Chapter 4: A Silent Screen

ultrasound

This is the next post in a two-week series which chronicles my journey through a miscarriage that occurred in the fall of 2011.  Although it is a story of heartbreak, it is also one filled with God’s tender mercy.  Made only more beautiful knowing we will welcome our newest baby in September of 2014, the very month our last little one went Home.

Every story needs a good villain.

At first, I believed I’d found mine in the OB nurse who called that afternoon with news of dropping HcG levels. Levels that could mean miscarriage. But I quickly realized she was not the villain.

She was just the messenger.

Then I thought it would be my poor husband, who despite his best intentions kept saying the wrong things. BLESS HIM.  But finally, he just stopped talking and began bringing me copious amounts of chocolate.

Definitely not the villain.

It is now that I need to say how important it was for me to remember that this sweet man could never have been the villain in my story. No matter how hard I tried to make him one. Because everything my husband did came from one deep, unencumbered place…

A pure, unadulterated and often clumsy, love.

Remember that when you find yourself looking for the villain of your story. And try with all your might to look elsewhere. Now as for mine?

I found her that morning after the news of my test results. After I’d called my nurse following a sleepless night. And after I made a ridiculous plea to her,

“I realize this makes no sense. But I just need to know. I get that we need to wait and see if the hormones are dropping but if we can, an ultrasound would be nice…today, even?”

She must have heard it in my voice. The exhaustion, the overwhelming worry. Because twenty minutes later, I had a sonogram scheduled for 11:30.

All the way to the hospital, I had a knot churning in my stomach. Over and over and over again…it whirled to the beat of my racing pulse. But there was nothing to be done about it except to keep driving forward.

As I sat in the waiting room, I cringed at each pregnant belly that walked in. Smiled awkwardly at the owner. Trying desperately not to hate each one.

And then I saw her. Walking down the hall. The perfect villain for my story.

Uptight. Rail thin. And no personality.

She called me back. And again, I flashed an awkward smile. But this time, in her direction.

As she began the scan, she said, “Do you know you have a lot of fibroids? What are they going to do about these? It appears several are degenerating.”

I still wonder if I actually screamed back at her, “I don’t care about my stupid fibroids! I know they are there. Just show me my baby!”

But she went on, “Do you see this area? This is more than likely where the clots are. What is left of the fetus.”

The knot began churning again, the room started to spin and I eeked out,

“So…….”

“So there is no baby?”

With a coldness I cannot even replicate she punched back with, “Most likely. I guess there is a slight possibility that they had the dating of your pregnancy wrong. But, I’ve been doing this for twenty years and I should be seeing a 9 to 10 week fetus.”

I didn’t say anything back.

Instead, I scrambled into the hallway, staring at the floor and holding it together in the elevator, through the double doors outside and even into the parking a garage…

And then I sobbed.

Uncontrollably, sobbed.

At some point, I collected myself just enough to call my husband. And even though I loudly protested through my heaving tears, he came and picked me up from the hospital. I never realized in that moment how much it meant to me that he dropped everything and just came…but now?

It means the world.

Even as we drove home together, I continued to cry, sob and wail but then…bless him, again…I got hopping mad.

So much so that the very second we walked through our door, I began googling for hours. Found every instance of an empty screen that actually turned into a baby.  And I even pulled everyone else into my madness.

I was going to show that woman. And her experience. That it meant absolutely nothing.

Being the love that he is, my husband called the OB floor and somehow convinced them to do another sonogram. Since the one she’d done had only been abdominal!?!?! And really, how accurate was that?

Strangely enough, the uptight, no personality, “I have twenty years of experience” tech agreed to it.

So off we went to the hospital that very same afternoon. And the results? And her opinions?

They were exactly the same. She still made comments. This time about my neurogenic bladder.

She still said there was no baby. She still called it a fetus. She still referenced her experience.

And worst of all, she still showed us an empty screen. There was nothing there. The flicker was gone.

In truth, this woman nor her lack of personality was the enemy. Instead, it was right in front of us. Showing us what we didn’t want to see or hear…

A silent screen.

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