Listening to My Instincts

There are times when every instinct in your body tells you something is wrong, but you ignore it. You rationalize the situation. You tell yourself that you are being paranoid. Underneath it all you doubt your rationalizations, but hope your instincts are wrong.

Listening to My InstinctsThis morning, my family and I ventured to my OB’s office for a sonogram and appointment with my doctor, Dr. Quinn. I am 12 weeks 1 day; almost out of the first trimester. Everything should be fine. After all, at the 8 week visit, we saw the heartbeat. Once there is a heartbeat, the odds of a loss drop dramatically. 

The moment the sonographer called my name, every nerve in my body screamed, “NO! Not her!” She was the tech who performed my ultrasound for pregnancy #3. She was the tech who discovered my baby, who was supposed to be 8 1/2 weeks, had stopped developing at 6 weeks. She was the one who let me know I lost my baby. When I saw her this morning, I had a bad omen. I told myself I was being ridiculous. She didn’t cause me to lose my baby. The baby was lost before that appointment, but my instincts told me the appointment wouldn’t go well.

I wish my instincts had been wrong. 

She started the ultrasound but wasn’t getting a good picture so we needed to do a transvaginal (this doesn’t surprise me because I have a tilted uterus and my bladder wasn’t full). She found the baby quickly, but it didn’t look as I expected at 12 weeks. As she started to measure, I saw the numbers. I knew, in that moment, something was wrong. Her measurements were showing the baby was only 10 weeks old. I asked, “Does she have a heartbeat?” 

I knew the answer. I wish I was wrong, but I wasn’t as she answered, “No. There is no heartbeat. Let me check again.” 

She didn’t need to check. I knew. My heart broke. God had called my baby to be with Him. He now has 4 of my babies in heaven. It doesn’t seem fair somehow. 

I saw my doctor afterward, and she was amazing. We scheduled a D&C for next week. She is going out-of-town tomorrow and couldn’t do it until then. She offered to have another doctor perform the procedure, but I want her. I know I may miscarry naturally before then, but if I don’t, I want her. She has been with me through every loss and every birth. 

Some have asked if we knew something was wrong ahead of time. I can’t say I did, but my instincts told me something was off. In the last couple of weeks, my morning sickness has eased. I tried to convince myself that all pregnancies are different and that might be the case in this instance. (My morning sickness this time around has been mild in comparison to my pregnancies for Ginny and Grace, which I always found a bit concerning.) My spice intolerance had eased up a bit. I could tolerate spicy foods better again.

But the biggest thing is that I had worried that something was wrong with my baby for a few weeks. Nothing happened to bring up that concern, but it was there nonetheless. I figured I was being paranoid. After all, I had 2 successful pregnancies after 3 losses. I knew things could go wrong, and am always unreasonably worried when pregnant. 

Now, as I try to explain to my oldest that a baby is no longer in my belly, I try to deal with the heart ache the best I can. It will hurt for a while. I’ll never forget this baby as I have never forgotten my first three (due March 31, 2010, July 27, 2010, and September 17, 2010). I will keep this baby in my heart and slowly go about my day with hope that we will have a third child someday. In the meantime, my little girls will continue to frustrate me, make me laugh, and love me. I will surround myself with their love and the love of my husband. I’m sure that will help me heal.

This post originally appeared on Adventures of a Jayhawk Mommy

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