Monday, September 14

Preparing for the Heartbeat

Written on August 26, when I was ten weeks and one day pregnant.

Tomorrow is our second prenatal doctor’s appointment. This will be one of the momentous ones because we’ll be hearing the heartbeat for the first time. I’m really excited about it.

I’ve been thinking about this moment for a long time, for much longer than the length of the actual pregnancy thus far. For me, hearing the heartbeat is one of those key moments in your life, like the moment that having a baby all becomes real. When my sister was pregnant, I was so excited to even just hear about her experience hearing the heartbeat.

I’m afraid that I’ve built it up way too much. I keep picturing the scenario—Andrew and I will be gripping each other’s hand, waiting for the big moment. As the doctor moves the wand around my belly trying to find the heartbeat, my own heart would pound in anticipation. And then . . . whoosh, whoosh, whoosh. Perhaps I’d cry. Andrew would squeeze my hand and kiss me, both of us completely overwhelmed with emotion.

But in reality, it can’t possibly be like that. It might have been, but surely reality can’t live up to my super-idealized version, can it? In reality, I imagine it will still be a great moment. We will probably hold hands, and my heart will certainly be pounding. But I don’t think I’ll cry. And can a moment I’ve imagine a hundred times still change my life?

The books tell me that at this stage, the baby is about an inch and a half long, from crown to rump. That’s fairly good sized. It’s so strange to know that there’s a real, growing person in there and I can’t feel it or know exactly where it is. Not “it,” “he or she.” I think I still say “it” because it doesn’t quite seem real yet. Maybe after I hear the heartbeat I’ll start saying “he or she” with more regularity.

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