I believe strongly in the deep intuition of a mother with her child and the connectedness she has with her baby especially while baby is still nestled in the womb.
On the Saturday night after the ultrasound where we had learned of Tinleigh’s diagnosis/early Sunday morning I woke up, out of a dead sleep, at 3 am which was quite unusual for me at the time. I remember having a knowingness that my sweet daughter’s heart had stopped beating in that very moment. I will never have scientific proof or be able to explain it other than I believe in a mother’s intuition and the message seemed pretty clear to me. I remember laying there, surprisingly at peace, placing my hand on my belly knowing that my daughter was no longer spiritually with me but yet her sweet, tiny body was still nestled in the comfort of my womb. The rest of that Sunday is still quite a blur and I don’t remember much about it. I do remember being somewhat depressed but not on a conscious level. It was as if every last ounce of energy I had, had finally given way to what I was experiencing.
On the following Monday, we FINALLY had our doctor’s appointment with the OBGYN. It had truly felt like an eternity since the 20-week anomaly scan but it had been less than a week. I remember sitting in the quiet, cozy waiting room with my mom and husband feeling a mixture of nerves but also relief as I was finally going to get much anticipated answers. I remember meeting Dr. Norman for the first time and feeling so much comfort. She sat with us for probably at least 30 minutes answering the long list of questions I had written out about Tinleigh’s diagnosis, our options, etc. She never once rushed us through our appointment and I truly felt like she had compassion for our situation. She was one of the first people to provide me a sense of hope and validation. After she answered our questions, she asked if we’d like to hear our baby’s heartbeat. We, of course, said yes. My husband got up and came to stand beside me and hold my hand. My mom sat in the chair in the corner. Dr. Norman put the ultrasound wand on my abdomen and began moving the wand around – nothing. She then turned the screen to me and said “honey, I don’t see a heartbeat, do you?” and I shook my head no – I couldn’t speak. I knew this was coming, remember, my mama gut had already informed me of this. But that didn’t make it sting any less. Tears silently rolled down my face. She then asked if I’d like to go to the ultrasound tech’s room and have her look on the higher quality machine. I agreed, but knew that this was really just a formality to “double check”. The ultrasound tech moved the wand around and still nothing. We silently walked back to the exam room where our endless list of questions were mostly invalid and now we had a new list and new options mostly revolving around how to labor and birth a still born and genetic testing and autopsy and other what seemed like annoying nuisances really.
What I’ll always remember more than anything is how deafening the silence was.