As an expectant mom, every ultrasound appointment comes with excitement. The days leading up to seeing your sweet babe again feel long, as you just can’t wait to see your sweet growing babe up on that screen again, each time dawning new features. As a loss parents, that excitement also comes with fear. There’s an innocence in pregnancy before loss. An innocence I’ve long forgotten – but long for. I remember my first ultrasound with Teddy. My very first pregnancy. It was my turn, after waiting to get pregnant, I finally got to see a little sac. I was seeing a reproductive endocrinologist due to my PCOS – so they did an early scan at 6 weeks. A nurse pulled me in to discuss my ultrasound and I was genuinely shocked when she said he had a heartbeat. I didn’t know what to expect at that point, but I was immediately in love.

The ultrasound to follow was at 12 weeks, and what started as a tiny sac, was soon a whole little tiny human! He had the cutest profile, and I finally had a photo that looked like a baby! The picture we used for our announcement. And of course, then came the anatomy scan, a sweet boy was perfectly snuggled in my belly. But just a week and a half later, my worst nightmare came to life, and the only ultrasounds that followed were confirming my water had broken, check ins during the days of agonizingly waiting to see if he’d make it, and the last one, right before they confirmed he had passed away.

That’s when it ended. The innocence of pregnancy. And I miss it.

I miss not feeling like every little pain, cramp, and ache was something wrong. I know realistically that everything is going okay, but I have a fear that will never leave my heart. I am forever thankful for a team of high-risk doctors who watch me like a hawk to ensure everything is going just right with this baby. But the fear will always be there.

Elizabeth's anatomy scan at 21 weeks - a sign of relief

Author’s Personal Collection/Elizabeth Michalski

So I walked into my anatomy scan this week with my fingers crossed, hoping for the best. Every moment feels so long waiting until I see a beating heart on the screen. And I can honestly say, at every ultrasound, though I try not to, my eyes are completely watery as soon as I see it. A sigh of relief. I missed my last ultrasound appointment because I was under quarantine, sick with COVID. I know I had a bit extra anxiety this time around, wondering if she was absolutely okay after I was sick. I had mild symptoms, thankfully, but googling the words COVID and pregnancy are sure to fire up those nerves. But my fears were all eased once the scan began, our sweet baby girl looked perfectly healthy (and stubborn, like her mama, as I have to finish my anatomy scan in two weeks).

During this scan, I was told that I have placenta previa. Which basically means the placenta is covering the cervix. It still has time to move – and I’m hoping it does! They’ll keep an eye on it over the next few weeks and said we will take it scan by scan. It’s nothing to stress over – which makes me feel at ease. If the placenta doesn’t move, I’ll have to have a c-section. Which at the end of the day, I don’t care how she gets here, as long as she’s healthy. For now, though, I’m on pelvic rest – which I’d never even heard of. Hopefully, the placenta moves away and the rest is lifted, but the only limitation with the rest is just no intercourse. Anything bugging the cervix right now could cause some issues, so better safe than sorry.

Elizabeth's 21-week bump - a sign of relief

Author’s Personal Collection/Elizabeth Michalski

All in all, I walked in the door to my doctor’s office with anxiety I couldn’t shake, and I walked out with a renewed sense of hope.

I am off to bed with relief flooding through my bones, not only because I feel better knowing Delilah is okay, but because today, she decided to give me quite a few kicks, and it’s the most movement I’ve felt yet. That alone, makes my heart happy and reminds me she’s doing alright in there.

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