He looked tenderly in my eyes, glanced back at the monitor willing it to sound the usual comforting rhythmic beat before looking back at me and gently alerting me to the new reality of my condition. “I hate to tell you this, but the baby no longer has a heartbeat.”
“What?! No!!” I looked at the doctor and then at my husband who was standing next to the table I was on. We both looked at the monitor and then the doctor in disbelief. “There must be a mistake. Look again,” I begged as tears began to roll down my cheeks.
Excited cannot begin to express how we felt as we entered the doctor’s office that day. It’s always special for a momma to feel her baby move inside her pregnant belly, but it’s a different kind of special for the expecting couple to see their little growing “peanut” on the sonogram screen. We followed the nurse into the exam room, traded my street clothes for the disposable paper gown she offered, and waited for my doctor to enter. When he did, he was all smiles as usual. I liked him. His positive attitude always put me at ease, and made it feel less like a doctor’s visit and more like catching up with a friend.
It was barely noon on Christmas day and I ransacked the house, tearing down the Christmas tree and all the decorations, trying to rid the house and my heart of every visible reminder of Christmas…my first Christmas without my mother; my first Christmas in the unwanted role as matriarch of the family. [more]