Walking into the obstetrician’s office for the first time, I remember being so apprehensive. That step over the doctor’s threshold would confirm so much. A brand new life, yes, but also a completely changed life. A new phase that I was not wholly certain that I was ready for.
I was 10 weeks, 3 days pregnant with Cameron. I took a pregnancy test the week before just to convince myself that I actually was still pregnant. I answered my doctor’s questions, stood on the scale, and then laid out on the examining table. 10 weeks, 3 days, and my doctor asked if we wanted to try to hear the baby. Maybe, just maybe, the machine would pick up a beating heart.
I laid there, listening to the backdrop of static against my own beating heart. And then. Was that the baby?
I listened. The feeling I felt was both overwhelming and non-existent. I was unsure how to feel. My baby was there. Alive. Confirmed. But the elated feeling I assumed I’d feel was lost amongst everything else new that I was experiencing. The heartbeat was there, but what did that mean? Certainly not the immediate connection to my brand new baby I hoped it would be. It was only noise. Noise that, just then, wasn’t yet translating into my child. My son.
Everything was different the second time around.
Everything but the apprehension. This time I knew what changes would be coming. This time I was already a mother. This time I understood the implications of having a baby… and the implications of losing a baby.
This time, I laid on the table and I waited. Being able to hear that heartbeat meant more to me than anything. With every ounce of my being, every little part of me that makes me a mother, I needed to hear a heartbeat. It was more than just being assured about my pregnancy. I needed to be assured about life. I needed to know that growing inside of me was a tangible part of my family. I needed to know that deep within my being I was supporting life.
“Is that the baby?” I needed to be sure. I had to be sure.
Nothing has ever sounded more beautiful to me than my baby’s heartbeat in that moment.
Finally, all the anxiety of the first 11 weeks washed away from me. Every fear, every stress, every hurt flowed out of me to the rhythm of that beating heart. In that single moment, I felt hope. I knew joy. I experienced that elation I had expected the first time around.
There is a life inside of me. There is so much more love to share. There is a family that that is growing.
There is hope and joy and peace and beauty.
There is life.