Ellis' Rainbows 1/5: The Storm
I realize I haven’t fully told you the story of Ellis’ rainbows yet. I’ve been writing about them for months now and can’t cull the story down to just one post, so I’ll share a piece every day this week.
1/5 The Storm
The first rainbow appeared the day Ellis was stillborn. It was a partly cloudy Sunday afternoon and I was home alone enjoying time to research strollers and collaborate with friends to send out our baby shower invitations that evening.
I started to become aware that Ellis wasn’t moving on his normal schedule. I attempted to stir him by drinking ice water and laying on my side. Nothing worked. Hunter was out of town on a work trip, so I called my doula who calmly told me to meet her at the hospital.
Though I had a feeling something was wrong I tried to convince myself otherwise and spent the twenty-minute drive attempting to fend off panic by breathing and listening to music.
By the time I got to the hospital none of the on-call staff seemed alarmed by my visit. I guess it’s pretty normal for pregnant women not to feel their babies move. The administrator entered my information into the computer and I anxiously waited to see a nurse.
Finally, they gave me a hospital gown to change into and assigned me a bed. The nurse used a fetal doppler to search for the baby’s heartbeat; she couldn’t find it. My own heartbeat was being monitored and the racing beep of my pulse filled the room. I couldn’t speak.
The nurse couldn’t make eye contact with me. She gently commented about how sometimes it can be hard to find the heartbeat. She left the room to get a doctor who used an ultrasound machine to confirm what I already knew—there was no heartbeat but my own.
This moment severed my life like a bolt of lightening, piercing space with a deafening clap of thunder to signal that a storm was directly overhead. I was blinded by this flash and left in an obscured reality where past and future ceased to exist. I wailed.