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  • I can’t find a heartbeat, she said. Both me and Emil looked hard at the screen. We had done this before, so we knew how it was supposed to look. We remembered well how we first saw Folke on that screen, as he was 10 weeks. We did not see anything that looked like that. The nurse pushed the ultrasound transducer deeper into my belly, she moved it around, and all we saw was like this black hole.

    There is a fetal structure here, she pointed out. But I can’t see a heartbeat. She measured the lenght of the blurry thing in the black hole. It is too small. The fetus probably died in week seven or eight, she said.
    It should be almost week 14 now, I said.

    In these cases we always get another nurse to take a second look, she said, and went to get one. She came back with the woman from the reception. Ten minutes earlier, we had been joking and lauging, she and I. Now, she got to work. I secretly hoped that the first nurse was severely incompetent, and had been looking in the wrong place or something. But I knew she was not. The second nurse could only find the exact same thing as the first nurse.

    The first nurse started telling us about what was going to happen next. In the back of my head i kept thinking that they were mistaking, and that I was not going to let them kill the baby just because there was something wrong with their machines or whatever. She told me that most women want to get rid of the dead fetus immediately, and that we could go to the gynecological emergency right away. But then we would be risking a long waiting time.

    OK, so we will contact the hospital then, I said. I was still in my mind trying to save the baby, I knew somewhere that they were right, but I could not really accept it. No, I will call them, said the nurse. Right now, she said, and left the room.

    While she was gone, I took a picture of the screen. I was not sure if this was allowed, but I knew that this was the only picture I was ever going to have of this eagerly awaited baby. The nurse came back after quite some time, and told me that I was going to see a doctor at 8.30 tomorrow morning, and that the doctor would do an ultrasound too, just to confirm.

    We went home. I could not go back to work as I had planned. We got the dog from her daycare, and our three year old Folke from preschool. As we got home, we told him about the baby. That we had lost it. And that we were sad about it. And that mabye, he could still be a big brother, just not right now. Then we had pizza.

    I took a bath with our son, we played with his boats, and read a childrens comic in the tub. When getting dressed, I chose my underwear knowing that tomorrow morning, they would be on display again. I know that what I have to do next to is not pretty at all. But tonight, I can not think of that. There is too much grief to deal with first.
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