Last week we made our first trip to visit my family in New Jersey since September 2011. As the plane began to descend and I looked down at the city lights, I realized it would be our first time back to the place where Benjamin’s life began and ended. It’s an odd feeling of nostalgia–one that I wasn’t really expecting. I knew from the moment we found out he wasn’t going to make it that it would be hard to drive across the Benjamin Franklin Bridge that separates Philadelphia from South Jersey whenever we’d come back to visit, because between the time we decided to have him at CHOP and the moment we knew he wouldn’t live, we’d gotten used to the idea of driving across that bridge every single day for a few months to visit him in the NICU. We thought it was so cute and fitting that the man after whom the bridge was named shared a name with our Benjamin. So many things changed the night the amniocentesis results came in, and what that bridge stood for was one of them. A small thing to change, but a sad change nonetheless. It eventually became the bridge we traveled across with broken hearts and swollen eyes the morning after his birth and death. It was harder than I expected to drive across that bridge again for the first time since.
I was waiting to announce our pregnancy on the blog until the CVS procedure was completed and the results were on their way. We woke up this morning prepared to go in for our 10 week ultrasound and, if everything was moving along, make the appointment for the CVS in two weeks. Since we found out we were pregnant six weeks ago, I have been trying to put some distance between myself and the pregnancy, but I was unsuccessful. We were pretty excited and encouraged by the fact that I’d made it to 10 weeks without losing the pregnancy. Unfortunately, the ultrasound we had today showed that the baby stopped growing three weeks ago and his or her heart was no longer beating.
Leading up to today, I’d repeatedly told myself that if I were to miscarry, it meant something was wrong, and nature spared us greater heartache later on down the road. But the sentiment is less comforting when the miscarriage is a reality. We are very disappointed and wish today had gone differently.
Since it’s been three weeks and my body hasn’t naturally processed the miscarriage, I’m heading in for a D&C tomorrow. They will send in what the perinatalogist called the “products of conception” (which seems like such a cold definition to me, but I suppose it’s meant to be) for testing, and we’ll find out if the balanced translocation had a role in the loss.
International Bereaved Mothers’ Day
It’s this Sunday. Please take a moment to reach out to the mothers you know who have experienced miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal loss, or child loss. The following Sunday–Mothers’ Day–is a hard day for all of us regardless of our situation with prior or subsequent children.
Image from Project Heal