I found out I was pregnant the week of Thanksgiving 2021, which was 10 days before our wedding. We were pleasantly surprised, and I let the venue know so I could avoid certain foods and alcohol without letting any of our guests know of the news. Right before Christmas, my husband caught COVID so we both were symptomatic and had to reschedule our first prenatal appointment until January 7th. My husband told most of his family, friends, and a fair amount of coworkers and I told only a select group of friends and family. Maybe it was because it still felt unreal to me, or maybe I had an underlying fear that something was wrong. The nausea I had in early December was no longer occurring yet my belly was still growing.
When we went for the ultrasound, the OB saw a sack but was uncertain of the heartbeat. She questioned us a few times if we were sure of the conception date because the baby was measuring about 7 weeks when it should have been about 10.5 weeks. We were rushed to the nearby hospital for a more in depth ultrasound. Within 30 minutes of leaving the hospital, I received the most devastating words… “there is no heartbeat. It appears the baby stopped growing 3 weeks ago.” We were told that we need to think about our next steps since I was at risk for infection with a deceased fetus inside of me. The “in sickness and health” part of our vows was hitting us hard a month into our marriage. Since the appointment was on a Friday, we had to weigh our options over an entire weekend, but luckily a family friend who is an OB/GYN walked us through the different options. I questioned whether there was a chance maybe they were wrong about the heartbeat up until I walked into the operating room for the D&C.
My recovery time physically from the procedure was fine with minimal issues but emotionally, I was wrecked. I blamed myself in many ways (being over 35, underweight, stressed from wedding planning, etc.). I felt disconnected from my body when I looked in the mirror. I had trouble seeing the same person I was before the loss. However, in some ways, the loss really helped me advocate for myself and focus on putting my own needs first. I broke away from unsupportive friendships, changed jobs, and sought out therapy and nutritional counseling. I learned what it truly means to have a supportive partner. We have started trying again at our own pace, and we are open to what the future holds for us.