In the first 6 months of Giada’s second year of life, we’d suffered 2 miscarriages. This took a lot of attention from her and we were feeling pretty bad. She was our first kid, and completely and totally awesome in every way. She deserved better than to be put on the back burner while we healed physically and emotionally.
When it comes to miscarriage, women tend to share the experience when someone ‘joins the club’ so to speak. We’d tell people and so often they’d tell us “Yeah, I/my sister/someone close had one, two, three, etc” But…guy don’t talk about it. And kids? They definitely don’t talk about it. We don’t know to what degree G processed it, but we’d told her she was going to be a big sister and there was a baby in Mommy’s belly….and then she wasn’t, and there wasn’t.
We chose to make things special for G for her 3rd birthday; a trip to Disney World. Keep in mind, for a 3 year old girl…Disney is all real! That’s really Ariel! Cinderella just gave her a kiss! Holy crap that’s MICKEY MOUSE!!!!!
And then, we got pregnant for the 4th time! We joke that Heidi called the doc while peeing on the stick, within moments of conception. It was that early. We were happy…as happy as we could have been at this point, and went on with our Disney plans. Heidi went for hCG level testing and the numbers were good…not spectacular, but good…good enough not to be too concerned (though she knew something was wrong.) We had also gone through the usual battery of genetic testing to see if there was there anything funky hiding in our genes. Nothing…genetically, we were normal. (Heidi will argue that’s the only normal thing about me…) We were paranoid, or is maternal intuition that strong?
Time came for the ultrasound and there it was…a heartbeat! We had a baby in there!! This was definitely NOT a blighted ovum!! Wooohooo!!!!
Except it was tracking a week behind. It was exactly one week behind, but Heidi knew her conception math wasn’t off by a week. Still, there was a heartbeat and we’d be back for more ultrasounds. Note: Our doc was awesome. He’d give us ultrasounds just to make us feel better. Sadly, they rarely did, because the baby was tracking, consistently, 1 week behind. Heart-rate and size were fine, for one week earlier.
Then Heidi started spotting. She knew something was really, really wrong and we were 2 weeks away from our trip. She took it easy, ultrasounds were consistent, and there was no explanation for the bleeding. We went on with the trip (the doc said it was ok) and decided to make the most of things!
Akershus in EPCOT; princesses are coming by the table and Heidi excused herself. Several minutes later she returned “I’m bleeding…bad, we have to leave.” Please, dear God, no…not here, not now, not this.
We called her doc who advised us to get to a hospital. Disney got us a cab and sent us to Celebration Hospital.
That’s when things got weird. This was during the Swine Flu scare and we were moved into a common triage room. Giada was out cold in her stroller (Thank you Disney for exhausting her….having a sleeping child was the saving grace of this day), Heidi was in a chair next to someone vomiting their who knows what into a bucket. Someone came to take us for an ultrasound; the tech was ALL BUSINESS. I tried to look and see what was going on, and she kept moving the screen or adjusting the wand so I couldn’t see a heartbeat. I saw the baby…head, 2 arms, 2 legs…looked just like G’s ultrasounds at this point. ‘Ok, a doctor will take a look at these and be with you in a bit.” she said while hurriedly packing up her equipment. ‘Wait, ” Heidi said “can I just see the heartbeat?” ‘No ma’am, you came through the ER, not for a regular checkup, we can’t allow that.”
Now, for the second time we were completely alone in a hospital full of people. I didn’t see a heartbeat…but that’s not to say there wasn’t one. We knew something was up. We had that sick, worried feeling while waiting for a doctor in a room full of strangers.
To be continued…..