I hope you can figure out what happened based on the title. No? Ok, I’ll spell it out: we lost the babies. I’ve been saying that all day – “lost them.” Like I can’t find them. Like they’re not currently adorable and shrimp-looking in my uterus, just in there with no heartbeats. No heartbeats.
Today was a regular ultrasound at New Hope. I woke up annoyed that I had to go to the city at all. Pissed that I had to keep monitoring this perfect pregnancy so far away when clearly I should be switched to a regular OB/GYN.
On the way in I was irritated. The bus got stuck in tunnel traffic for 40 minutes, my laptop died, and the wannabe rapper behind me had his headphones turned up so loud I could hear every bit of his Eminem lyrics even when he wasn’t singing along out loud (which he was, every few lines or so). The air conditioning was pumping and I was freezing cold. Claustrophobic. All I wanted to do was get off the bus, get to my U/S, and get the hell back home. Now I would give anything to go back to that moment. I was so blissfully unaware. I was so damn cocky that my day would go just as I planned it.
The ultrasound started out so well. I believe I giggled at the sight of two very apparent babies in the sacs, something I had not seen before today. No longer was it just two black dots on the screen; it was black dots with gray outlines inside of them. The tech kept scanning and scanning, apologizing for the discomfort. Just as she had done last time. But then she said she had to go get the doctor. I think I said, “Wait – you need to tell me something before you leave the room. I need you to reassure me.” She stopped, paused, looked down at the floor and said, “There are no fetal heartbeats. I’m not detecting any heartbeats. I checked several times.”
She left. I laid there and did not cry. I just kept saying “Please God don’t let this happen” over and over again, even though it had already happened. You know when people say things feel surreal? It was beyond surreal. It felt like I floated up out of my body and I was watching it happen to someone else. And yeah… I felt so bad for that person I was watching. What a shitty thing to happen.
The doctor finally came in and repeated the ultrasound. Even though there was the tiniest glimmer of hope that she would miraculously find a heartbeat, I covered my eyes. I couldn’t handle seeing them on the screen again. And no, she did not find one heartbeat. Not even one.
She started talking through next steps, meaning whether I would miscarry naturally, have some medicated help, or do a D&C (which she recommended). She said since it’s twins it would be a lot of bleeding if I chose natural. I don’t know. I know that I don’t think I can emotionally handle a D&C, even if I would be asleep for it. Since this doctor is in NYC and I am not, she said I could go through my regular OB/GYN for follow-up and ask them what they recommend, plus go there for monitoring until I get my beta back down to zero. Back down to nothing. Right back to where the hell I started.
Why did this happen? Why? I can tell you the doctor was stumped. She basically called me a medical freaking marvel. The screening tests were all good, transfer went perfectly, babies were growing right on schedule. The only thing she could come up with is something we missed in screening, so now I have to go for more testing. Thyroid. Underlying blood disorders. Something. There has to be some reason that healthy eggs and healthy embryos and healthy 28-year-old uterus just failed. And really, doubly failed. Two miscarriages at once. Both of them.
While the clinic made copies of all my records for me to give to my home OB, I was led to a conference room to wait (because yes, hanging out in a room with an ultrasound machine after hearing news like that is no picnic). There was a giant cockroach on the ceiling that I couldn’t stop staring at. I called my mom first. I finally cried. I absolutely dreaded calling my husband. Dreaded it more than words can say. I can’t help but feel like I failed him. I know I didn’t – I know. But if you think about it, I did. He gave me these beautiful babies and I did not allow them to grow. Something inside me inexplicably and catastrophically failed.
I did call him, though. He handled it well. The first thing he said to me was, “Ok, then we’ll try again.” Honestly… there’s nothing I wanted to hear more than that. Because as much as I was grieving these babies, my mind was already skipping ahead to doing another transfer. We have six more frozen. Obviously we need to do the testing and find out what went wrong so we can hopefully prevent it from happening again, but there’s hope. I was a teensy bit afraid that Eric would say, screw this, we’re done with this. But he didn’t. We’re going to try again.
So right now I’m typing as I ride the bus back to Pennsylvania, intermittently crying (trying to be quiet, it’s a bus full of people) and fielding text messages from concerned friends and family. I’m pissed at myself for telling so many people. That was a cocky, stupid thing to do. Now I have that many people to tell this bad news to and I just keep apologizing. I’m sorry…I’m so sorry to tell you. Sorry to give you this devastating news.
Eric left work early and is coming home to be there when I get there. Everyone has offered me kind words and whatever I need. What do I need? I need those heartbeats back. I need this nightmare to be over.
I’m so sorry to tell you. We lost the babies. We know where they are, but we lost them just the same.