Here is the thing about miscarriage: it strips away confidence.
All the optimism, all the nonchalance I breezed into my first pregnancy with got completely blown out of the water by that loss. So when the second pregnancy happened, and happened so quickly, I spent nine weeks with a mixture of disbelief and dread. I just didn’t want to go through that heartbreak again.
And even though I knew better, I found myself questioning how “real” this one was. Did I have enough symptoms? I didn’t, I couldn’t, I wasn’t nauseous or tired enough. I didn’t “feel” pregnant. I felt like I was holding my breath, expecting it to go wrong. Mike and I agreed not to tell anyone this time, though we did reveal it to our parents. We pinky-swore them to secrecy. I had a bit of gallows humor about the whole thing, though I did continue to take vitamins and eat “right”, as defined by me.
I slept poorly the night before my nine week appointment. Anxiety had me waking up three times. When we got there, the CNM didn’t spend much time asking questions — she knew I’d had a miscarriage two months before, so we got straight to business.
We started with the fetal doppler to try and listen for a heartbeat. Not the CNM’s idea, but she was interning a woman that day, and the intern wanted to try. Nothing. The head midwife brushed this off — too early, she said. Then the ultrasound gel got applied, and the monitor came up, and —