The heart-breaking moment when a heart stops beating

When I found out I was pregnant for the very first time I did a little happy dance in the bathroom, thrilled after months of trying and years of planning I finally saw a plus sign in the window of the test. We were lucky and had an early private scan at 8 weeks and saw a heartbeat, and whilst baby was measuring a little behind we weren’t worried.

At the next scan, the baby should have been nearly 12 weeks, and we were checking my dates and there was that heart-stopping moment when the Sonographer went quiet, the screen turned away from us and we knew something was different.

She had such compassion on her face as she uttered the words that breaks every parent-to-be’s heart…’I am so sorry, but there is no longer a heartbeat.’

In those seconds a million things rush though your head, and your world has turned upside down, crushing the breath from your lungs. Nothing can prepare you for it, despite knowing the risks, you always hope that your 12 week scan shows a wonderful healthy baby.

The sad truth is miscarriage is far more common than we admit. We cloak the early days of pregnancy in secrecy, and when a loss does happen it is so hard to then share. We had told our parents and closest friends, thankfully, so when we needed them they were there for us. We didn’t broadcast our loss openly, but over the months following we have spoken about it more freely. Sometimes it is because a friend is now going through a loss, other times it is because someone says something about miscarriage that is woefully misinformed. Mostly it is now because we don’t want to forget our first, and time does help to heal.

We did go on to have a healthy baby, but unfortunately suffered our second miscarriage when we starting trying for our second child. Somehow, despite losing the baby at an earlier stage than our first, it felt crueler than the later-stage loss. Hadn’t we had our bad luck? Whilst I didn’t need surgery this time and we had only know for a shorter amount of time, it felt raw to experience another loss.

So, tonight at 7 p.m. I will join thousands of people from around the world who will light a candle, creating a Wave of Light in memory of babies who have died too soon.

And if you, or someone you care about, are going through a loss of a baby then more information and support can be found here:

The Miscarriage Association: www.miscarriageassociation.org.uk/support/marking-your-loss/babyloss-awareness-week

Sands: www.uk-sands.org/get-involved/events/baby-loss-awareness-week

 

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