Esther’s Story Part 2 – Unthinkable Tragedy

February 12 at 4:10pm was our 16 week 2 day check up. I had arranged a sitter for Kyla so that Adam and I could go together as usual. I remember feeling a little nervous in the morning. I told myself not to worry, everything was fine. I had felt a little uneasy about this pregnancy from the start, and had just finally started to relax. I just wanted to get through the appointment, showing myself once again there was nothing to worry about.

We walked in right on time and waited in the lobby. Finally we were called back for the normal nurse routine of urine, weight, and blood pressure check.  Then more waiting in the examining room. We flipped casually through magazines, laughing and chatting playfully. There was a knock on the door and our doctor walked in with his usual chipper demeanor. He asked about my symptoms, gave us our slip for the 20 week ultrasound next appointment, and talked with Adam about his FMLA paperwork. Then he said for me to hop up on the table to listen to the baby’s heartbeat.

That is when everything changed.

The cold gel and doppler wand touched down on my stomach. Adam jumped up to my side to record the little heartbeat once again. As the wand moved across my belly, I waited for the wonderful sound. After a minute or two, the doctor began to get a look of concentration on his face. He hadn’t found it yet. Sounds, yes. My heartbeat, yes. But the sound of a racing tiny heart, no. My heart began to pound so hard I literally thought I could hear it. I tried to comfort myself as he kept searching, pressing with the wand on different areas. But I knew better. Our expert doctor could usually set the wand on my stomach exactly where he knew the heartbeat would be heard that day.  He tried to say maybe the baby was in this or that position, or that I carry very low. But each time his voice trailed off. He was deeply concerned. I felt the strength leave my body as he finally gave me a hand to sit up and we all headed to the ultrasound room to “see what was going on.”

The walk down the hall was only a few yards, but felt like a mile. I reasoned with myself and tried to hold onto hope, but I knew something serious was wrong. I was 16 weeks. There was no reason why we should not be able to hear a beating heart on a doppler.

As we entered the room and I climbed onto the chair, my body felt like a ton of bricks. I couldn’t believe we were sitting here. It was the most horrible nightmare I had ever imagined. I kept waiting for someone to wake me up.

Our Christian doctor came in a few minutes after us and said that he had gone to pray before coming in the room.  Within seconds, our worst fears were confirmed: there was no heartbeat. Our precious baby had died.

Words cannot express the anguish that overtook Adam and I in that moment. In just one second, our whole world had changed. Our dreams and hopes for this baby were lost. The future we had envisioned with this new life…gone.

The grief and pain were simply overwhelming. Shock. Horror. Outrage. Unbelief. The questions overtook us and lingered largely unanswered in the room.

Are you sure? What happened? Why us? What did we do wrong? Where is our God? What do we do now? How will we walk through this?

No more maternity clothes. No more kicks and squirms  inside my belly. No more rearranging the furniture. No more shopping for baby things. No more preparing Kyla to be a big sister. No more planning, protecting this new life, and waiting for their arrival.

How could this be true? It was more than I could bear.

That evening Adam and I were thrown headlong onto a road we knew little about and had never imagined for ourselves. One filled with uncertainties, brokenness, unanswered questions, and raw human pain.

PART 3 – “Meeting Esther” coming soon…

 

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