May 30, 2008

One Little Heartbeat

Enter second trimester! I couldn't have been more thrilled. Pretty soon I was going to feel those flutters I kept hearing about, and even sooner I'd get to hear a heartbeat! Ty and I couldn't wait to hear signs of life. For now, there wasn't a whole lot going on. I still had a flat tummy (well...), and although my boobs had gotten bigger, that was pretty much it. I didn't feel pregnant; I wasn't nauseous, I wasn't over tired, I wasn't running to the bathroom every five minutes. All these symptoms I kept reading about and I wasn't feeling any of them. I kept reassuring myself that this was normal, and peeked at both my positive pregnancy tests from time to time to make myself smile.

My prenatal visits were at my mom's house. Like I'd mentioned before, as a young girl I used to love watching the beautiful ladies with their lovely bellies come over to my house for their prenatals. Our first prenatal was one of the most exciting moments of my life - it was a childhood dream come true! Ty and I arrived a little early, breathless and grinning from ear to ear. I was 12 weeks along, according to my calculations. My mom and her fellow partner Midwife and best friend, Terry, greeted us with their own silly grins. They were about as excited as we were to start this amazing mother-daughter bonding journey. Businesslike, they gestured towards our chairs, and we sat. It was all basic information, nutrition guidelines, and what they expected out of us as well as what we could count on from them. Finally we got to the good part, listening to the heartbeat! I laid on the physician's table and pulled up my shirt. Mom plopped some freezing cold gel on my belly, and turned the doppler on. She searched for the baby's heartbeat, spreading the gel over the better part of my exposed skin. We all listened hard, but didn't hear anything. Elusive child, stop playing around! Hold still so we can hear you!

We couldn't find the heartbeat that day, but Mom and Terry shrugged it off saying they didn't always find the heartbeat that early. Having the luxury of having my mom as my midwife, I could stop by in a week and we'd try again. Which we did, and still no heartbeat! It didn't worry any of us, but we were disappointed. A week later, at 14 weeks, we all felt sure we'd hear one this time. Again the gel made an appearance, and covered my belly with about an inch of gooey-ness. Still nothing. I looked into my mom's face, and saw her putting on her "so what" face, and knew that she felt concerned. She prodded the skin under my belly button, feeling for my uterus. I tried to stay calm, but felt alarm creeping up. I looked and Ty and knew he was feeling the same way. Mom cleared her throat. "Your uterus should feel bigger than this at 14 weeks, I think we may have our dates off." I shook my head, I was tracking temps, mucus, intercourse, and all sorts of unnatural sights; I knew exactly when this baby was conceived. "What else could it be?" I asked, knowing the answer. "Well," Mom replied, "I think we should get an ultrasound and make sure you're pregnant." I wasn't expecting that. Doubt that I was even pregnant? What about the pregnancy tests? I would have made a case for my absent period, but that in itself wasn't unusual for someone with PCOS. For the first time in this pregnancy, I felt unsure.

I had wait a few days for the order for the ultrasound. Mom had a friend who was a nurse-midwife, and could order them for me. On the drive over to my mother's house to pick up the order, I noticed a very young puppy on the side of the road. It was just starting to snow, and the puppy wasn't moving so I pulled over. He was dead, a hit and run, most likely. I pulled some plastic bags out of my car, wrapped the puppy in them, and put him in my truck. His tiny body was stiff, frozen in the cold. I cried on the way home, for the puppy, and for the life inside me that I wasn't sure existed. I buried the puppy in our side yard, and felt dismal and pessimistic the rest of the day.

Ty came with me to our ultrasound. We were nervous; afraid that there would be no baby, and simultaneously excited to see our baby if there was one. The technician was kind, and helped me lay back. She tucked a towel into the top of my pants and plopped some goop on my tummy. I smiled at the warmth, thinking that there were some benefits to this visit. The minute she placed the doppler on my stomach, we knew.

We were about to be parents!

That little baby wiggled around like there was nothing going on. The baby measured a week behind what we thought, and had a good strong heartbeat. The tech turned it up so we could hear it clearly. I pushed the puppy to the back of my mind and relished the beauty of life!

No comments: