Tag Archives: Trimester

Waiting On A Miscarriage

The faint sound of sleigh bells and Andy Williams’ voice crooning, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” filled the small room. I lay on my back and stared up at the speckled ceiling tiles, my heart fighting off the crumbly ache that comes with bad news. I wished that they’d just turn the music off.

It felt far from the most wonderful time. In fact, it was quickly chalking up to be one of my least favourite days of this year.

The ultrasound technician had called me into the room a few minutes earlier. Shivering, I wrapped the blue cotton gown tight against my waist; my everyday clothes lay heaped in the changing room. I was here for a nine week ultrasound and the chance to finally see the newest babe growing inside of me.

“Is this your first pregnancy?” The technician asked as she directed me to lie down.

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Comparing Miscarriage and Stillbirth

I was seven months pregnant when I lost my first child. The doctors hurriedly pulled him from my stomach but they found no heartbeat, no breath. He was declared stillborn.

My second pregnancy ended quickly. I barely made it to the eight week mark when the doctors confirmed what my body had already told me – it was over. They told me I had “experienced a miscarriage.”

When you look at their definitions on paper, a miscarriage and a stillbirth are essentially the same thing. Both involve the loss of a beautiful baby in utero. A miscarriage occurs before 20 weeks of pregnancy, a stillbirth occurs after 20 weeks.* Both types of loss involve the pain of losing a child; and both leave a mother with empty arms and crushed dreams.

And yet, there’s no denying that these are two very different experiences.

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An Empty Sonogram, Another Loss

Two years ago I sat on a hospital bed and learned about the excruciating heartbreak that can accompany motherhood. I said good-bye to a baby that I had carried for 31 weeks; a precious little one that I had never officially met and yet had whispered to and loved on for seven months.

Almost exactly two years later, I’m here again. I sit in a blue hospital gown, my arm still bruised from where they’ve drawn blood, and watch as the ultrasound technician carefully maneuvers her wand over my belly.

I booked this appointment weeks ago. I should be sitting in this room with my husband, watching a tiny heartbeat pulse on the screen. I should leave this appointment with a confirmed due date and a printout of my baby’s first ultrasound photos. Instead, I arrive at the clinic knowing that this appointment will be different; I arrive knowing that the sonogram will be empty.

We’ve miscarried.

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