I thought I threw them out.
I thought any evidence of that baby, that first pregnancy, was gone. I remember throwing away the pregnancy tests.
I assumed the ultrasounds went right along with the tests in my fit of rage after learning that baby wasn’t going to stay with us.
While packing swimsuits for our family vacation, I stumbled across a brown box in the drawer. I couldn’t remember what was in there so, obviously, I opened it.
The first card on top was a “Congratulations” card on a pregnancy; I assumed Asher’s.
Under the first card, I saw the backside of that distinct ultrasound paper. I flipped it over, saw a gestational sac, and the date, April 18, 2016; the date of my first ever pregnancy-related ultrasound.
Tears filled my eyes.
I didn’t throw out those ultrasounds.
I didn’t erase all evidence of that first baby.
I still had proof of its brief existence.
Looking further into the box, I found another photo from the next ultrasound on April 25, 2016, and beneath that were the pictures from May 2, 2016, where we saw the baby for the first time, but the heart rate was only 96 bpm.
Those were the last ultrasound photos taken of that pregnancy.
The next ultrasound, done a week later, showed the heart rate dropped, and it was confirmed that the baby wasn’t staying with us. We weren’t offered photos at that appointment.
After dealing with the unexpected grief those photos stirred within me, I started to read the few “congratulations” cards in the box (a poor choice on my part).
Cards from people who had been following our journey of infertility and miscarriage. People were so happy for us to be pregnant again.
The phrases “our prayers have been answered” and “we are so happy for you both” jumped out at me.
Cue the flood of tears.
Why did we have to struggle to start our family?!
Why did we have to suffer back-to-back losses?!
Why couldn’t he have stayed?!
Why did Asher have to die?!
Just why to all of it.
It’s been over 4 years since our first pregnancy loss.
I thought I had moved on from the grief of that first loss.
I thought I rationalized it away when I became pregnant with Asher.
“That baby wasn’t viable. “
“I wouldn’t have gotten pregnant with Asher then, blah blah blah.”
I thought the grief of that 9-week loss had been replaced with the grief over the loss of Asher when he was born still at 32 weeks 5 days gestation, only 9 months later.
Yet, here I am looking at photos of that first baby and crying.
Here I am 4 years later after receiving those “congratulatory” cards for my second pregnancy, Asher’s pregnancy, without him.
Here I am, arms full with twin daughters from my third pregnancy, still wondering “why” to all that we have been through.
The “whys” never go away, no matter how much time has passed or how many more children you
I try my hardest not to sit in them for too long because I know they will never be answered. However, sometimes they demand to be asked.
During those times, I just need to sit in the sadness.
I need to ask the unanswerable question of “why” and I need to cry the tears for all that we have lost.
Amy Lied is a wife and a mother to her son, Asher, who was inexplicably born still on February 19th, 2017 and twin daughters. Before losing Asher, she suffered a miscarriage and struggled with unexplained infertility. She has documented her journey from the beginning of her infertility struggles on her blog, Doggie Bags Not Diaper Bags. She is also a co-founder of The Lucky Anchor Project , an online resource for loss families that houses an Etsy store whose profits are donated to loss family non-profit organizations. She hopes to help others by sharing her journey as she continues to navigate the bumpy road that is life after loss.