Sympathy

I’ve actually never had a miscarriage. But I can imagine. Two out of three of my beautiful children had moments along the way where I really didn’t think I’d get to see them take their first breath. And it was scary. Really scary.

My first pregnancy my husband accompanied me to EVERY appointment, every blood draw, and every ultrasound. We were so excited. At about 6 months we went in for the routine check-up. We’d heard the heartbeat so many times before that I wasn’t even really paying attention when the doctor suddenly said “There’s no heartbeat, you just won yourself an ultrasound.” Then she walked out.

We were stunned. Out of nowhere I was pretty sure I heard that my baby was dead. I’m not sure if this is true, but I seem to remember that not a single person talked for the next hour. Not the nurse, not the doctor, not the ultra sound tech, not the people in the waiting room… no one. I had been having problems gaining weight during the whole pregnancy and I was convinced this was my fault. Finally we saw our perfectly healthy baby boy on the screen and everyone started talking again! I would like to say I’ve never been so relieved in my life, but that’s not true.

Four years later I was pregnant with my third child and while it was completely unplanned and unexpected, we were happy. At 13 weeks I experienced some major bleeding and was on bed rest for about a week. Things cleared up and it seemed like everything was fine. Baby came two weeks early and boy was it exciting! We had chosen to not find out the gender of this child so I was pumped to find out.

None of my children were born screaming so I wasn’t overly concerned when there wasn’t any noise. But then I saw him. Blue. Completely blue. Not just fingers and toes, but whole body blue. Once again, no one talked for 10 minutes while they tried to get him to breathe. I thought I was going to have a nervous breakdown.
Finally someone said “he’s breathing” And everyone started talking again! “Do you have any names?” “What will his brother’s think?” I think only my husband recognized that I was deeply traumatized by seeing our child essentially dead. Yes, in the end the result was a perfectly healthy little boy. No, I have not had a miscarriage. But I can imagine and I ache for every mother who has had to go through one.

My heart is with you.

–JK

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