All I am is unpregnant and still a little broken

I should be calling my baby by his or her name, and mentally counting down the moments until I hold them in my arms. I should be lots of things.

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October 2016

Kendra Bernard

May 24, 2016. I'll never be able to pinpoint what exactly made me pick up the phone and make an appointment for an ultrasound for that afternoon. Maybe it was because I suddenly realized that I no longer "felt pregnant".

It hit me all at once that I hadn't felt sick in days, & that dragged down tiredness that I'd felt for weeks was also gone. Or maybe it was a gut feeling that what I had felt from the beginning was going to happen, finally had.

Walking into the ultra sound room, I waved at my friend, who is my ob's nurse, (and the one I called to schedule my appointment) and apologized for being paranoid.

Although my body was telling me one thing, my mind was telling me it was fine...everything would be fine.

Laying there on the table, I waited on the sono tech to tell me everything looked perfect, and that my baby was right on track. Instead, the only words I heard were "I'm sorry. There's no heartbeat".

I'm positive that the sound that came from me was not a sound meant to be heard in a OB office. How could this be possible when, a little over 2 weeks ago, I had seen my tiny baby moving around and heard it's heart beat.

We found out my due date was on Christmas Eve, and discussed doing my repeat section on my husbands birthday, the 20th.

I somehow managed to ask how long it had been, even though I don't think I truly wanted to know. "The baby is only measuring about 8 weeks. Ill give you some time." 8 weeks. I should have been 9 weeks 6 days. Which means for nearly two weeks, my baby was dead inside of me.

While I was mentally planning the perfect Facebook announcement & tentatively deciding on names, my baby was already gone.

The next day or so after, I was too "okay". I barely cried, or really felt anything at all. I thought this meant I was going to be fine, that I was going to beat the grief.

Looking back, I think I was just in too much pain to cry. You know how when you stub your toe, sometimes it hurts so bad that you can't scream? Like that.

I'm thankful for that false sense of security, though. It's what allowed me to navigate through scheduling my D&C, what helped me not smash my bathroom to pieces when I was taking my pre op shower, and what kept me from totally losing control while walking into the hospital to have surgery to remove my baby, not even 48 hours later.

The surgery itself apparently only took about 15 minutes. Luckily, I was out for the whole thing. One thing I remember, something I haven't told many people, is coming to and asking the nurse if my baby was a boy or a girl, and if I was going to be able to take it home with me.

I don't really remember her reaction, but I cringe every time I think about it.

The days & weeks following were a blur of tears and misery. The thought that I was going to be fine felt like a very distant memory, or like something I'd imagined.

The overwhelming grief I felt was something life had not prepared me for. I wanted to lay in bed and let it consume me.

For a long time I truly felt like I was going to die. I was angry, very angry. I never knew I could be so angry at no one. I cried a lot. I cried quietly to myself, cried to my husband, friends, coworkers, family. Sometimes, when I was alone, I would just scream.

One thing I learned is that no one really wants to talk about something they've convinced themselves can never happen to them. I felt alone and isolated.

I felt guilty that there were so many women who had it worse than me. Women who lost 2nd trimester babies, and women who went all the way up to their due date without a single issue, only to have their baby die right before it was born.

I willingly admit that I am fortunate to have not lost my baby that way. But the infinite amount of scenarios that are worse than mine don't somehow invalidate my grief. Some people tend to think it does, as I've been made very aware of, and I want to punch those people in the face.

Today I should be getting into my 30th week of pregnancy. I should be huge and miserable, and making everyone around me miserable with my incessant whining. I should be calling my baby by his or her name, and mentally counting down the moments until I hold them in my arms.

I should be lots of things, but all I am is unpregnant and still a little broken.

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Disclaimer

Please note that the opinions expressed by users in Tommy’s Book of #misCOURAGE are solely those of the user, who is unlikely to have had medical training. These opinions do not represent the opinions of Tommy’s and are not advice from Tommy's. Reading individual, real-life experiences can be a helpful resource, but it is never a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment from a qualified health care provider. We strongly advise readers not to take drugs that are not prescribed by your qualified healthcare provider. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor, midwife or hospital immediately. Read full disclaimer

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