Well Rounded Birth Prep

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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

On seeing baby's ultrasound and uncertainty after loss

Trigger warning: This post is about coping with the emotions and issues of pregnancy following loss.

I've been getting really antsy lately to find out whether my baby is still alive. Judge me all you want, but unless you have lost a baby, you have no idea what it's like to wonder if your baby is dead or alive. I've had people judge my faith in God over this, telling me that I just need to have faith. How do they know how much faith I have or don't have? How much faith I have is irrelevant to whether my baby will make it.  I had faith in God when my Evan didn't make it. I had faith in God when my others did. I've even heard some say that by worrying about it, it's more likely to happen due to the Law of Attraction. Sorry, but I don't believe in that. Nobody deserves a miscarriage, attracts it, "asks" for it, etc.

Since my 2007 miscarriage was a "missed miscarriage," everything felt fine and normal. I had no symptoms of miscarriage (other than a dead baby). I had no cramping, no spotting or bleeding, no pain. I still had morning sickness. My uterus continued to expand and I was measuring on target because my womb was filling up with blood and amniotic fluid after my baby's death. I carried him around 6 weeks after he passed on, without having any knowledge of it until the next checkup when my midwife couldn't find the heartbeat.

For this reason, it has been no consolation to me that everything has felt fine and normal. It's not reassuring that I'm definitely showing. These "signs" didn't mean anything when Evan died.

I had my 10 week prenatal checkup this morning. I wasn't sure how long I would wait until asking to hear baby's heartbeat with the Doppler due to the small risk of possibly doing damage or causing miscarriage. I hoped to wait until I was at least in the 2nd trimester to reduce the risk since baby would be less fragile at that point, but I really wanted reassurance. I realize that listening in is only one moment in time and can say that baby is alive at that instant, but can't guarantee what will happen next week or next month. Nevertheless, I need to buy maternity clothes and I have been too scared to buy any for fear of taking the tags off then the baby might die and I would be stuck with the reminders.

The other midwife had taken the regular prenatal equipment bag on rounds today, so my midwife had the backup Doppler that only works half the time. It didn't work today. She hauled out an old monitor to try to listen in. Yes, a monitor, like a hospital monitor to listen to baby's heartbeat in labor. One monitor paddle is a Doppler, just in a different shape, but its flat shape made it impossible to angle downward into my pelvis to be able to hear baby's heartbeat. As a courtesy, my midwife offered to take a peek with her ultrasound machine. By this time, I already had my mind made up that I wanted to see/hear that baby is alive, so I accepted.

We saw ONE baby (not twins, despite how big people think I look for first trimester), right size for 10 1/2 weeks, with a heartbeat. That was reassuring, but not to the degree that I expected. I hoped to feel much better, perhaps even "back to normal." Maybe there is no such thing any more. Maybe it's just because we have no assurance of tomorrow. Knowing that my baby is "fine" today doesn't mean much since we're still in that first trimester when there's the highest risk of miscarriage.

I'm thankful for a good prenatal checkup today (all other measurements and markers were perfect as well), but I'll feel much better when I feel baby's movements. I pray that I'm blessed with a squirmy, active baby who makes his or her presence continually felt sometime in the next month or month and a half.


  1. sending love and good thoughts to you, my friend. i know this is difficult- and that is OK. i am here if you need an ear!! <3

  2. Sarah, I hope you feel your little one moving soon. James was conceived just a couple of months after my miscarriage, and I know how anxiously I awaited his movements. I remember the first time Angy picked up his heartbeat on the doppler; I cried when I heard it. There were many times during my pregnancy when I awoke in the middle of the night from a dream, and would wake him up just to feel him move and know that he was okay. I'm sorry that some people have been so insensitive. You're right, they have no way of knowing how much faith you do or don't have, and even if they did it's not really any of their business anyway, thats between you and God. Best wishes, my friend :)

  3. Lots of hugs to you. ♥♥♥

    When I got pregnant with Lily after losing Mia, we went in for the 8 week check and u/s to give an EDD. The doc (who was the same one when I lost Mia) said everything looked fine and here was the heartbeat and that most times she says, once you see the heartbeat, things are fine. And then she said, "I can't tell you that because we both know that isn't what happened last time." And she hugged me and told me to keep my chin up and that I could call her anytime.

    Lots of hugs, I will keep my chin up for you and send lots of positive thoughts for you and baby, and you can call me any time. Just like you let me call you when I lost Mia. ♥♥♥

  4. lots of prayers for you...for peace.

  5. Thanks for the love and support, ladies. It won't be long until I feel the quickening and I know I'll get some of my sanity back after that. I pray that this little one is super active and kicks the daylights out of me ASAP all the way until healthy delivery.


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