No Heartbeat

12:23:00 PM

Two words. 
Eleven letters. 
No parent would want to hear this phrase about their own child. 
Especially parents who are longing to have a child.

"No heartbeat."

A nightmare.
Which I went through. 
Which I'm still going through, sometimes. 

I wish there are not many others who share the same experience as me but I know there are many others going through this too because after sharing about my own experience, a lot of kindhearted and caring mothers started to share with me their own experiences too. Most of them don't even share their stories with other people, but confide in me or just simply sharing. Like me, in terms of talking about it (blogging doesn't count because when I blog I'm technically alone, facing just my laptop normally hours after midnight. As I'm finalising this post its already 5am!) its easier to talk to those who have experienced it too because they kind of won't judge.

This post is something long overdue as I've thought about sharing these thoughts and also this song since 2015. When it happened. I wanted to blog about this on 13th November last Monday but I didn't. The exact date 2 years ago, the doctor cut out my second 'child' from inside of me. on 13th November 2015.  It's been two years since then. I couldn't do this post last year. But my life has tremendously changed this past 1 year. 

Baby Adik we call him/her. Because I referred to our child as baby, and my husband preferred Adik. 

I wanted to share about it when I could no longer hear the word heart or beat or couldnt even hear my own heartbeat as I felt like my child deserved the heart beats more than I do. During that period, I didnt think that it was possible that the second loss of a child could be even harder than the first. You know how certain things get easier and better the second time around? I can testify that it definitely does not apply to the loss of a child. It's something that I myself can't even properly describe even though I'm going through it. Heck, it even took me 2 years to write this post. And perhaps the only reason why its is a little easier for me to be able to do this now is because of the development  and expansion of my family and the gifts that I have been gratefully blessed with this past year.

I was aware about the 5 Stages of Grief (click to read) after my first child loss but my emotions went even more haywire the second time around. I was numb (and maybe in denial without realising it) most of the time. All the stages were jumbled up. I remember the first two weeks after it happened, I did not cry and did not even let down a single tear. I sort of jumped into the acceptance stage right away without allowing myself to be sad, angry, depressed etc. I fed myself with spiritual lectures and videos almost 24 hours, just on rotation hearing what was meant to be the 'right way' to react after the death of a loved one. I didnt let myself feel. It was a mixture of acceptance and numbness. And when I suddenly felt something, I wasn't sad. I was angry.  I was so angry and only my husband saw how angry I was. It wasn't a pretty sight.

I mean, after Jibrael almost everyone was saying "its okay, you will have another one, you're still so young". Like a child is replaceable, just like that. Can you imagine someone saying that to your parents if you die? "I'm sorry your child died, but its okay, you're still young". Or, "It's okay, you still have the other sibling." Dismissing and not acknowledging the existence of the person, the baby, the soul that has left us too soon. 

Anyways, that baby was our rainbow baby. That second pregnancy. "The replacement" child as people like to refer to him/her. Second child. I lost that baby too. And it triggered even more memories about my first loss and as much as we are all not supposed to compare our children. I did the exact opposite in my mind. I started to secretly compare. Which was unhealthy. For the mind, the heart. Things like, at least I get to spend much more time with Jibrael. I get to feel her kick in my tummy. I get to see her. I get to see Jibrael's beautiful face and perfect body. At least I get to hold her. At least we buried her. At least we can visit her grave when we miss her. At least this. At least that. (And it hurts so much when people say, at least it's still early in the pregnancy).

Things that I never in a million years thought I would ever think about. The unimaginable. They say. And I'm not imagining. I don't have to imagine something that people are scared to even imagine. I'm going through it every single day of my life even though my life actually goes on. "Move on" they say. Guess what, my life has been moving on without my two children but that doesn't mean you have to tell me to move on if I suddenly have a panic attack or something triggered a break down. People break down over the smallest of things, why must I be denied the right to feel, the right to break down when it happens? But then again, is it "people' or is it just me that is not letting myself feel?

