Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Mom to Apple
Miscarried May 20th, 2009
New York

I went for a 12 week ultrasound and saw my little one.  I had been having nightmares for weeks that there would be no heartbeat during the sonogram.  I was so scared to go.  I call her Apple but I don’t know if this baby was a girl or a boy.  I just think of her as a girl, I don’t know why.  Apple was sucking her thumb and moving around.  Her heartbeat was low but not too low and the tech said it was perfectly normal.   Well she appeared fine and my boyfriend said “See you were worried and nothing is wrong”.  Since we were past the 12 week mark,  I told everyone I was pregnant.  I was so happy and relieved she was fine.  I walked around happy for the next few weeks and bought an outfit for her.

I went to a routine 15 week check-up.  I still remember telling my coworkers before I left that I thought I felt her move.  There was no way I could have, I guess I just imagined it.  I was so happy that day.  I went in to the appointment and they couldn’t find a heartbeat with the Doppler.  I wasn’t worried though until this went on for about 5 minutes and another nurse came in to try and find it.  I started feeling scared about then.  They then said they were going to do an ultrasound.  All this time later and I can still visualize what I saw on that screen.  The tech stated “I’m sorry Ellen, I can’t find a heartbeat”.  I’ll never forget how crumpled and lifeless she looked on that screen.  I started sobbing.  I don’t remember a lot after that.  I had a panic attack and left the building and started wandering around the parking lot.  I called my mother and my boyfriend.  My mother started crying.  My boyfriend came to the office some time later and he was crying too. 

They decided to do a D & C because I was 15 weeks along.  I couldn’t have it scheduled for a few days.  I don’t remember why.  It was scheduled for 2 days later.  Those next few days were awful knowing that my baby was dead but still in my belly.   I remember thinking “maybe the baby isn’t dead”, “what if they were wrong” even though I saw there was no heartbeat.  The night before the surgery I started to spot, this actually gave me comfort because I was actually having some symptoms of a miscarriage.  I felt fine the whole time until then.  No cramping, nothing.  It was easy to trick my mind until then that maybe it wasn’t true.

I didn’t want to let her go and I wanted the surgery at the same time.  I cried and cried.  I went to the hospital 2 days later for the D & C.  I remember crying the whole time.  I remember feeling hollow and empty when I went home.  I had another panic attack later that day.  I had a lot of panic attacks in the weeks after.

They did tests on the baby but they all came back normal.  My doctor said the baby appeared normal.   I never asked the sex of the baby.  I didn’t want to know at the time.  Now I find myself wondering and regret not asking.    I had my miscarriage in May and on the day of my surgery the following year I planted an apple tree in her memory.  I still feel like a part of me is missing.  She haunts my memory and I will think of her always.  I hope she is in a happy place and my grandmothers are with her and care for her. 

One of the most interesting and sad parts of having a miscarriage is how many people I have met who have had a loss too after I had mine.  It is a subject not spoken of until one meets someone with the same story.  My doctor shared her story with me the day I was in the office.  The day at the hospital a nurse shared her story with me.  About a month later I ended up in the ER for severe stomach pain.  I had given myself an ulcer.  I was bottling it all in and not speaking about it. I met another nurse who shared the story of her daughter who also had a late term miscarriage.  It was wonderful to share these stories but it was also so sad that most people keep them a secret.  I think this organization is a great idea. 


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