Yesterday morning, we had an appointment at our midwifery practice. It was a routine appointment, one which we expected the midwife would try to get the baby's heartbeat on the Doppler for us.
We were put into an exam room and checked in by the medical assistant, and a few minutes later Maya came in. She wanted to know if we had any questions, concerns, etc. She asked how T was feeling - which is pretty good, by the way. She's feeling good, that is - not that it's a good thing Maya asked about her! Ha. She went over T's blood results with us; we were glad and unsurprised to learn that everything was fine. And her blood type is the same as mine! O negative. What are the odds. T remarked, "I guess we're just in a lot of 10% groups." and then laughed. Since this was a different midwife than last time, she smiled and said to herself, "So, you're PARTNERS. Ah." Oops, sorry Maya, didn't know that wasn't clear. Maybe you should put a note about us in the computer system, lol. Beware Of Lesbians, maybe. I'd like to mention here that the midwives and the birth center in general has been very supportive of us, but we kind of throw them for a loop because we're certainly not the norm in their practice. They are all trying really hard to learn the right things to say. Little do they know, we're not easily offended by people who mean well.
I guess there wasn't really anything else to do at this appointment, because then Maya said she could try to find the baby's heartbeat for us. I imagine the grins on our faces told her that yes, yes indeed we would like that very much.
She had T lay back on the exam table and put ultrasound gel on her belly. I've heard recordings of baby heartbeats, but never what it sounds like as the user is trying to find the baby's heartbeat. It was interesting, and nerve-wracking. And kind of loud. We could hear the sound of the Doppler moving on T's skin, we could hear T's insides gurgling around, and then we heard T's heartbeat pounding along steadily. Maya looked up at me and said, "That's not it yet, that's hers." I nodded and said, "Yeah, I figured."
A moment later she passed over something and said quietly, "Oh! There it was. Now I gotta find it again." I hadn't heard anything, so a momentary dread gripped my insides because I suddenly feared she'd find a very weak and slow heartbeat and have to tell us that it was likely this baby wasn't going to make it. I closed my eyes and tried to mentally loosen the knot building up in my stomach.
I didn't have long to wait, however, because Maya moved the Doppler and then, faintly at first, there was a steady rushing sound. A big smile broke out on Maya's face and she goes, "There. There it is. This is your baby's heartbeat." It got louder and louder as she honed in exactly on the baby's location and the quick gallop of beats filled the little exam room. Directly underneath it was T's steady, slower heartbeat. T's and the baby's hearts were in a gorgeous synchronous rhythm, the baby's beating exactly twice as fast as T's was. I told T later that I thought I could listen to that little rhythm all day. It was beautiful and miraculous and I was just overcome with amazement. (No, I didn't cry! If the process had taken longer, I probably would have.)
Still, I am floored at the human body. More specifically, I'm very impressed with T's. A few weeks ago, we had a cluster of embryonic cells that were dividing away and today, we've got a fully-formed human life with a heartbeat of its own growing and thriving inside T. Just incredible.
I am exceedingly thankful for the gift we've been given. I am so glad and happy that all is well with the baby, and really can hardly believe it on a daily basis that someday soon, a new life is going to be born onto this planet and that life is going to be part of our family forever.
I'll leave you with a photo we took two nights ago. T, at eleven weeks.