Day 12

Today was my first weekly appointment to check the baby’s heartbeat. Although the baby was very active around 5am, I lived most of my day in fear that there’d be no heartbeat by the afternoon. I was surprised that the nurse brought us into an exam room that had an ultrasound machine instead of just the small Doppler to listen for the heartbeat. And, I’ll be honest, I wondered how much I was going to end up paying for all these ultrasounds.

The practice I go to has 3 OBs, all of whom I’d met when I was pregnant with Evan and June. This was my first visit with Dr. L for this pregnancy, so he wanted to take a look at some of the things mentioned in the reports by the sonographers. Apparently they’ve been concerned about the possibility of me having placenta previa – a fact I’m sure I’ve been told, and I filed away under “Less of a big deal than losing my baby.” Dr. L showed me that it looks close, but shouldn’t be a problem. And then we got to see the baby’s beautifully beating heart. It was a huge relief and definitely worth whatever the ultrasound costs.

I guess the OB wanted to make sure we fully understood the diagnosis we’d been given, so we got to hear for third time that the baby has no chance of survival. But he also explained that the baby will, more likely than not, be born alive, and despite being unable to breathe will continue to live for about an hour.

Nothing has been on my mind so much as whether or not the baby would live for at least a few minutes. I have almost no control over this whole experience, and it’s become important to me that I get to hold the baby before he or she dies. I want it desperately. Dr. L’s comments have given me hope that I will cling to as tightly as I can.