Oct 9, 2009  •  In Personal, Pregnancy

No Heartbeat

We did not get an ultrasound yesterday because this particular doctor did not have an ultrasound machine on premises. He had discovered the bleeding after a pelvic exam, and while he put me on bedrest, he advised us to get an ultrasound right away.

Luckily, we were able to get an appointment with another doctor this morning. I immediately liked her, and kept thinking inside my head, “We found our OB!” She was warm, energetic and friendly, and told me more about the pregnancy in 15 minutes of conversation than all my past doctor visits combined.

But as soon as the grainy image flickered onto the screen, I knew something was wrong.

“…there is no heartbeat…”

We had lost the baby.


Insurance Refuses to Cover the Surgery

I will be going to the hospital on Monday to get a surgical procedure called D&C. The tissue will be suctioned out and tests performed to try to determine the cause of the miscarriage.

The worst part of this entire experience has been the insurance. After we received the news and got some private time to grieve, the doctor explained to us what would happen and the administrative staff called my insurance provider to get the authorization for the procedure.

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield is refusing to cover this treatment as well, stating that my need for a D&C stems from a pre-existing condition (aka the pregnancy). My doctor was livid, repeatedly saying, “But she NEEDS this procedure. It’s a surgery that requires a hospital bed, staff, equipment, and anesthesia!”

The cost of the D&C will run in the thousands of dollars. My doctor kindly offered to cut her own fee in half, but her cost is just a fraction of the total bill.

After hearing the news, all I wanted to do was go home and cry. Grieve in private. Instead, we had to sit in the doctor’s office for another half an hour while the staff continued to argue with the insurance company. A fight that they inevitably lost.


The Aftermath

This all happened in the morning. J and I came home, cried, and grieved together. I took a short nap, and am currently feeling slightly better. Which is to say that I am no longer bawling…rather, I feel numb. I feel completely numb and cold inside.

When I first found out that we had lost the baby (just a week before the start of my second trimester, no less), I quickly decided that I did not want to tell anyone right away.

However, as soon as I woke up from my nap I knew that I wanted to write. So here I am.

I continue to re-run the pregnancy in my head, trying to figure out what I did wrong. I think back to events that occurred years and years ago, asking myself if it’s possible that they could’ve somehow contributed to the miscarriage.

People say that a miscarriage is nature’s way of weeding out the weak and the deformed, and that it most likely happened through no fault of my own. However, it is difficult not to blame myself and consider myself less of a woman.

“Do you think our baby is in heaven?” I asked J.

“Of course. And we’ll get to meet him or her one day.”

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72 Responses to “No Heartbeat”

  1. Carol says:

    omg.. girl… i’m sooo sorry to hear that… please let us know if you need ANYTHING!! (more time, food, or whatever…) i will be praying for you guys…

  2. Kelly says:

    I’m so, so, sorry Jenny. hugs I will be praying for you, J, and your little one too. 🙁

  3. Jen says:

    I wish I could offer you more than just virtual hugs and virtual friendship. I am so sorry that this happened.

  4. Vir says:

    Jenny, you are in my thoughts and prayers… I wish I could offer more support than that. HUGS.

  5. Ashley says:

    Jenny, I’m so so sorry to hear this. I’ll be thinking about you & J during this difficult time. Hugs.

  6. Amanda says:

    Oh Jenny. I have never met you, but want to wrap my arms around you. It is so evident how much both of you already loved this baby. Keep your trust in God and I will be praying for you as you walk this difficult journey.

  7. Karen says:

    I found your blog from Weddingbee and have been lurking for awhile. I was pregnant as well and was very excited to follow your pregnancy – you and I were just about the same in terms of due date (mine was 5/4/2010). I had my first OB appointment last week (at 9 1/2 weeks) and had the same thing happen, no heartbeat. I just had my D&C yesterday. I’m sorry that this is happening to you – it is devastating and I am so sorry that you have to think about things like money and insurance. This should only be about you, your husband and your grieving. I don’t have much advice to offer, but you and your family are in my thoughts.

  8. Amy I. says:

    Echoing what everyone else has said. My heart is broken for you. Sending you all the love, hugs, and strength I have.

  9. I have never met you IRL, but I just want you to know how seriously sorry I am.

    I am really.. really sorry. hug

  10. Jenny, it is most important for you to remember that this is not your fault — you did not cause this miscarriage. Placing the blame on yourself will only make the entire process so much harder… and it is so, so hard to begin with. I am so, so sorry you have to go through this…. you and J are in my thoughts. Many hugs.

  11. CMW says:

    My sympathies to you and your husband on this devastating loss.

    Some ideas for how to handle the aftermath: Have you considered contacting Planned Parenthood about the D&C? If that is an option, they may be less expensive than a hospital.

    Another possibility is that most hospitals have hardship/charity funds you may qualify for. Otherwise, they may allow you to pay in increments over time (I did this when I needed to be hospitalized as poor graduate student).

    There are also health care credit cards that offer low or no interest payment periods (I used this to finance $2500 of orthodontic bills- again as a poor grad student).

