I recorded Calvin’s heartbeat at one of my early appointments, before we knew he was a boy. All we knew at that time was that I was carrying precious life. Instead of using an ultrasound photo, I used these sound waves of his heartbeat to share our pregnancy.
I just heard the sound of a baby’s heartbeat on somebody’s Instagram story. Fear coursed through my veins and instantly petrified my whole body. I was surprised. What was once such a beautiful, reassuring sound now just created an intense physical reaction in me.
I remember the day I didn’t hear my baby’s heart beat. I didn’t immediately react in fear. I was stubborn, or stupid, or naive, or in denial. I believed the nurse when she said she didn’t know how to use the machine, and I stubbornly continued to believe her for two hours. TWO. HOURS. Two hours of not hearing my baby’s heart. Two hours of refusing to consider the worst.
Later, walking into triage at the delivery hospital, I heard the very first cries of a newborn. I knew, I just knew at that moment that we would never hear the cries of our baby. I didn’t want to believe it yet, but I knew. That sound broke my heart for a million reasons. It gutted me.
Silence is terrifying. Silence instead of a heartbeat. Silence after delivery. Silence in the room. Silence when people see me. Silence when I share about my baby boy. Silence everywhere where there should be noise.
When I heard that baby doeppler on Instagram my body reacted the way it should have reacted that awful day. The way it wanted to react, but my mind prevented, probably for it’s own self preservation. Pure fear. For your child dying is perhaps the scariest thing you will face in life.
Many times my grief has been triggered by the very real, and very scary fact that sometimes, our children die before us. I can’t comprehend that fact. How is this a world we live in? How can this be? And how did it happen to us? WHY? I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know. I do not know.
All I have is faith in something greater. And a hope that one day, that sound will no longer cause fear and soul-crushing despair. Maybe one day that sound will bring joy and reassurance, once again.