"I can see the baby, but I don't see the heartbeat." These are the words that echo in my head while I'm trying to sleep. The words I say to myself as I packed away Tyson's "Big Brother" shirt. The words that haunt me as I'm trying not to cry in the shower-again. These are the words that changed my life.
We brought Tyson with to our scheduled 12 week NT scan. We had already taught him where the baby was. Ask him and he'd happy lift up Mommy's shirt to show you her ever growing belly. We thought showing him the moving baby at the ultrasound would be a neat way of helping him understand what being a big brother meant.
Daddy was showing Tyson the baby's hands when it dawned on me. The baby wasn't moving his hands. She was perfectly still. Too still. Inside I was giving myself a pep talk. Switching back and forth between, "Just ask the tech to tell you the heart rate. Everything is fine." to "You've gotta stop pointing out his hands-can't you tell he's not moving." I held my breath.
The tech said she wanted to do a color scan to detect movement. I started shaking uncontrollably.
And then, "I can see the baby, but I don't see the heartbeat." Even though I knew it was coming, I couldn't fully grasp it.
We had heard the heartbeat just one week ago. Just one week ago, I had been looking at baby bedding and cleaning out the office to make room for a nursery. We had picked out a boy name and a girl name. Just one week ago, I had happily put on Tyson's "Big Brother" shirt to tell his daycare provider. I had told my work. I had pictured our first Christmas together. I had imagined a family of four.
Just one week ago.
The rest of the experience has been a blur. A devastating and emotional blur. But, I know this. I know we survived. I know we realize how important our family of three is. I know that I love my husband more than ever before. I know that I hug Tyson tighter every night. I know that we have amazing friends, co-workers, neighbors, doctors, and family. I know why it's called the "miracle of life." I know that my baby is in heaven. And, I know, that someday, I will have my family of four.
Until then, I am blessed to have carried our baby for 3 months and know that I will hold him or her again someday in heaven.