    Best of luck. I will be keeping you in my prayers.

  12. cassia says:

    I’m so sorry to hear – such a painful thing to go through and to have to deal with the cruelty of insurance – it’s so unfair and downright evil to add to your burden at this time. Wrap yourself in the love of your family and friends and please take very good care of yourself.

  13. sandy says:

    so sorry for your loss…it was obvious you loved the baby so much…wishing you and your family peace during this difficult time.

  14. Moll says:

    I’m so incredibly sorry to hear about your loss. I hope the heartbreak heals enough to let you stop blaming yourself, and I hope the stories of people who’ve had miscarriages and then gone on to have healthy, happy babies gives you the courage to try again. (And I hope the insurance company rots in hell. That is absurd and cruel.)

  15. R says:

    There are never the right words for these times. Having seen a close family member go through this all I can offer is that it does get easier, but you must allow yourself time to grieve. My thoughts are with you and your loved ones.

  16. Donna says:

    Jenny, my heart really goes out to you. I lost my first baby 10 weeks into the pregnancy – same way as you…I went in for an ultrasound but started spotting and didn’t have a heartbeat. Take your time and grieve – the empty feeling eventually goes away and I pray for you and your husband to find comfort with each other.

  17. Jessica says:

    I am so so sorry. hugs

  18. Shell says:

    I am so sorry. Will definitely be praying for your entire situation.

  19. pooiee says:

    im really sorry to hear that. my thoughts are with you and your family. hugs

  20. Maggie says:

    I’m so sorry for you – I know I don’t know you in real life, but I just wanted to tell you that I was thinking of you, and if my thoughts can help, they are certainly with you and your husband.

  21. eemusings says:

    Hon, I am so sorry. I know you’ll get through this, my thoughts are with you.

  22. Jenna says:

    Oh sweetheart. Being (two weeks?) just ahead of you in this whole pregnancy thing I can tell you that I’ve run this scenario over in my head a million times. Maybe it’s the reason I don’t have prenatal care yet because there is a small part of me that worries there is no baby inside of me, or maybe there was but there isn’t anymore. I know that husband and I have discussed many times why women miscarry, especially early in pregnancy, and I’m not sure if I will be able to be so logical about it if it happens, but I know right now I keep telling myself that miscarriage is God’s way of giving my baby the best life possible. A miscarriage helps terminate a process that was faulty in some way, because our bodies aren’t perfect and won’t do it exactly every time, and instead of being given the hardship of a less than healthy baby God made a way for the process to start over again. That said, if I were in your position, I might tell my own self to shove it.

    I’m just… I’m so sorry. I’m sitting here crying, projecting myself in your place, and there are no words. My heart goes out to both of you tonight and I hope you are able to find some peace in the coming weeks.

  23. Andria says:

    Delurking to tell you how incredibly sorry I am to hear this horrible news! I wish there was something more than I could say to make it better.

    Can I offer a couple of suggestions about the insurance problem? I don’t know if either of these things will help, but I figure I can throw them out there and maybe it won’t hurt.

    My first suggestion is to contact your local health department. They have case workers that can sit down with you and discuss your options. Many health departments have fully functioning doctors on staff that are there to provide medcial assistance to those without insurance. There is usually a lot of waiting, and the crowd at the health department can be kind of rough, but when you are in a tight spot they can help.

    The other suggestion I have is a little harder to voice. Please don’t take offense to this, but it occured to me that the proceedure for an abortion is basically a D&C. Here in Alabama an abortion runs about $350. I don’t know what it costs in NY, but it is presumably cheaper than the thousands that the hospitals will charge. I wonder if that is a cheaper option for you. As heartbreaking as it is.

    Anyway, please know that you and your husband are in our thoughts and prayers during this horrible time. God Bless.

  24. Sherry says:

    I’m so terribly sorry for your loss.

  25. Anna says:

    I am so sorry for you.

    Miscarriage is NOT your fault, (unless you maybe have been doing some extreme sports, which I’m sure you haven’t). Miscarrage is just like most other health problems: BAD LUCK. You did NOTHING wrong.

    Good luck with everything. hugs You’ve got your man in Heaven, you know?

  26. Joe says:

    Hey Jenny. U know i don’t normally post here. But you’ll both get big hugs when we next see you. Will be praying for your heart girl.

  27. busylizzy says:

    I am so sorry for you. This really breaks my heart. I’ll keep you in my thoughts and prayers!

  28. julie says:

    i’m so sorry to read this. my heart is breaking for you. you and j are in my thoughts and prayers.

  29. Jessie says:

    I have been following your blog for a long time, and though we don’t know each other IRL, my heart is breaking for you and J as well. You are a young and strong girl. You will survive this pain. And God will guide your family through this and all the other hardships you have had to endure lately. big hugs

  30. Ashley says:

    Oh Jenny, I saw the blog title and my heart just crumbled. I was devastated.

    I don’t have anything to say that could possibly make you and your husband feel better, but please, please don’t blame yourself. This was completely out of your hands. My thoughts are with you and your family.

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