Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Heartbreaks

A good friend is 12 weeks pregnant and just went for her first ultrasound.

Everything looks good and she just posted the Ultrasound pic on Facebook.

It's all I can do to click 'like'.  Cos I DO like this.  I'm happy that she and her partner want to be pregnant and have a second child.  And pregnancy really does seem to agree with her.

Yet I also have to look away.

Those ultrasound pictures and stories get me every time.

Such a trigger.

I can't just look at them and be unreservedly happy for the prospective parent(s).

Because I have seen the same picture, the same heartbeat and know that it can disappear.

That first ultrasound seems like it might be some kind of guarantee.  Perhaps particularly for those of us who have lived with infertility and all that it entails.  You kind of feel like - Phew - we made it.  We've gotten ourselves pregnant and we see a live baby on the monitor!!

I just don't think that way any more.  And I know I never will.

That's one of those permanent changes, brought to you by infertility and pregnancy loss.

A heart can beat.  And a heart can stop beating.

A baby can be alive - developing safely inside you.

And the baby can die.

The bitter part of me (yes, it's still in there, rearing it's ugly head from time to time) wants to post a comment saying:  "Beware!  That's no guarantee.  I have a whole stack of those pictures and no baby to show for them.  I have heard a doctor say, more than once, 'I'm sorry - the baby died.'"

And I have looked at my useless pictures and felt my heart break into a million pieces.

But I won't write that.  That's my story.

And I hope her story has a completely different ending.



  1. I have the same thoughts. Like you, I always hope those stories have happy endings. But I know, too well, they don't always. :p And I am a nervous wreck until the baby is safely here.

  2. Yes and yes. That sense of safety, and that belief that an ultrasound can somehow guarantee the future, was rudely stolen from me when I had my miscarriage. I feel the same way when people show early ultrasounds and then start painting the nursery, or when they announce a pregnancy at, like, 5 weeks. It's sort of an, "oh, I hope you don't have to un-tell all of us in a few weeks..."

    I have three living children now, and I still feel this way. Once the illusion is shattered, it's gone forever.

  3. What a great post. I can totally relate too. I am glad I found your blog.

  4. Thanks for stopping by all. Your support and your 'oh yes' remind me that I am not alone.