Friday, September 25, 2009

When two hearts don't beat as one

The first part of your pregnancy can be one continual mind game. First off, you don’t get to see the doctor for your first appointment until you are 9-10 weeks along, and although you have peed on perhaps a half dozen sticks and are feeling all those lovely first trimester symptoms, you still wonder in the back of your mind, “Am I really pregnant or am I just really, really sick?” And then, because you are in the throngs of New Pregnancy Curiosity, you are reading a dozen and one books and finding out all the horrible things that can go wrong in the first trimester. So on top of thinking, “Am I really pregnant?” you are also thinking, “is my baby o.k.?” You start worrying about the fact that you can’t keep prenatal vitamins down to save your life (or the life of your new, growing bean) and you have suddenly developed an aversion to all things healthy and green.

And then you have your first doctor’s appointment, and if you are lucky, you are put at ease and told that everything is o.k. This is perfectly normal. And so you breathe a big sigh of relief and feel really good for another two weeks. But then the honeymoon period wanes, and the paranoia creeps back in. You worry that the doctor wasn’t able to find a heartbeat at that first appointment despite evidence that it was still too early. Worrying, though seems a bit more productive though than not worrying, so you continue.


We had our second appointment yesterday. It was remarkably brief, but I guess I should be thankful as everything seemed to be in order from my pee results, to my iron levels, to my diet (though it was noted that there did seem to be a lack of vegetables), to my even modest weight gain. The brief, 10-minute appointment was rather anti-climatic given the worry of the past couple of weeks. What made up for it though was the concluding statement by the midwife: “let’s see if we can hear the baby’s heat beat, shall we?”

The midwife applied the slightly cool gel and skated the doppler around my belly in search of sound. The Doppler quickly picked up on something.

Vrum vrum vrum vrum vrum vrum.

A fast, steady, and very audible heartbeat reached both mine and Mr. F’s ears.

Vrum vrum vrum vrum vrum vrum.

It made me very happy to hear that little heart beat, beating quickly at 140 beats per minute. It validated the crummy appetite, the extreme fatigue, and the increased moodiness. Of course I am going to be and feel all wonky! I am growing a baby, silly! And now there is proof--proof that this body is now a space for two. I reminded myself today of that wonderful feeling of knowing that I now am packing along a little friend by repeating to myself the sound of its heartbeat.

Vrum vrum vrum vrum vrum vrum.


Washington Hills said...

Lady Susan, this is GREAT! I know I've said it already, but CONGRATULATIONS! And with a heartbeat of 140, there might be a good chance that you're having a girl, just FYI, wink. I've been told, and it SEEMS to hold true, that faster heartbeats are girls, and slower (below 125) are boys. Have no "real" proof, but fun to dream about. Sigh, good going!

Hizzeather said...

Oooh, a girl! Yay! Then you can name her Heather! ha ha ha!

I'm loving your perspective! Keep the posts coming!

yola said...

This is the sweetest post yet! Awwwww you and Mr. F are going to be such great and loving parents! Congrats again and again! *am secretly crossing my fingers for a girl for you! A little Miss F would be so fun!*

Wild Rose said...


what a happy sound of that quick little heart beat. what relief.

a heart rate of 140 bpm doesn't necessarily mean girl or boy. they used to use the rate of the heart rate to decide sex before ultrasound was used but it isn't accurate. check out this brief NY Times article. i know, not the beat medical source, but it at least cites literature.

Jaimee said...

LOL! And as it turns out... a little baby boy F was born! :) I personally put zero stock in all those old wives tales. Carrying high or low, round or watermelon, swinging pendulums, craving fruit...


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