One moment we saw a heartbeat. And the next, nothing.
Nothing but the yolk sac. No resident within. Like an empty home. Like someone left without saying goodbye.
We went for the check-up on Saturday, expecting to see more of him, having seen the first heartbeats 2 weeks ago.
I stood in front of the tv screen, numbed by Dr Lim's prognosis. Behind the curtains, my wife's quiet, almost pleading voice could be heard asking, "Are you sure? But we saw the heartbeat last time…"
But Dr Lim confirmed the miscarriage, saying it does happen, especially within the first 12 weeks of a pregnancy, and more so when the woman is older.
He kindly suggested we quickly schedule the D&C (Dilation & Curettage) surgery, to prevent any infection and potential problems.
Outside, we waited while the paperwork was being filled and the appointment with the hospital made. It felt like forever.
The wife sat with me, trying not to break down in front of all these other pregnant women in the waiting room with us. But she could only hold her tears back that long.
We informed our loved ones and friends, and words of comfort poured in.Their prayers covered us.
As we struggled with our grief and loss, we were reminded of what we were together for.
I was also reminded of her quiet strength. This was my wife, who survived a very scary first pregnancy, and who did not cave when faced with the realization that our firstborn has autism. She did not cave this time either.
Instead, we went about our business over the weekend, to do the things we had already planned to do, to go to places we already planned to go.
Occasionally, we exchanged glances, knowing exactly what the other was thinking.
"Was it something I ate? Was it something I did before the pregnancy?" she would ask, in the moments between the calm.
"It's not your fault," I would say.
"Maybe it was all those doubts I had. Maybe Baby thought I didn't want it," she said, trying desperately to find a reason, a cause.
"You know that is not true. These things happen. It's not your fault. It's not our fault."
Other times, we said nothing, and just held each other.
The day before the surgery, she messaged me, "I prayed for Baby, you know. I thought Baby would be protected."
"I know. Me too. But He had other plans," I messaged back. "Baby is in good hands."
Then it was the day to do the D&C. We got up at 5am to get some breakfast for her before her fast, and checked in at the hospital at 9am.
We waited in the Day Surgery ward, chatting and reading the papers together, and replying to messages of concern on our phones. When the talk came round to the kids, we found ourselves laughing when we exchanged stories about what Faith, Isaac and Joy did recently.
"I am still burpy and nauseous," she said, referring to the lingering symptoms of pregnancy.
"It should pass," I said.
"You know, this is the first time we've come here for something other than a delivery."
Then she was wheeled in for the procedure. By late afternoon, she was discharged and we went home.
That night, we had dinner at Mom's.
After dinner, Isaac and Joy climbed on my legs and jumped up and down. Then Isaac and I got into a debate about who to support for a YOG badminton match. I said Thailand, he wanted to support China. I told my 6-year-old son China does not need your support but he insisted.
When I asked about some badminton rule, Dad joked and said, "Ask me lah. I am the Champion Armchair Sportsman."
We all laughed. Indeed, Dad is an Armchair Sportsman of Olympian standards and knows all sports, while playing none.
Faith giggled and pulled me towards her when I asked for a kiss. The wife sat on the sofa, looking a little tired from the day.
After we shooed the kids to bed, we watched some tv and the wife said, "Today at the playground, Isaac said he already decided on a name for him," and told me the boy's name Isaac chose.
"How did he even know it was going to be a boy? It was just 8 weeks."
"Ya. And Joy wanted to listen to my tummy," she smiled, and then added quietly, "They haven't forgotten."
"We'll have to tell them soon, somehow," I said. "I'll think of something."
And then she fell asleep on my lap. I sat in the dark, saying my goodbyes.