It was six years ago on the last Tuesday of October that we went for our ultrasound. The room was darkened for the taking of pictures. The technician was silent and the monitor was soon turned from our vision.
Chris and I held hands in the silence wondering where our joy was going. The eighteen week ultrasound was an occassion for delight. We were to find out what gender our baby was and sneak a peak at his hands and toes.
When the technician said she needed to get the doctor and left the room. We commented that maybe something was wrong and even so that the technician was rude. The doctor came in; she was the one who had witnessed the ultrasound that confirmed the end of our last pregnancy. Her presence was not reassuring though she was compassionate.
They talked, whispered really, about what this thing was they were looking at. The sensor moving around on my swelled lubricated belly. Chris and I aching for something to be said, even if it wasn't great. Just stop whispering and talk to us. Finally the doctor said
We don't know what we are looking at, here. The baby's spine is bent and we can't find it's heartbeat. This isn't good. I'm sorry. We will send you to Kalamazoo to meet with the doctors there.
We left with no pictures printed with words and arrows to explain the parts of a fuzzy little person each day becoming more real. We returned home to phone calls, not of joy, but of more doctor's appointments and the unknown and explanations we didn't have. It was not a good day.
It is why toward the end of October I struggle to find my joy, and why toward the end of October Michigan feels so much more like home, and why toward the end of October my heart misses most those who carried us through.