top of page

There Was Silence Instead of a Heartbeat

Photo Credit: Owner of photo requests anonymity

It was a Saturday and I woke up wanting to get out of the house and have a date with my hubby. I was 34 weeks pregnant.

It was unusual for me because the whole pregnancy had been pretty rough. I almost never felt well and had really not felt up to going out in those last few weeks. So that morning was odd. I also felt very energetic, which was odd as well.

My hubby and I went out for a breakfast date and ran errands all over town afterward.

It wasn't until that afternoon when we were back home that he happened to say, "Hey, you haven't mentioned Sammy today."

It suddenly hit me—he was right.

I immediately started to panic and couldn't remember if I'd felt him move that morning. Had he moved in the middle of the night? Or last night?

Now, he had given me a scare or two in the prior months, so I had bought one of those baby heartbeat monitors. We hooked it up and I started listening. In the past it was always really easy to find his heartbeat, just like at every doctor's appointment. It had always been loud and strong.

This time I couldn't hear anything. The panic set in harder. My hubby took the headphones and tried to find something. He said he heard a faint heartbeat (I tried to listen but really didn't hear what he was hearing). Either way, I had him do a heart rate count and it came out to 80 bpm, so I decided to call the doctor because even if that was the heart rate, I thought it was too low.

So I called my doctors office and they said to go ahead and go to the hospital. I'd be monitored and we could get some relief.

We drove to the hospital, and even though I had my hospital bag ready for months, I didn't bring anything with me. I figured I was just being overly anxious as usual. It felt like forever while we waited for them to bring us back to the room. Finally, we were taken back and a nurse hooked me up to the monitor and tried to find the heartbeat.


She called in another nurse and they both tried.


They both decided to get the doctor and do a full sonogram. The doctor came in and had the monitor pulled up. It was faced away from me so I couldn't see anything. No one said anything for what felt like years.

Finally the doctor spoke. She said the phrase that I'll NEVER forget as long as I live. "I'm sorry, there is no heartbeat."

I remember squeezing my husband's hand as hard as I could. I looked at him and started crying. I don't know what else was going on around me after that point.

Awhile later they said I would have to deliver. I had forgotten all about that aspect of things. We were taken to a delivery room and so began the induction methods I'd never wanted as part of my birth plan.

Photo Credit: Owner of photo requests anonymity

Almost exactly 24 hours later, Sammy came out. He was perfect. They told us that he had the cord around his neck and also around his foot twice, really tightly. And with that we had our “reason."

We took the whole next day and stayed with Sammy, taking close to two hundred pictures. We gave him baths and changed him a bunch of times, and just held and kissed him.

It happened to be New Year's Eve that night and it was the happiest and saddest New Year's I’ll ever have.

The author of this post wishes to remain anonymous. The post and photo have been shared with permission from the author.

Coping with the grief of pregnancy loss can feel impossible and isolating. Surviving the Unimaginable is a guide to surviving loss, told through the voices of loss parents with the help of a clinical psychologist.

Recommendations in this post contain affiliate links. We may receive a small commission if you choose to purchase.

745 views0 comments


bottom of page