One mom’s loving memory of the first time she heard her child’s heartbeat.
My first trimester was extremely challenging, as it is for many women.
Besides the normal symptoms of nausea, loss of appetite, and extreme exhaustion, I was an emotional and mental trainwreck. My hormones were a mess and I cried every day, occasionally about something and often about nothing.
While we had prepared to be parents as best we could and had planned for this child, I was still absolutely terrified of being a parent.
There was so much I didn’t know and I was deeply afraid of failure.
I hated my job at the time and was anxious for the baby’s birth so I could take my maternity leave and not return.
In addition, both my mom and my sister had suffered miscarriages and I was incredibly nervous I too would face a miscarriage with this child.
As I took the bus to work each day, I would hold back tears and take deep breaths to fight through the intense waves of nausea. I was counting down the days before my first doctor’s appointment. I wanted it to come fast so I could ensure my baby was okay. That was all I wanted, to make sure my baby was okay and growing.
The day came and I was so excited. I laid down on the small cot, anticipation running through my veins. The nurse rubbed the cold jelly on my belly, and I heard it instantly.
His heartbeat. It was fast. It was strong.
It was the most beautiful sound I had ever heard.
I was overcome with tears of joy and held my husband’s hand tightly. This was all I needed at that moment. It made the previous eight weeks of anxiety and exhaustion slowly fade from my mind.
What a marvel this is, I thought!
I can hear my baby’s heartbeat inside me. He can hear mine.
I am growing a human.
This is important. Better yet, this is the most important thing I will ever do.
This is my baby.
I am not the most religious person, but at that moment, I couldn’t help but thank God for this most precious gift of life and making me part of his divine creation.
That heartbeat got me through the next few weeks. Before I knew it I was in my second trimester and the nausea began to dissipate.
I was still an emotional mess (thank you, This Is Us and Call the Midwife), but that heartbeat is what kept me going.
When I hold my son close, when I peek in his room to watch him sleep, and when we giggle and laugh together, I still think of the beautiful sound of his heartbeat.
It still is the most wonderful sound I have ever heard.