The nurse’s face said it all.
I’d been sat squeezing the hand of my wife as she lay there with a nurse searching around inside of her. It felt like the longest moment of my life and ,as the seconds ticked by, I increasingly lost hope that our baby was still alive and kicking.
I didn’t look at my wife as the nurse’s eyes flicked around the ultrasound monitor. Instead, I stared intently at the nurse’s face, looking for any sign of recognition of a heartbeat showing on the monitor.
The moment that I was dreading eventually arrived. That slight grimace on her lips. That flash of disappointment that ran across her face before she quickly regained her composure. Anyone not paying attention may not have seen it, but I was staring so intently that I saw it straight away. This nurse has no doubt carried out this test hundreds of times before, but the dread of having to tell a young couple that they’ve lost their baby must always be in her mind during these moments. After all, she’s only human.
Because of what I saw I already knew that it was over before the nurse opened her mouth to say ‘I’m so sorry, but there isn’t a heartbeat’. But those words were always going to be a punch to the gut and they just confirmed what we’d been dreading for a couple of days.