I wouldn't see the doctor again for the next 5 weeks. From the ultrasound, I knew I was 7 weeks 5 days along and that on the next visit, I'd be close to 12 weeks if not a little over. Through out those next few weeks, little changed. Life was pretty much the same with the kids keeping me busy during the day. Without the constant morning sickness that I'd shared with both previous and perfect pregnancies, the lack of morning sickness was wonderful. Fatigue and queasiness were my number one complaints, but easily dealt with. But still, I felt that I knew almost from the beginning that this pregnancy was going to be different. I was still feeling a bit surreal about the whole thing. The lack of morning sickness was great, but in a way, because I wasn't getting sick, I didn't really feel pregnant. As I look back, I can see that these small signs were my God given intuition letting me know things wouldn't turn out like I had planned.
Instead of going all the way to the doctor's office in Alabaster, I had scheduled my appointment at their smaller branch in Clanton. Going through the process of being weighted, I noticed I'd gained another two pounds. My blood pressure was the same as it always was and all I needed then was to hear the heartbeat by way of the Doppler and I could go home. A short, sweet, and repetitious routine I'd done twice before. Only this time there was one big change. . .
. . . There wasn't a heartbeat. . .
I watched and silent prayed in the five minutes that the doctor would find the heartbeat he so diligently looked for and I so desperately wanted to hear. It wouldn't happen. As the doctor gently wiped away the gel used for the Doppler, he asked me if I was okay. I let him know I was fine, even as I fought back the tears threatening to spill. Through out the process of getting an immediate ultrasound scheduled at the local hospital I managed to hold my tears back, smiling at the receptionist as I left. It wasn't until I was in the car and calling my husband who was home watching our children that I let myself cry and even then it wasn't much. Though I prayed for God's will to be done, I hung to the small hope my doctor had given me, that the baby had nestled itself behind my pelvic bone and was playing hide and seek. As I drove home to pick up Terry and the kids so they could go with me, I called my mom and let her know what had happened, telling her I'd call her when I knew something definite.
I drove home by myself, tears running intermittently down my face. I'd try and hold them back, give up and let them fall, and then hold them back again. Almost home, I had to stop and put gas in the car in case we had to drive to Alabaster later. I couldn't hide my tears from the women and friends running the local gas station. With broken and halting sentences I told them what happened and asked if they could pray with me, and they did. The words being spoken were a comfort even knowing we were asking for God's will to be done and not mine. The power in that prayer calmed my sould, allowing me to drive home dry eyed, to see my kids without crying and to answer their questions as they wondered what was wrong.
We made it to our local hospital thirty minutes later without any tears, but more importantly with laughter. Children are like a balm to the soul and in this case, it was no exception. Hearing them laugh and become so excited because they'd be getting a chocolate chip cookie while I was inside as they sat in the car, brought forth a much need laughter that had already begun to heal my heart.