This was going to be a post about how I had expected there to be a change at eight weeks and, knowing the miscarriage rate at that point, how I thought my fear and anxiety would start to subside. As it turns out, this did not really happen. I suppose, with every day that passes, it gets a little easier to manage, but I still check my underwear for blood obsessively. I still have miscarriage nightmares. I still feel ridiculously down if I go any amount of time without feeling any pregnancy symptoms. And all week, I have been dreading next Tuesday’s 1st OB appointment because, what if there is no heartbeat?
But last night, something extraordinary happened. I found Skittle’s heartbeat with my newly purchased doppler. To be fair, it was not the first time I tried. I also gave it a shot Wednesday night, but that was a BFF. A Big. Fat. Fail. I did not completely freak out, because I knew it was early (I was only 8w6d at the time) and maybe it required more practice, but it did concern me. It did weigh on me and disappoint me and, Thursday morning, I woke up feeling sad and worried.
So I decided to try it again last night. I had already watched several YouTube videos about how to use the doppler, but I watched more and I read several online articles as well. I wanted to get all the tips I could. And from that advice, I filled my bladder until it was nearly ready to burst. I found a quiet place in our bedroom, free from the distractions of Honey and Cupcake. I used lots of gel. And I prepared myself to be patient and take my time. No rushing through this.
And there in our chilly bedroom, reclined as much as I possibly could be on our queen-size bed, after only five minutes of trying, at just 9 weeks into my pregnancy, I heard the heartbeat for the first time.
It was the most beautiful sound. Glorious. I was worried that I might not recognize it from other maternal sounds (my own heartbeat, an artery, etc.), but there was no mistaking this. It was unlike anything I had heard the night before and measured at about 171bpm. Perfect. Absolutely perfect.
Now, this did not completely molify every fear I have. This afternoon, I have had some cramping and I have been feeling uneasy. I have gone to the bathroom to check for blood countless times. But I know this is crazy. I know that, as of last night, Skittle was perfectly fine. And probably continues to be today. And probably will be tomorrow. And hopefully, for many, many years to come.
I am still scared, but today I feel elated at hearing that sound. And I am beginning to believe that maybe, just maybe, this baby will get to outlive me. There’s nothing I want more.