Posted by: Kate | September 22, 2009

Split Second

I know, I may be biased… but right now, I have to place my vote for the coolest sound ever on the first glimmer of the baby’s heartbeat, in the first trimester of pregnancy.

Yeah, yeah, the first cry after birth is a good one, too, but the heartbeat has the added bonus of being almost a surprise.  I’ve got the nausea, and so on, but really no solid proof that I’m pregnant… and having had a miscarriage at 13 weeks, just having reached this far without bleeding is not a strong enough reassurance on its own.  We’d seen the heartbeat on an ultrasound, in August, but still… there’s just something about hearing it.  Suddenly, there’s confirmation of an actual person in there, or at least, a kumquat-sized being with an enormous head and little stubs of fingers and toes.

The first cry, it’s lovely to hear, but there’s not much of a surprise to that, unless you happen to be one of those women who thought she was going to the ER for an appendectomy or something, and ended up with a hell of a surprise inside that particular Cracker Jack box.  Most of us know we’re pregnant, and by the end of things we’re a little bit desperate to stop being so, and the whole labor/delivery process usually provides a bit of a hint of things to come.  The first heartbeat, though, even if you’re looking for it, it’s magical.

So, yeah, today’s appointment went just fine.  The baby was moving around too much to get a beats-per-minute sort of gauge on things, but there were just enough passing glimpses of it to be beyond-reassuring. Sometimes it only takes that split second to recognize the sound… like “Name That Tune,” only lying flat on your back with clear jelly all over your stomach.

I have another appointment next week, followed by an ultrasound… technically, it’s the nuchal translucency test, a check for Down Syndrome, but I’m just looking forward to the chance to peek in there, catch some of the acrobatics on screen.  (I avoid most prenatal testing, on the theory that none of it will change my decisions about continuing the pregnancy and most of it is stuff I can’t do anything about until after the birth, so I might as well remain blissfully ignorant for as long as possible.  The only thing I’m unambivalent about, testing-wise, is spina bifida, because there are some in utero procedures that can be done to fix it.  The rest, I ask the doctor not to share the results with me, because I just don’t need to know.)

And, for the next little while, a goofy grin.


  1. Aww. So glad everything went well 🙂

    I must say that for my daughter – it was her heartbeat. For my son though, it was his cry. He was preemie and they were worried about his lungs not being developed enough. A big, strong scream was music to my ears.

  2. As I said elsewhere, yey for heartbeats (and glad it’s just one!). It was pretty neat hearing ours- I hadn’t heard anything like it before.

  3. Yay!!! It’s funny how different things make it real for us. For me, it was feeling her move around. Yeah, the u/s and hb were cool, but there was a weird sort of detachment for me – it was almost like I was seeing someone else’s images on the little screen, or hearing someone else’s recorded heartbeat. When I felt actual movement inside me – ME!! – it was like WHAM! There really is someone in there!! 🙂

  4. Congratulations 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: