December 7, 2005

Three

On Tuesday, October 25, 2005, at around 11:30pm, my wife woke me up and showed me a pregnancy test. I wasn't all that surprised by this pregnancy test, that was being held in front of me. I was expecting her to take one sooner or later. I was a little surprised that she was showing it to me in the middle of the night, but only a little... I have known my wife long enough to not be too surprised about pregnancy tests in the middle of the night.

I also need to mention that we weren't too surprised about the results. This is something that the both of us were hoping for. As soon as she showed me those two little blue bars on the test, I was immediately convinced that we were going to have another baby, and that I was now going to be the father of three children... great (I thought) now it is time to go back to sleep.

Five pregnancy tests later my wife was convinced.

Because of some symptoms that my wife was having, we decided to see the doctor a little earlier than originally planned. Everything seemed fine, and when we went back for the ultrasound, we were able to see the baby, and when I saw that little heart beat, I was unashamedly giddy. I love being a daddy!

As the days progressed into weeks, we began to tell a few people about it. Especially because after that first appointment and seeing the little flutter of that heart, the doctor told us that the chance of miscarriage was only about a 1% chance. We were so happy about about this new life. In the words of my wife, "...there is no dream that you will attach yourself quicker to than the dream of a child". You see, you begin thinking of names, wondering whether it will be a boy or girl, pulling out the baby clothes, etc.

But then things started going bad. My wife always suffers from morning sickness in her pregnancies, but this morning sickness was abnormally bad. My poor wife was sick 24 hours a day, but there is always a light at the end of any tunnel. We knew that once the baby reached a certain age, the hormones would let up and all would be well.

We went in for our second appointment last Wednesday. Everything was going as well as could be expected. We had the camera with us in the waiting room, we were talking about names, we had our blank tape to record this ultrasound: it was like being first-time parents all over again. We went back to the ultrasound room and as they got ready, I anxiously awaited the sight of my child.

When the ultrasound screen fired up, it was my wife who first noticed that there was no heartbeat.

I could see the baby's little body, but that little flutter of the heart was absent. When the nurse left the room to get the doctor, we both knew what it meant. You can tack whatever term you want onto this, but we lost a child.

The baby had stopped developing a few weeks earlier, but my wife's body (so much like my wife) would not let go. She doesn't give up easily, so it was no surprise to me that the placenta was still pumping the hormones and trying to nurture this baby.

But it was time to let go, and that is what had to be done.


There have been many times in my life that I have heard about this or that couple losing a child this way, and I don't think that I have ever put much thought towards it before. But now, having gone through it, I understand the grief they were experiencing.

As I write this post, I realize that it so inadequately expresses exactly what I have felt this last week. I don't care what anyone says, there was a life, and it was our child. My baby has died before I ever had a chance to see it or hold it. Before I could smell its little feet and kiss its forehead. We have wept and mourned this last week, and even though we are moving on now, that baby will never be forgotten.

Even though it will never come to me, one day I will go to where he (or she) is.

When all is said and done, I am still the father of three.