Apparently they didn’t get the memo…

Which is odd since the clinic is located in the very same hospital that houses the very same ER that first informed me that my baby had died. I still distinctly remember that day in January 2010. I had found out a few days before after 6 hours in the ER that my baby stopped growing at 6 weeks- I was almost 11 weeks by then. I already knew something was wrong. I had had some brown spotting, but no red bleeding, no cramps. But I insisted my boyfriend take me to the hospital- I just knew. I knew the moment the ultrasound tech had to use the wand to look at the baby. Something was horribly wrong. I was praying beyond hope that this ultrasound would show how silly I was, how much my anxiety had got out of hand. I thought for sure that she would turn the screen and point to my baby, show me his little heartbeat on that shadowy gray screen. But she didn’t. She turned the screen away from, didn’t even offer me a peek at my baby. She didn’t say a word to me. And in that silence, I knew what the ER doctor was later going to say to me…

Fast forward a few days later. The ER doctor had scheduled an appointment for me at the women’s clinic in the very same hospital. He gave me papers to take to the appointment. I can still clearly see the words Fetal Demise typed neatly as the diagnosis. Fetal Demise? Could you get any more clinical and cold?

I was fortunate that my mother was able to take that day off and drive the 3 1/2 hours to accompany me to that appointment. Very fortunate…

Walking into that clinic waiting room was brutal. Baby bumps in all shapes and sizes filled seats in every corner of the room. And where there wasn’t a bump, there was a new mom with her tiny baby in a car seat or lying over her shoulder. And here I am walking into the same room with these women, still carrying my tiny lifeless baby in my womb. Really?? I remember thinking that they should have a separate waiting room for mothers who have lost or are losing their babies. You know, like at a pediatrics office where they have a well waiting room and a sick waiting room. I sure as hell didn’t feel like I belonged in this waiting room.

I walked up to the window, gave the nurse my papers, she checked me in, and gave me new papers to fill out. I quickly filled out the top part, the usual stuff- name, phone number, birth date, blah, blah, blah. This next section of the form I was not prepared for. I started reading the questions and silent, warm tears spilled down my cheeks. My mother had been reading a magazine. She looked up at me and saw my tears and at first assumed it was because of the army of pregnant bellies and new mamas that surrounded me. I handed her the form and pointed.

1. How did you feel when you first found out your were pregnant?

2. How does the baby’s father feel about the pregnancy?

3. Have you told any family yet? How did they react?

And so on… Torture. What in the hell was this??

My mother snatched the forms out of my hand and marched to the front desk and handed them to the nurse. She asked her if she had even read WHY I was here. She was a pissed off mama bear protecting her wounded cub. And that was the day I realized my mother is my CHAMPION, and she always would be. And she reminded me in the best possible way of why I wanted to become a mother again.

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  1. What a powerful post! I admire the fact that you were able to realize something so positive while experiencing such a devastating loss.

    1. Today my wife and I found out, like you did, that our little one has been sitting silently in the the womb. It has been weeks. We thought that today we would be celebrating, but instead we are mourning. Just like your mother, my mother and father rushed to our sides to be of comfort to us.
      This is for sure tough, but to be sure we will try again. Thank you for your very sweet, thoughtful and candid post.
      Interestingly enough, I just started working at a center for grieving children and their families and have watched my wife go through hell as she has dealt with her mother’s death. For the first time in my life, just today, I felt an excruciating blow! I too know what it is to grieve!
      Again, thank you.

  2. I too had “fetal demise” and had to have several apppointments in a highrisk clinic surrounded by masses of preggo ladies and babies as i sat there knowing my baby had died inside of me. It added to my torment to not have a separate waiting room. Some of the staff was very insensitive and asked bubbly questions about the baby and i had to tell them she had died and wonder why they didnt know already!!

  3. Thank you, NinjaFertile. I appreciate your kind words.

    Hope, I just started following your blog after reading your comment. It is so hard to understand why a receptionist/nurse/whoever can’t bother to pick up a medical file & just READ it before talking to a patient.

  4. Thank goodness for our mothers, eh? My mama was ready to get someone fired after I told the the ultrasound tech shrugged when I asked if my baby was dead.
    That’s so great that she was able to go with you. I often don’t realize how much I need my mom until my first chance to hug her after a loss.

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Unspoken Grief is a non-profit website dedicated to creating awareness and resources for anyone touched directly or indirectly by miscarriage, stillbirth or neonatal death.

©Unspoken Grief 2017; Devan McGuinness


Unspoken Grief exists to provide peer-to-peer support and resources. The information on this site is intended only for advocacy and educational purposes. It's not intended to give medical advice, to diagnose or to offer treatment for any medical or psychological conditions. Please consult your own health care provider for your own specific situation and needs.