My belly is small? I thought. Couldn’t we just have a small baby? I mean, neither my husband nor I are big people. Sure, a lot of friends and family had commented on how small my belly was, but I didn’t think too much about it. To be honest, I thought it was normal.
As my OB took the monitor out to hear the baby’s heartbeat, like she did at every appointment before, my thoughts were going haywire. What on earth could she mean by that? The monitor picked up the baby’s heartbeat, and then, I guess the baby moved because the heartbeat had been lost. The finding and losing of the heartbeat would happen a couple more times after that. As my doctor struggled to keep the monitor on the heartbeat so she could get an accurate reading, she told me she was going to fit me in for an ultrasound today. Now my thoughts were really going crazy!
This must be something serious for her to fit me in today, I thought. Shortly after, I was led into another room as I waited for an opening to have my ultrasound. I kept taking deep breaths so I wouldn’t start crying. I knew if I started to cry I wouldn’t stop. I text messaged my husband, Anthony, and my mom what was going on, hoping I wouldn’t freak them out. I was trying not to freak out myself. I’ll admit, I started to tear up thinking of all the possibilities of why this could be happening. I tried to shut my brain off, I tried to tell myself to remain calm and just wait and see, but I just couldn’t kick the terrifying thoughts that plagued me.
I waited about an hour until I was finally brought back to the ultrasound technician. That hour was so excruciating, it seemed like forever. The technician, my OB, and another medical personnel were in the room when I entered. I got up on the table and the technician started the ultrasound. As they all looked at the screen, pointing and talking in some sort of code and saying things like, “do you see that,” I began to lose it. I started to cry hysterically for a reason I didn’t even know yet. They asked me to take some deep breaths to calm down because they couldn’t see the ultrasound clearly. You know that uncontrollable cry where you have to take multiple breaths in between sobs? Yeah, that was me, and it was making my stomach shake, and thus, the picture hard for them to make out. I tried to gain my composure, but it was so hard to stop myself from crying. After all, I was a hormonal pregnant woman and I was terrified.
Finally, they were done with the ultrasound and they took me in another room until my OB would come in to talk to me. When my doctor came in the room, she explained that our baby girl was 2 weeks behind in growth, and there could be one of three things causing this: something genetic; something viral; or something going on with me, for example, preeclampsia or diabetes among other things. I couldn’t hold back my tears, and she knew I was probably in shock because she explained it to me a couple more times. I couldn’t think of any questions in the moment. I was so stunned, I didn’t really know what to think. Upon leaving my doctor’s office, she scheduled me for a Maternal Fetal Medicine appointment the following week. I got in my car, called Anthony, and even though I could barely utter a complete word, I tried to explain to him what had just happened.