If you want to catch up, read Part I and Part II.
We left off where I had left my doctor's office to go to an imaging place to check on the "viability" of my pregnancy. My doctor was unable to find a heart beat on her Ultrasound equipment. I heard the nurse make a call to the imaging place before I left and use the words "viability determination." Sting.
I drove myself over in a complete panic. It felt surreal. I walked into the imaging place (in the Four Seasons Hotel no less), and checked in. They asked me to fill out routine paperwork and have a seat. (UM HI I THINK I JUST LOST MY CHILD THAT I'VE BEEN GROWING AND LOVING FOR THE PAST THREE MONTH'S AND YOU WANT ME TO FILL OUT PAPERWORK?!) I remember one of the questions was "Reason for visit?" What would one put there?? Possible dead baby?!?
They called me in quickly, and got me on the table. At all of the Ultrasound's I've ever had, the screen is facing you so you can ooo and aaaaa over your growing baby. In the waiting room I told myself that I would know for sure once I saw my baby on the screen because it wouldn't be moving, or there would be no flicker. But this time the screen was facing away from me. This was not a fun ultrasound appointment. I couldn't even see what the tech was looking at and I so desperately wanted to see my child again.
She worked silently taking images and clicking on the keyboard making notes and measurements. She tried to remain expressionless as I think she knew I was staring at her for any hint of emotion that my baby was still alive. Finally I looked away. I started to silently cry and because I was laying down, tears streamed down each side of my face on to the paper mat below me, I tried not to make a sound so she could concentrate. Thoughts raced through my mind. Was this really happening? My heart ached. I wasn't allowed to ask questions. I couldn't even ask her if my baby was ok.
After 5-10 minutes of this, she asked me if my doctor gave me instructions on what to do after. I told her no. Here I am, all alone, mascara soaked tears staining my face and all I want to know is if my child was ok. I could tell she felt really, really sorry for me.
She called my doctor, right in front of me which I thought was odd. Wasn't she going to ask me to leave the room first? I heard her ask the doctor if she should send me back, and then she said the words I'll never forget that made my heart sink, "Yes, fetal demise, measuring 13 weeks, 5 days." And I lost it - sobs came out harder and harder. I couldn't hold it together anymore. Does she not realize I know what demise means? I felt a lump deep in my throat. At 13 weeks, 5 days, that would have been just three short days ago. I quickly think back to three days ago. It was Andy's Birthday, we went to dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. Did I lose my baby while eating dinner at the Cheesecake Factory? What did I eat? What did I do? I remember having a sharp pain in my abdomen while driving there that caused me to wince - was that the moment my baby died? Did I feel my baby die?
Again I drove myself back to my doctor's office all alone even after my mom insisted I stay put and she would come to me. I thought about running my car off the road. I wanted to hurt as much as I did on the inside on the outside. But then I thought about my sweet innocent baby boy waiting for me.
I walked inside my doctor's office and waited in the waiting room with other lovely pregnant women all happy and glowing. Pure torture. I know it must be very hard for women who so desperately want to be pregnant to see pregnant women, but it's something else to be around them knowing that they have growing live babies inside of them, and yours is dead. I waited for 15 minutes in that chair surrounded by pregnant women and I wanted to throw-up. What if one asked me when I was due? What would I say?
Fourteen weeks is a long time to grow a baby. Plans have been made, names have been talked about, everyone has been told. Did we tell everyone too soon? No, at 14 weeks you are past the normal 12 week mark that people usually wait for. Only a few short weeks later and this would have been considered a still-birth. A still birth! But I wasn't quite there so it's considered a miscarriage, or missed miscarriage because you don't bleed or have any symptoms. Actually hospitals and doctors still refer to this as a "missed abortion." Did you know this? I had no idea. A missed ABORTION. Imagine checking into a hospital and watching them write down "missed abortion" on your chart, referring to your condition. Umm, can you all stop calling this a damn abortion please? I wanted this child more than anything! I already loved it with my every being and would have given anything for this child to still be with me. Another sting.
My doctor gave me the number to an abortion clinic in downtown L.A. and told me that because of how far along I was she wasn't comfortable performing a D&C on me. Ok, it's time for a new doctor. Or I could have the option of letting my body miscarry on it's own. It could take weeks and or month's and it may not happen on it's own. How could I go about my usual life with a dead baby inside of me? I know that sounds harsh and awful, but honestly this is what was going through my head. And because of how far along I was, I could be at home, and give birth to my baby in my toliet while going through the most excrutaiting pain ever. And it would feel just like real labor at how far along I was. Um, yay! No thanks. Oh, and the last thing she told me was not to feel bad because the baby was still really small. That makes me feel a lot better. My baby was still SMALL, only the size of a lemon according to my due date / fruit calendars. It was as though I shouldn't feel bad because my baby was not quite the size of a real baby yet. Oooh, ok, I feel much better now. Thanks.
Read Part IV here.