A question for myself to ponder.

I pent up my feelings throughout the past 2 years. There's no one to actually talk to because I don't feel comfortable talking about the losses and sometimes people just change the subject because they wouldn't know what to say. Even I don't know what to say sometimes when it happens to someone else. Thank God for the blog, so even though I'm not comfortable talking about it, but times like this when I feel like opening up, I just write and blog and write and it feels therapeutic in a way. It is some sort of therapy for me.

Anyways, when I lost Baby Adik, I distracted myself by continuing to keep myself busy with non-personal things that doesn't involve emotions. I experienced a burn out in a lot of aspects in my life, and one of the doctors said that it might be because I did not let myself grieve. It was a timely warning, though some of my closest friends did already mention this to me.

How did it come to this?

When I saw the result on the pregnancy test, I couldnt believe my eyes. It has been many many months after my last pregnancy, each month waiting in anticipation to see that positive result. And each month ended in disappointment. Countless times using the pregnancy tests because I "thought' I was pregnant.

I couldnt believe it but both me and the husband was happy. I was much more excited. The husband seemed excited, but a little worried too. Cautious. Maybe worried because of my previous, first pregnancy. 

Its not that I forgot about the first pregnancy, an experience like that, the memories lasts a lifetime and I will never forget it forever (unless if I have alzheimers one day Nauzubillah). But Ive heard so many times people saying that all pregnancies are different and I was so positive that it will be different the second time around. 

On uber on my way to work, I called both my parents and my parents-in-law. My parents didnt pick up. My MIL picked up. I informed her. She was so happy to hear the news. When I got to my mum she sounded worried but she didnt want to show it. That made me question myself. Should I be worried? 

I remember when I went to work the first person I told was Marissa. I went to her place and told her. Excitedly but almost whispering. I wasn't ready to tell anyone but I was so overwhelmed with joy and happiness that I just had to tell her. And even before that pregnancy I've bonded with Marissa and shared a lot of things I've never told anyone else before on our car rides so I felt comfortable sharing it to Mars. And then, I told Vivy. Vivy was like: "why are you at work? Go and meet a doctor straight away. Go for a check up!! "

I guess I was just so excited that I didn't know what to do. But Vivy was right.

So I went to the clinic at noon. The doctor that I wanted to meet wasn't there so I met another doctor. I thought he was going to do a check up or whatever to confirm the pregnancy but he said since I did a few tests already theres no more tests to do as it would be the same thing. So I should come in about a month's time or so to look at the progress and the heartbeat.

So I came back during the second checkup, and surprisingly the other doctor said that there was "no heartbeat". I was numb. I sat on the chair. Just confused. The doctor suggested that I do a d&c immediately. I told the family. My mum told me to go and ask for a second opinion from a different doctor. Which I did. A recommendation from Vivy and my MIL.

I went for the second opinion. 

And there was the heartbeat! It was one of the most beautiful feelings ever!

The situation was something like this woman is this article. (Pregnant Woman Wrongly Told Baby Had No Heartbeat ). I was so happy and thankful and went to work as normal. However the doctor told me, because of my previous complication with my first pregnancy, this second pregnancy automatically becomes a high risk and complicated pregnancy as well. After a few weeks I started to bleed. (Until today I get uncomfortable if I had to pass the spot at my office where I found out I started bleeding but it gets better now. It was a traumatising experience) The doctor instructed me to be on strict bed rest.

No work. No going up and standing. Just lie down. And he will inject steroids and hormone at the same time twice a week to strengthen the womb. I couldn't totally leave work though because aere's team was really small then. And just so happens, when I was on bed rest the only other team member that I had at the time had to leave. I continued posting on aere's IG account (till end of last year I was the one doing the postings) and communicating with stockists, on aere's releases etc because at that time I didn't want people to know that I was pregnant, let alone facing a complicated pregnancy. Only the closest knew. So the show must go on, and even on bed rest and despite the doctors saying no more working, I didn't and couldtn't let go fully even when I was on strict bed rest.

