He settles the childless woman in her home as a happy mother of children. —Psalm 113:9

April 1, 2011

Emma Grace

This ultrasound was taken one year ago yesterday, and it's all we have of our second child (but at least it's something. All we have of the first one are memories). I remember like yesterday how the technician (who was awesome, by the way) told me that she wasn't technically allowed to tell me the results of the ultrasound herself, but that I'd know by the look on her face if she found a heartbeat; the anxious and tentative hope I felt when my baby appeared up there on the screen; and the gutted feeling when she looked over at me and gave me a slight, grim-faced shake of her head. And then she quietly left the room to give my mom and I time to hold each other and cry our hearts out, and came back a while later with this print-out.

It shows a fetus about 7.5 weeks along. Much too early to be able to recognize facial features, and we know that that hint of an eye and nose and cheekbone are tricks of the light and shadow, but that doesn't stop Matt from insisting that she looked like me.

I never told anyone that her name was Emma. Emma Grace. I didn't tell because we had no idea whether "she" was actually a she or a he, and because it was far too early to discuss names, and if she had gone on to be born there would most certainly have been disagreements and compromises made on the naming front.

But in my heart, this was my daughter Emma. Named for my grandma, Erma, which is a variant of Emma and much too old-fashioned and grandmotherish for a baby girl. Middle name Grace, because I knew it was only by the grace of God that she'd actually be born.

If I ever do go on to have a healthy daughter, she'll probably keep Grace as a middle name, if not a first name. But this name, as a whole, belongs to this baby, whose heart apparently gave out at only 7 and a half weeks, uniting little Emma with her namesake in Heaven, unbeknownst to Matt and I, who believed all was well.

I was 9 weeks along when the miscarriage symptoms started, and I had the ultrasound. They sent me for a D&C the very next morning, which was one year ago today. April fools.

My mom and sister went in together for a frame for the ultrasound photo. Mom took me to Hallmark to pick something out to remember Emma by. It was hard, and I broke down quietly in the back of the store, but ultimately I was pleased with my selection. The poem beneath the picture is a Chekov quote that reads:
We shall find Peace.
We shall hear Angels.
We shall see the sky sparkle
like diamonds.
Your mama misses you, Emma.


Elphaba said...

That is such a sad story. I'm so sorry you had to go through that :(

Hope said...

Thinking of you. The story of your daughter's name is very touching. I'm sorry she didn't make it into your arms. (((Hugs)))

Jean Bauhaus said...

Thanks, Elphaba. I'm sorry any of us ever has to go through that. :(

Jean Bauhaus said...

Thank you, Hope. (((Hugs back)))

Cal Turner said...

*hugs you tight*

Thank you for sharing Emma Grace's story with us. My thoughts are with you and Matt, Jean.

Manoah said...

You are always close to my thoughts and close to my heart.

Jean Bauhaus said...

(((Hugs back))) Thank you, Cal.

Jean Bauhaus said...

Aw, sweetie, thanks. (((hugs)))

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