Our Baby

More To Us Than a Mere Fourteen Weeks of Heartbeat

By Amy Cunningham

My husband and I were so excited to learn we were pregnant, and I worked hard to be a good mother and eat all the right things, but for some reason we'll never understand, the tiny child inside me, perhaps no larger than two inches long at fourteen weeks, never made it.

I can vividly remember how hard my nurse midwife was trying to find the infant heartbeat inside me without giving me any facial cues as to how distressed she was becoming. I was on the table with my belly exposed and we were chatting away. I was saying that I was feeling better, less nauseated, having fewer unpleasant symptoms, when she fell silent and stared into the ultrasound monitor. "Hmmm," she muttered to herself. "Let me try it this way." Silence again. Perhaps three or four more minutes elapsed, I can't recall. I held on when she said, "Go ahead and get dressed now, Amy. I'm sending you downtown to where they do higher resolution sonograms." I was so puzzled. Then she said calmly and so nicely, "Is your husband around? I think it would be a good idea to call him, and see if he could meet you there."

Uh-oh. At that point, I got it. I sat up, stared at her, stared at the screen, tried to collect myself, but then I just started to sob. "Could you c-c-c-call him? I don't think I can do that." Her face was so filled with compassion. I recall that as I drove downtown, I turned the radio on for solace and right away Louis Armstrong's "Wonderful World" came on. The rest of the afternoon, and the coming days, and the weeks after that were then mostly sad in a way I'd never experienced sadness before.

But it is a wonderful world. And we somehow got through it. Steve and I gathered poems and readings, and had a ceremony during which we buried our pregnancy test indicator in a small grave in the yard. We think about those early years of our marriage very fondly, and we found a way to manage the tremendous sadness by being there for each other. There are many more resources available today for women and couples who've experienced a miscarriage, but I think we did pretty well with it. It feels good to build this memorial. It's been twenty-two years, and I started to cry as I was writing it. This makes the baby exist somehow. Thank you. I am grateful.

Our Baby
Kim Propp
Thank you, Amy. I lost a baby at twelve weeks. She (I am sure) was the joy of my life and we hadn't even met. How can we love so deeply? Because that tiny human baby inside of us is life! I cried when I went to the gyn and suggested that I might like to get pregnant 12 years later. It's funny how we can make it through a day, talk about our babies who are in Heaven, then the next time we mention them we cry. I understand the 22 year thing. <3 Thanks for sharing, and for reminding me that it is okay to still be sensitive to the death of my little one. It doesn't matter if a pregnancy is in it's first or third trimester when you lose a child. It's good that women (and men) have this wall to share their stories. God Bless you and remember, Jesus loves our little children.
Alex Lawrence
Amazing amy; )
Elizabeth *
Thank you so much for sharing your very poignant story, Amy. It brought tears to my eyes. I had two miscarriages myself. Before these, I have to admit, I had a hard time understanding just how significant a miscarriage could be to someone. ‎In my year of "recurrent miscarriages" as I tried to deduce a cause, I read hundreds of stories about other women that had miscarried or were in the process of miscarrying. Many, like me, were using the Internet to figure out what was happening to them: Was it actually a miscarriage they were going through? And if so, what could be causing it and did anything that anyone subsequently did differently result in a successful pregnancy? Others just wanted an outlet for their sadness and frustration. My heart went out to all of them. "Sticky baby dust," the post'ers would wish everyone on the site. In spite of how playful it sounded, I appreciated how heartfelt and serious this sentiment came across. When I was pregnant for the third time, I met up with a friend of mine, who is a staunch Christian, who runs a prominent conservative women's organization, and who mourns the death of unborn babies everywhere. I told her that I'd had two miscarriages before but had gotten much further along this time, so hopefully this baby would be ok. She had a consoling look on her face for a moment, then smiled and said, "Well then this is the baby you were meant to have." And I did.

Something about the hindsight of sticky baby dust works miracles in dulling the memory of the pain and sadness of miscarriage. I wouldn't trade my baby for a thing. But, as you say, those two miscarriages were very real. And I appreciate your recognizing this.
Ju-Don Marshall
Amy, thank you for sharing the story of your miscarriage. Sometimes there is comfort and healing in knowing that someone else understands your pain. ❤
susan margolin
Thank you so much for sharing this post. When I had my miscarriage I felt like I couldn't talk about it at all, and there was no forum nor support group that I was aware of to help me through the grieving process. It would have been so wonderful to have a place to go where other women shared their stories, and talked about how they coped with their loss. In our culture, there's a lot of pressure to just "move on" and not deal with the grief. It was so helpful to read your post, and to hear how you commemorated your loss. I think having a small and simple ceremony like the one that you describe would have done wonders for me and for my husband, and would have provided some very needed closure. Thank you again!
Our Baby