I bled myself dry. It came and it went. The bleeding I mean. 

I was excited to listen to the heartbeat and watch my baby's heartbeat on the ultrasound every time I went to the check up with the doctor. It was one of the best feelings ever and I was so grateful to witness the beauty of the soul inside my body.

However, after a few weeks, I started to bleed even worse than before, and clumps came out. It got so bad that I had to be taken to the emergency wards at one of the hospitals because of the bleeding. However, the baby's heart beat was still there. So I hung on. I developed a pregnancy craving of (expensive) steak and had to have it almost every day. It was probably what the baby wanted and needed, and I didn't mind whatever cravings I had as long as it meant that the baby would be healthy.

It was then during one of the scheduled check-ups with the doctor that something weird happened. The nurse had trouble finding the heartbeat. After a long time trying, the doctor confirmed that there was NO HEARTBEAT. Not any longer.

And just like that, my world changed again. After a series of life-changing experiences the years before, it happened, again. God knows best.

So that is how it happened. Here's a video of me just talking about it and singing one of the songs that I found just days after 13th November  2015 when the procedure to take out the remains of my second child out of body was done.

"I heard the heartbeat,

the most beautiful
music that I’ve ever heard  
in my life

Theres something that happens when you hear
the heartbeat

It makes you
know that there’s life inside of you

picked out names
I envisioned how my child would look like
I was feeling very maternal
My second child
with the man that I love
My family and friends were so excited
During the second checkup we found out that it was another complicated pregnancy which caused me to go for a second opinion
It went well for awhile and then I started to bleed
I was on strict bedrest and I was bleeding myself dry for many many days,
After hearing the heartbeat many times and after the countless beautiful checkups

No heartbeat

I guess the love just wasn't enough
For us to survive
I swear, I swear, I swear I tried

You took the life right out of me
I'm so unlucky, I can't breathe
You took the life right out of me, me, me, me, me
I'm longing for your heartbeat

This song above was written by Beyonce.

The saddest song written by Beyonce in her life. It was the first song that she wrote for the album and she said it’s the best form of therapy as it’s the saddest thing that she has ever been through.

I guess, listening and singing this song is one of the forms of therapy for me too. I was looking for support online and found the song. Although it took me 2 years to write this down, recording this video was surprisingly easy. Did it in one take, just to express myself through her words.

I wrote about Baby Adik in my post My Second Pregnancy : Adik Jibrael and My Second Pregnancy : Misunderstood. Just twice, before.

I also found some miscarriage facts below :

"Physicians generally agree that the risk of miscarriage decreases once the pregnancy reaches a point that an ultrasound can detect a heartbeat... ) (Read : Odds of Miscarrying after Seeing Heartbeat on Ultrasound)

"If you are experiencing vaginal bleeding but have an otherwise low-risk pregnancy and a fetal heartbeat was detected on ultrasound, your risk of miscarriage might be around 13 percent, one study found." (Read : Odds of Miscarrying after Seeing Heartbeat on Ultrasound)

These statistics and facts mean nothing once you have gone through the loss. Emotionally, it will not make you feel better at all. But for me, having knowledge and facts is good to have once your brain rationalises and assists the heart to grieve. 

In losing a pregnancy you are not only losing a child (a child that many people are already attached to) but the hopes and dreams that went with that child. And 13th November 2015, I lost mine again. But I swear I tried.

I wrote more in, Shatter the Silence : Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness last month.


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  1. Assalamualaikum nadia, reading your post,i could totally relate to it.though maybe not having miscarriage twice.i have just had a miscarriage about a month ago.after years of trying and going for 2 cycles of ivf.its true that at times no words could console our is such a rollercoaster of emotions! we can only pray and may Allah ease our pain.