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SALT LAKE CITY — It was early in the morning on a Thursday. I woke up to something that was not quite right. Nine weeks pregnant with our sixth child, and after having had five flawless pregnancies, this, for me, was not right. My heart sunk.
The ultrasound at the doctor came back “too early to tell.” I was sent to do blood work ... and more blood work. Levels were rising. Good sign? No one knew. “Maybe it's your turn,” one nurse said. My turn for what? To have a child die? No, this was not happening.
“Maybe it's your turn,” one nurse said. My turn for what? To have a child die? No, this was not happening.
I was sent home, still with no answers. Days went by. Some days were fine. No bleeding. Oh, good ... I'm worried over nothing. Went to bed on Wednesday, feeling good. I had slept the whole night.
Upon awaking a thought entered my mind: “This is your body's way of getting rid of an unhealthy pregnancy.” The thought so piercing and calming all at the same time. What was this? Why was I thinking this? Everything is going to be fine.
Minutes later, a pain and pressure I had never experienced before, wrapped around my whole stomach. Doubled over, I made my way to the bathroom. There it was, the “gush” I had heard about, read about. That was it. It happened. No, it didn't. It couldn't have. Not to me. I am healthy. Things like this don't happen to healthy people.
I sat there, afraid to look, but knowing I needed to. The sight is one I will never forget. It was all over. My baby was gone. Nothing prepares you for that.
As I stood, I immediately noticed that the pain that was ever-present in my physical body was now gone. In place of it, now, was an emotional pain that hurt deep into my soul.
Having a hard time accepting it myself, I realized I must now tell my husband and the kids. How do I tell the kids that the baby in mommy's belly just died? How do I tell them that the baby they had prayed for each night to be healthy had died?
This is all so fresh to me, and I don't have the answers.
What I will say right now is I'm sorry. To all those moms who have experienced this, I am sorry. To my friends who I have sent cards and words of condolences to without really knowing what you were going through: I am so sorry.
I am sorry for ever thinking that this would never happen to me. I am sorry if I ever (unintentionally) made you feel sad. Even more, I am sorry you have had to go through this.
I now understand. I understand why, when I know you have four children, you say you have five. I understand why you have “angel” stickers on the back of your car, hovering above the stickers of your family.
I understand, and I am so, so sorry.
Arianne Brown is a graduate from Southern Utah University, mother to five young kids and an avid runner. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.