It's never good when you go for your ultrasound and the sonographer's face suddenly morphs into uncertainty. I lay there, feeling anxious myself, and yet still hanging on to every thread of hope. She said she's having a hard time seeing the baby's heartbeat. She said she needs an extra pair of eyes. At that point, I knew. I was actually dreading today's appointment and just had a strange premonition that there was something wrong. There has been nothing physically abnormal with this pregnancy that would have given me any warning but it was an inexplicable feeling these past days. Something just did not feel right and though the baby is barely an inch long and therefore movements can't really be felt yet, I just 'felt' as if he/she was not there anymore...like there was nothing 'alive' in my womb. That's the closest I can get to describe how I've felt in the past days, which is why I was actually dreading today's ultrasound appointment. Suffice it to say that I was exceptionally nervous today. And now I know why.
After a minute or two, the nurse/midwife came in and I watched their faces as they looked at the screen. I was screaming inside, 'Tell me!!!' but could not seem to find the strength. After a few more minutes, the nurse finally confirmed it, while touching my knee gently. God knows what exactly they said. I'm sure they said 'Sorry Joy' or something to that effect. All I remember is that I broke down. I was not hysterical but I felt my insides break into pieces, my chest ready to explode. Both of the women hugged me and consoled me, after explaining that my baby seemed to have stopped growing at 7weeks. They also did not detect any heartbeat and showed me the screen to point out that nothing was moving / beating.
I thought I was prepared for the worst but no one ever is. I thought it would not hurt as much since I already have one child, but when a dream dies, you die. Emily or David is no more. This is it. Noah will probably not have a sibling anymore. You can tell me to hope and not give up, but logically speaking, we all know my chances are pretty bleak. I don't even want to have false hopes anymore. Let's just be realistic. And besides, I can't even begin to imagine the possibility of trying to conceive again and face the possibility of another heartbreak.
As with any heartbreak, healing will come. I am certain of it. I just don't know when. And as with any failure, we ought to ask ourselves what we take from the experience in order to move on. So I'm asking...
Do I call life a treacherous bastard, or a mysterious gift never meant to be fully understood but only accepted, embraced?
Do I give up on hope and deem it useless as it does nothing but pull the rug out from under me, or is hope the ultimate teacher of humility, making me realize that we are all free to experience it while knowing there are no guarantees?
Is it just about my unbearable loss and sense of grief, or also the wonderful presence of a loving husband and son urging me to walk on and rekindle my sense of joy?
Do I accept defeat in this test of faith, or is proof of the Divine's compassionate hands in the countless messages of concern I have received from family and friends all over the world, enveloping me in a cocoon of silent, yet assuring love?
The pain is still too fresh and though I know which way to go, I also have to be kind to myself and give ample time for the mind, heart and spirit to all connect. I am fully aware I have no monopoly of this pain, especially this specific kind of pain, and that I am in the company of countless brave women who have treaded this path before me. Really all I ask for are prayers, time and your patience. Allow me to vent should anger arise and the pain becomes too unbearable to contain. Allow me silence and solitude as well, for this is my spirit's way of replenishing its strength. Most of all, please allow me whatever transformation this experience will bring (or may have already brought on). I lost my child, my flesh, blood, hope and love. Change is inevitable.