Four years ago.
Since my horrible, nightmarish ultrasound with Janie, when they told me she would die, life had pretty much stopped. We were living a new normal now. The odd thing is, I was able to laugh a bit at things that struck me as funny. I see now that I was in shock. My mind had gone on autopilot to protect me from the unknown.
Ever had that happen to you??
Dr Whelan had called us the day after the ultrasound to strongly encourage us to at least have an amniocentesis. He knew our stance on terminating the pregnancy, and he just is too decent to even ask. We were aware of the risks of the amnio and told him that my baby was at enough risk already and we didn't want to put any more stress on her by invading her world. He totally supported us in this and said he'd be available 24/7 for us, if we should need him for anything at all.
The same day we talked to Dr W, the doctor-from-hell called and also strongly urged us to have an amnio as soon as possible. We explained to him that we had talked to our primary OB and had opposed the amnio with our primary OB's full support. He told me he thought we were making a mistake, but he wasn't going to force us to do the amnio. Gee, thanks!
At this point, one day after the ultrasound, we felt like we were walking in a nightmare and were wondering when we were going to wake up.
I had also gone into Dr W to hear Janie's heartbeat. It was normal, and she continued to roll and squirm and hiccup her way into our hearts.
During my pregnancy with Janie, from the moment we felt her move, she and Daddy had an established routine they went through every morning before he left for work. Every morning, without fail. Daddy would lean down and, with his face very close to my tummy, would say, "Bye Bye Janie! Daddy loves you!", and she would kick him in the cheek! I just know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that she recognized her Daddy's voice. She would get very excited when he talked to my tummy.
This morning, May 10th, was no different. Daddy leaned close.....
"Bye Bye Janie! Daddy loves you!"
She gave him a kick and he left.
That evening, I realized that I hadn't felt any movement from her for the whole day. This was very odd, since she was usually pretty active. I didn't get scared right away. I called Dave and he told me she was probably just sleeping.
I had bought one of those things that you can put on your belly in late pregnancy and hear your baby's heartbeat with. It was kind of like a Doppler with headphones. I remember putting that on my belly and listening intently for her heartbeat. I did this periodically throughout the day.
This was Friday.
Dave said perhaps those Doppler-with-the-headphones weren't that accurate.
By Saturday I was very worried. My Janie had not moved since Friday morning, long, dreadful hours. What could be going on in my womb??
I remember sitting on the toddler bed in the girls' room, watching as they cleaned it up, and the strangest thought popped into my head, totally unbidden....
I wonder what it's like to plan a funeral for a baby.
I decided to call Dr Whelan on Saturday, just to let him know what was going on. He said for me to get into my bed, lay very still and really focus in on Janie. He told me to have some sugar or caffeine, put on some music, and just focus. He told me to do this for four hours and see what happened.
I did. I focused so intently, for all I was worth.
On Monday I called Dr W's office and told the nurse what was going on. She asked me to come in right away and we'd take a listen with the Doppler. She told me not to worry, that sometimes babies got really quiet in the later stages of pregnancy.
I was by myself that day, but I immediately piled all of my kids in the van and headed over to the doctor's office. I live about 5 minutes from the office.
That ride to the doctor was one fraught with thoughts, disjointed, feverish thoughts, coming too fast into my mind for me to catch.
That was a Monday I won't soon forget.