Sounds of a Uterus
I had my first prenatal appointment yesterday. They say you’re supposed to have your first appointment between 10 and 12 weeks, and I just slipped in under the 12 week mark. I wouldn’t have, except that we finally got our medicaid coverage. I figured, what will they tell me? “You’re pregnant.” Well, great. I know that already. But I got something so much better yesterday!
We decided to go with Mountain Midwifery Center, a birthing center that has come highly recommended by nearly all of my mom-type friends, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. We toured the facility on Monday and then got to spend nearly an hour with a certified nurse-midwife yesterday. In sharp contrast to a regular doctor’s office where your visits last 10-20 minutes and you are little more than a name on a chart, we’ll get extra visits that last as long as they need to for us to feel comfortable and get to know each staff member well.
So, when we went in I was 11 weeks and 5 days pregnant. After much thorough discussion on my health, it was finally time for the much-anticipated event: finding the heartbeat. Aubre, the wonderful nurse-midwife who saw us, informed us that you almost never hear the heartbeat until the end of the 13th week, and don’t worry if we can’t hear it, everything is fine, it’s just too early. As she squirted the cold blue gel on my belly and began moving the dealie around, she commented that she’d be really surprised if we heard anything today. We heard my heartbeat, and we heard a lot of indiscriminate whooshing, but no baby beat. In case you were wondering, my uterus sounds like wind blowing through an empty cave. I was considering how oddly appropriate this picture was when… it happened.
I think she was about the give up when the slightest tilt of the device moved us out of the wind, and suddenly all the whooshing gave way to a tiny, faster-than-fast heartbeat. I recognized it immediately. Aubre’s jaw dropped in surprise, and unable to restrain myself, I made some noise of astonishment, and my stomach moved, and we lost it. She managed to find it again for another few seconds, but I giggled and we lost it again.
Somehow, it all feels real to me now. Obviously, I know I’m pregnant- there’s no doubt about that. After 3 separate tests, a rapidly growing appetite (and belly), and the delightful fact that I haven’t touched my tampons in three months, I feel certain about it. But something changed when I heard that heartbeat- I remember thinking, “Oh my gosh- you’re really real!” I suddenly connected with the person living inside me, and I will never, ever forget the moment I first heard my child’s heartbeat.