WARNING- If you are pregnant, best not to read this, it might be upsetting. In fact, no one needs to read this if you don't feel comfortable- this is an exercise for me as much as it is information for anyone else.
Today, I'm going to write the story of how we lost Thumper.
I've been wanting to write it for a few weeks now, but I needed the right time, when I was emotionally up for it. I have never done this before in detail, it has always been too painful. But I've been doing lots of reflecting on the past, and I realised that for me, often writing things down is the most helpful way to process it.
And I want to do this now. Earl is really keen that the date we found out we lost Thumper would not be a day that we would focus on. It was right before Christmas, and it was too horrible a time. We feel it is better to "celebrate" Thumper on his due date. My Therapist/counselor concurred. She said what I needed to do was to celebrate the good things about Thumper rather than his death. The amazing thing is, we had decided that the end of the this year was when we would quit IVF, the time when we decided that if it hasn't worked by then, it wasn't going to work. But Thumper has given us the hope to continue, and any future children that we have through IVF, well we have Thumper to thank for their existence. Amazing thought.
Anyway- the story.
Thumper was our amazing miracle. We were so excited when we got the BFP, but we were cautious too. This caution was exacerbated by the fact that he was a little small on his first scan. We waited through the 10 days until the follow up scan, scared and afraid- though with ever growing morning sickness to make us feel better. And when the scan came, he was perfect- not only was he the 10 days bigger they needed, he had actually almost caught up. The nurse said, you can never be totally confident until 12 weeks, but things were looking good.
At that point we called him Thumper, because he had a heart that just kept beating, even when the odds were against him.
We were traveling down to our home town for Christmas- excited to tell our families the good news. We'd agreed on ten weeks for the announcement, and had even organised to go out for dinner with my family to tell them. On the way we stopped at a country town where much of my mum's family lived to have a Christmas party. I was staying with my Aunt. I got up in the night to go to the toilet and found the smallest amount of blood. Working very hard not to wake the house, we went to the local emergency room. The Doctor was not worried at all, but said since we needed reassurance, she suggested we book in for an ultra-sound that week. We were not too worried, and were secretly a little pleased to get another chance to see our little baby.
We were going to a clinic near my in-laws. We walked there. I still remember, it was a beautiful day, I was a little nervous- but happy nervous not sad.
This is the part that is hard to write.
We went into the clinic. The stenographer said at this stage it should be fine to do a non-internal ultra sound and so he began to check.
There was no heart beat.
The stenographer didn't say anything about it, but he said he should try internal and left the room. But I knew what it should look like. There was a shape, but it wasn't alive. I could just tell.
Earl said, lets not panic until we know. I calmed a bit, but not alot. I knew something was very wrong.
He did the internal. No heart beat. I began crying and screaming "No, no, give me my baby back, where is he, what's going on. Give me my baby back. This can't be happening."
The stenographer still wouldn't say anything, and brought the doctor in to look. He agreed, no heart beat, and told us our baby was gone. I don't remember what Earl said, but I remember the look on his face and his tears. Our world and completely fallen apart.
We walked back to Earls parents in shock. We just kept saying, how can it be such a beautiful sunny day when it is the worst day that ever was? I went up to our room and Earl broke the news to his Mum and Brother. I went down stairs and cried in my Mum-in-laws arms.
Earl told me to pack an overnight bag. We just had to get away from everyone, and we found a hotel by the beach. It was a horrible night, we just watched TV so we wouldn't have to think about anything, and ate junk-food. That night we prayed that God would take us back in time and that Thumper would be alive again. We knew that if God answered our prayers we would not be in the hotel anymore. The next morning, I was never so devastated to wake up in a beautiful hotel.
That's all I can write.