The Moment When Time Stood Still
*Trigger Warning – Baby Loss*
The consultant looked up at me with tears in her eyes. The midwife gently held my hand. ‘I can only find one heartbeat’ the consultant said.
That moment after she’d said those words; time stood still.
There’s no leaflet in your antenatal classes that prepare you for those words. There’s no warning in the pregnancy test box that tells you that the feeling of elation when you get your positive might end in pain. There was however a very nice Doctor who at my 16 week scan told me the risks of having identical twins. There were also a few people in my life that thought they were keeping my feet on the ground by telling me my twin pregnancy might not have a happy ending.
I thought I was prepared for the risks. I wasn’t. How can you be?! Deep down we always look at other peoples unfortunate situations and naively think it will never happen to us. That’s how we get through life. If we went around thinking that the worst was always going to happen we’d never leave the house. We’d never live. So at 11pm on the 29th July time stood still. My baby girl had died and my other one might too if they didn’t act quickly.
Now just over 9 weeks later here we are. This is the first time I’ve wanted to document it, the first time I’ve wanted to face the feelings. The first time I’ve wanted someone else to read this and know that if it’s happening to them it’s okay. Who am I kidding?! It’s not okay, it never will be but you learn to accept it.
In that moment in that room with the teary eyed maternity staff I sobbed in my husbands arms. I thought about what my little boy would think. I felt pain like I’ve never felt. I felt thankful that my other twin was okay so far. I felt anger wondering what I did wrong. I felt excitement that at 29 weeks in one form or another I was about to meet my baby girls. I felt love, love based on pure maternal instinct. And most of all I felt guilt.
That was the moment when time stood still.