House on Fire

I remember when I was a very little girl, our house caught on fire.
I’ll never forget the look on my father’s face as he gathered me up
In his arms and raced through the burning building out to the pavement.
I stood there shivering in my pajamas and watched the whole world go up in flames.
And when it was all over I said to myself,
“Is that all there is to a fire?”
-Peggy Lee, from the song ‘Is That All There Is?’

I was so prepared for the appointment.  12 weeks.  If a heartbeat was not found, I could probably still have a D&C.  First trimester loss.  Would I even cry?  Or is it so expected at this point?

Theo has a school program tonight and I wanted things to be as normal as possible for him.  So maybe Ger could still go.  But how could Ger sit through that event knowing I’m at the hospital?  A friend is watching Quentin, so maybe Theo could just go there.  Ger would need to get him from the bus.  And pick up Quentin from school.  Then meet me at the hospital.

Would I need to stay overnight?  I didn’t think so.  But depending on how quickly  they could get me in, it could be a late night.

I chose to wear a shirt that I didn’t particularly like, just in case it was the last time I wore it.  In case it became associated with “that day.”  I wore a bracelet that I received at a bereaved parents’ workshop that is stamped with the word “Hope.”  I figured if something happened, it was unlikely that I would ever wear that bracelet again.

I had it all planned out.

As I left, Ger said something like “You got this.”  The minute I was in my car, I wished he was with me.  I did not want to be alone.  But asking him to come seemed like admitting there could be a problem.  I was alone for the previous two losses.  But I made a mental note to bring him to the next appointment. If I made it to the next appointment.

As I drove, I found myself shaky and eyes watering.  I couldn’t breathe, but forced myself to keep driving.  The parking ramp was full and I was driving around and around desperately looking for a place to just stop and get out of my car and to my appointment.  I thought “In about 20 minutes, this will be over.  The ultrasound will be done.”

We saw a heartbeat right away.  Growth was fine.  But the ultrasound tech said very little.  She told me the doctor would be in shortly.

What did that mean?  With each minute that passed, I became convinced that something bad had been seen and that the doctor was avoiding coming in to give me the news.

But finally he came in.  And all was fine, exactly as it should be.  Next appointment with Maternal Fetal Medicine is at 16 weeks.  He said he keeps hoping we can get to 24 weeks, beyond.  At 24 weeks, there is a lot more they can do.   I cried and he said that he wished he could say something that would make this easier for me.  One four week increment at a time.