I heard the most soul-scarring wail…It was soft, forlorn, without hope, and full of sorrow”
Yesterday, I experienced something that reminded me to never take life and its forward motions for granted. I had my final anatomy/ advanced maternal age scan. The ultrasound technician went through all the various poses, anatomy, tried to take a few pictures while little one kept hiding against the uterus, smiled and told me that she would be leaving the room. She told me that the doctor would be in the room to see me shortly. This is the same routine that has repeated itself for several months. Usually, it only takes about 5 minutes for the doctor to come in. This time was different. About 20-25 minutes later (I was napping on the reclined chair so my timing could be off), the tech knocked on the door and apologized for the doctor’s running late. She informed me that the doctor was having to deliver some difficult news and would be with me as soon as she could.
Guys, as if on cue, I heard the most soul-scarring wail from a woman down the hall. When I talked to my friend about it later, I told her it was as if the woman’s very heart were being torn from her. It wasn’t a loud wail. It was soft, forlorn, without hope, and completely full of sorrow. Following that sound, I heard what I can only assume as the father’s voice raise slightly and then fall as in comfort to the woman. I have never heard that cry before. I never ever want to hear it again. The technician quickly closed the door and I heard more muffled sounds before silence. I started praying immediately.
About five minutes later, in walked my doctor with a pleasant smile and a chipper demeanor proclaiming my last scan was well, that baby looked “phenomenal”, that she wouldn’t need to see me again, and she wished me the best in the remainder of my pregnancy. Despite the fact that this doctor’s words were nothing but cheer, you could see sadness in her eyes. She asked about the contractions and back pain that has been nagging me throughout the pregnancy and I quickly shut the conversation down. They were Braxton Hicks, nothing more, and no longer seemed important.
She left the room. I left after and the very atmosphere in the back where the patients and staff were had changed. There was a restraint. One of the staff who’d greeted me when I came in and had taken vitals and measurements was now talking in hushed tones with another woman. They smiled when I passed, but the sadness remained.
In the car, I prayed again. I obviously don’t know the news that was shared with the mother and father, but I can only assume the worse. I cannot imagine what that mother is going through. I cannot imagine her pain. I sometimes talk and post about being in pain and being fatigued. I felt so humbled in that moment because I guarantee you that mother would have traded places with me and my fatigue in an instant.
The only reason I’d been visiting this particular clinic was because of the requirement that women over 35 years of age receiving additional scans and monitoring, and because our baby was conceived by IVF. Usually the appointments are so routine for me there that I can forget that this facility is specifically for those who have or have the potential for serious complications in their pregnancy. I’d never been there for anyone receiving bad news or if I had, I didn’t know it. This experience will stick with me for a very long time, if not forever.
I don’t know the couple nor did I see them, but I invite everyone who knows the words of prayer to pray for this family. I can’t imagine the pain they are experiencing.