I Cannot Find a Heartbeat


Feeling your baby move inside you is an amazing feeling. With my beautiful twins, I felt little flutters really early and I loved it. I was so excited by their movements.

At 19 weeks, my babies were diagnosed with Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome and I knew things were precarious for them both. The further we got along and passed the viable age that the doctors hoped we'd reach, the more we felt safe, and sure we'd be bringing our babies home.

After a really perfect ultrasound I was having a bath, and I could feel my girls move the most I ever had. It was wonderful. I laid in the bath watching my belly move with wonderful defined movements: it was amazing and I was so expectantly in awe.

This was to be the last time I felt my girls move, and I now believe it was not a lovely time at all. It was my girls struggling for their lives.

The next morning started off just as the last few months had. I then noticed I couldn’t feel my girls  move at all, and my mind raced to "When did I last feel them?" I tried the strategy of drinking cold juice and lying really still; I tried all the poking and prodding that would normally get them going. So Anthony and I agreed to just go and get checked. We’d done this so many times before to make me stop panicking, so we thought "What could be any different this time?"

I remember that drive clear as day. Assuring ourselves it would be ok, trying to talk myself into feeling a kick, even just a soft kick.

The hospital staff acted promptly and tried to find my girls' heartbeats. I heard mine and that was all that I needed. But then they said it was mine, and they were having trouble. I truly thought it was this midwife who didn’t know what she was doing, so I was fine for her to go get someone else. The other midwife also has trouble, but she made me feel calm and I trusted that she would sort it all out. She got a doctor and a portable scan.

My heart was racing but I would not allow myself to consider the absolute worst. Not at all.. Not today.. Not my girls. The room became so eerily silent.. as if nothing was going on…like a big void.. I looked at the midwife and asked "What?" She said those words no parent ever wants to hear...“Sorry, we can not find a heartbeat”  and I just wanted them to get me someone who could…

I grabbed onto Anthony and sat up looking at him, begging him to fix this, to make it all go away and not be true. I was screaming, crying a weird "no, no" cry. They asked me to lay back down…I tried to get up off the bed… Then I couldn't stand…Then I wanted to run out of the room…Then I couldn’t even move… Then I just sank to the floor and they left us… which is what we wanted.

They said they would take us for a full ultrasound on the proper machine.. these words were enough to give me some hope that they had all gotten it so wrong. We waited for what felt like an eternity but it was really a short time ,I guess. I truly believed they were wrong and I would see my girls' beautiful little hearts beating away...

Until I looked at the screen for myself...I don’t remember any words that were uttered in that room that day, there was the ultrasound technician and two midwives, but it seemed like it was just Anthony and me with our girls. It was just us, and just like that our babies' hearts had stopped beating...

In an utter daze we walked out of that room, through a waiting room, down a corridor, in an elevator and were taken into another room on a maternity ward. I was then told I'd need to come back tomorrow to deliver my twins. Shocked. Devastated. Heartbroken. Everything was just blank.

We had just been told the absolute worst words..Our babies had died and I had no idea what to do next, let alone how to do anything next...

Trudi Penrose-Starr   In memory of ~Amie-Lee & Emily~

Comments (2)

Said this on 03-10-10 At 12:35 pm

I am so sorry for your loss. It must have been so awful to go through. Thoughts and prayers are with you. GBH.

Said this on 14-05-12 At 01:52 am

Prayers and good thoughts for your whole pregnancy... not just today's appointment! Everything's going to be fine... you might just have a peek a boo champ in there... s/he can compete with Emerson who decided not to let us hear her heartbeat at 16 weeks!

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