The beat of their heart

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

11 weeks, 3 days pregnant
It’s official — there is definitely something inside me (besides cereal and pizza), and I am on Cloud Nine!
Let me start at the beginning! This morning was our first visit with our OBGYN, and I was super-nervous on the drive there. I was worried that either she (A) wouldn’t even try to find the heartbeat, or (B) would try to find the heartbeat, but wouldn’t find it.
And since at every appointment, they make you do a pee test, I was worried — as always — that they would go, “Oh, actually you’re not pregnant …?” I was just a huge bundle of nerves, basically.
We got there super-early, and went through several levels of checking in/filling out forms, and then found ourselves in a small room — with a bed! I told Darling Husband that’s where I would get to lie if she did the heartbeat, and felt myself get even more nervous.
A really nice nurse came in first, and went through a ton of additional paperwork — basically my whole medical history, the pregnancy up to this point, contact info, everything.
I also signed up to take part in an H1N1 study of preggo peeps — I’ve done studies before, and I believe they’re important. My sneaky ulterior motive is that if I even suspect I might be sick, I get special phone numbers to call, and doctors to see me right away. H1N1 is hitting my city hard, so I’m glad to get a little extra help in case my vaccine fails.
After my blood pressure was taken and the last form was filled out, the nurse surprised me by saying she would try to find the heartbeat! I practically dove for the bed, and she went straight to work with a plastic wand thingy.
At first we just heard regular breathing-type noises — mine — and inside-of-the-body swishing and pumping sounds. It was pretty staticy, and I didn’t hear anything like galloping horses.
And then …
All of a sudden, it was totally clear: Whoosh-a! Whoosh-a! Whoosh-a! Whoosh-a!
It was incredible! Even the nurse had tears in her eyes, and she exclaimed at how she was surprised she got it so clearly.
I wanted to listen to it forever, but it was over too soon. She excused herself to get the doctor, and I immediately wanted to listen to it again — luckily Darling Husband refused to let me at the machine 🙂
During the round of questions and forms, I had casually mentioned to the nurse that I kind of thought it could be twins. So after we heard the heartbeat, she sent me to Room 10 and told me the doctor would “do a little scan.” I had no idea what that meant. Could it mean … an ultrasound? No, it couldn’t possibly be that easy … could it?
Darling Husband and I packed up all our stuff — about 10,000 forms and information packets — and walked down to Room 10. The first thing I saw was … one of those TV screens! Yesssss!
Once again, I dove onto the bed and happily yanked my dress up and my leggings down. We got to meet our doctor — let’s call her Dr. L — and she was amazingly, fantastically cool and fun and nice. She is totally the kind of doctor I want around when I’m screaming and writhing with labour owie-ness.
The nurse squeezed some goo onto my stomach, and I was shocked that it was warm — almost hot! Isn’t it always freezing cold on TV and in movies?
I was still distracted by the warm goo when the little image appeared on the screen. At first it just looked like an empty balloon, but as she moved the wand around, I kept seeing little glimpses of something — someone — inside it.
Dr. L pointed at something flickering, and she said that was the heart! It was like a tiny flickery lightbulb in a blur of static. Then she got a good angle, and we could clearly make out the side profile of a little baby! You could see the head, and even the tiny nose and mouth, and — OH MY GOD, IT’S WAVING!
Yes, dear readers, the baby was waving. Its little hand was flapping back and forth to greet us. Dr. L and the nurse were cracking up at his/her little antics, while Darling Husband and I stared in disbelief.
Our baby is clearly a genuis already.

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