Heartbeat


Eve's 20 week ultrasound
Eve at her 20 week ultrasound
Today I had my second O.B. appointment for this pregnancy.  I felt much calmer leading up to it than I thought I was going to.  That was a gift.  Instead of worrying, I spent the morning peacefully cleaning the backyard and doing my prenatal workout DVD.

Even so, just being in my doctor's office is hard.  There are so many memories there, too many, of what has been lost. Of how silently things can go wrong.  I sat in the waiting room, wondering if those minutes were the last that I would have before finding out the worst.  Again.

When my doctor listened for the heartbeat, she found it right away -- not like at Eve's 12 week appointment, thank God, when it took my doctor several stressful minutes to find the heartbeat.

Eve's 20 week ultrasound
Eve, 20 weeks
Still, even though today my doctor only had to search for a handful of seconds before detecting the sounds of Baby's heart and considerable squirmings, those were terrible seconds.  I hate the empty sound the doppler makes as it searches and does not find.  The sound that has become synonymous with death.  The last sound we heard before my doctor turned to my husband and I, nearly 20 weeks ago now, and told us that our daughter had died.

Today, that sound brought tears of grief to my eyes, as well as tears of gratitude when I heard our second child's heart beating so strongly for the first time.  Ultrasounds, heartbeat checks -- shouldn't these be fun, happy occasions?  But for me, they bring fear and sadness mixed in with the joy.

At times like this, I feel robbed all over again.  Robbed of the chance to share life on this earth with my daughter.  Robbed of my innocence.  But because she was taken too soon, I am now celebrating the life of her younger sibling.  A sibling who would not exist if she hadn't died.

What a strange life I am living.

Eve's feet
Eve's little feet at 20 weeks

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