It was all going to be perfect.

They sat in the waiting room. He scanned the photos on the wall. These weren’t the whining and poop machines he’d considered them most of his adult life. They were angels, all perfect angels, and soon they would have one of their own.

They were called into the exam room. Some questions were asked, her weight and blood pressure was taken.

“One twenty over eighty. Perfect!”

They were led into another room, the one they had anticipated since they made the appointment.

“Ready to see your baby?” someone asked.

A scanner was over her body. Images came up on a screen on the wall. Their excitement was perfectly palpable.

“This dark area is the placental sac, and this circle is the yolk sac.” It was a perfect circle, of course. And just below the circle was the bean, which in actuality was the size of a raspberry, but on the monitor looked so huge. The bean looked perfect.

And it was lying perfectly still.

“I’m sorry,” they heard, “but I can’t detect a heartbeat.”

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