tummy. Along with it were any dreams of a sweet family of four.
If only the physical pain could have lingered a little longer. Somehow it feels unfair and treacherous that my little one’s future has been extinguished so easily, without a trace. My body so well intact so quickly doesn’t match the mental anguish. To recover so quickly physically diminishes my little baby’s memory, as if my little one didn’t exist.
How do you mourn a baby that never was. Never to be held or kissed. No memories made. Not even a name or even a guess as to whether my baby was a little boy or girl. But yet that tiny baby did exist, we saw your heartbeat, your tiny life had a bright future ahead, if only in your mother’s mind.
I am so sorry to have lost you, sweet child of mine. I mourn all that you can never be. I will never forget my hopes and dreams for you. May you rest in eternal peace knowing that you were loved.
A version of this appeared on Daytona Beach Mom.