Sunday, 17 March 2013

Moving forward

Yesterday I decided to do some cleaning and came across my “baby box.” This is where I’ve been storing all the information  I got from the obstetrician and my copies of Practical Parenting magazine. It also contained various pamphlets and another baby-related paraphernalia and had been lying in a mess in the corner of our spare room. As I took everything out to re-order it and put it onto a shelf, I came across the white envelope that held the scans they took of Peanut the day I miscarried. I had only looked at them once before because it was too painful. As I held the envelope in my hand, I had to decide if I was ready to look at them again.

I stared at the envelope for what seemed a long time. I wondered why I had even kept it. It just had the scans and doctor report and I’m sure there isn’t any particular details that would be relevant to another pregnancy. But clearly, I haven’t been ready to let it go. I flashed back to the last time I opened it and remembered the flood of tears it created. That memory made me ache but I decided to be brave and opened it.

I re-read the report. It basically says the pregnancy isn’t viable and recommended another blood test in a few days. I remembered talking to the obstetrician and he didn’t bother with another blood test. He just said “the baby’s heart should be beating by now and it isn’t. It’s that simple.” It made me wonder if I should have insisted on another blood test but at the time, I already knew he was right so didn’t see the point. Mind you, I wish I had of just for that extra piece of mind.

I then looked at the scan pictures. Given I was only 7 weeks, you can’t see too much. I guess that’s a good thing because there is no distinguishable hands, feet, head or face. There’s one picture that’s the closest I have to a photo of Peanut – it just looks like a kidney bean. But it isn’t a kidney bean, it’s my baby.

I looked at it intently, trying to see if there was anything else there. There wasn’t – it was just a picture of a blob. Most people wouldn’t even know what they were looking at if they happened to pick it up. Only I know what the true subject matter is.

I finally put all the paper back in the envelope and re-sealed it. Again, I wondered if it was time to throw it out or not and I couldn’t. I just placed it on the bottom of the box. Maybe I should keep it for the next pregnancy or in case there are problems again. I’ll check with the specialist next time I see him. But really, I think again, I’m just not ready to let it go.

I managed to do that without shedding a tear. I certainly had a swarm of emotions whirling up inside of me, but they didn’t overflow. I was proud of myself for being brave enough to go there and trusting myself that I would cope with whatever emotions it bought – including tears.
I was proud of the progress I’ve made and it came as a timely reminder. Yesterday I started obsessing about whether we had sex at the right time this month to conceive and I had a mild panic attack. Stupid really given the moment is gone , but it just started and I couldn’t shake it. 

Looking at those scans reminded me to calm down. The baby would come when it was ready and when I was ready. I needed to accept that after 5 months, I’m still figuring things out, my body is still figuring things out and us as a couple are still figuring things out. This month bought another learning to add to the learnings I already have so if we don’t have success this month, I head into next month a little wiser and a little more prepared. That’s a great thing to know!   

Illustration by foto76
Courtesy of


  1. I still have a file folder full of everything from the last 2 years. All the ultrasounds, the paperwork describing each embryo we transferred, each cycle paperwork, notes I've taken from conversations with our doctor. I've only looked at that paperwork and those pictures a handful of times but I could never discard if them. I look at them as memories of all we've been through. When We have a child one day I want to remember all we went through to get there. The most painful thing I still have is a video we took at our first ultrasound. It's painful to watch but healing at the same time. I am so happy to have that video of my child no matter how much I cry watching it knowing ill never have another. I will probably share it with my other children one day so they can "meet" their older sibling. I know some may say it's silly but it is far from that when the hearts involved. You keep your pictures and paperwork as long as you need to. They are something that makes you feel close to your child. You deserve to feel that. You'll know if and when you are ready to put those things away.

  2. Thanks Robin, it's good to know I'm not the only one! And I bought an Ipad for the purpose of filming our first scan with a heart beat. It didn't happen this time around but I'm sure it will next time!



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