the sound of a real heart
a baby heart
beating beating beating
…and I feel as if
this is my team
my mother and father and me
and the baby
(from Heartbeat by Sharon Creech)
Four years ago, on October 7, I sat in my doctor’s office with eyes puffy from a tearful night, listening to him explain with great compassion the procedure I was about to have to remove from my body the baby who had already passed away in the womb. It was devastating in every way. A few minutes later, we drove across the street to the hospital and I was put under general anesthesia. When I woke up the baby was gone. It was a heartwrenching time.
Yesterday, on October 7, I laid back in my doctor’s office while he joyfully pointed out the waving hands, individual fingers, and kicking feet of our new little baby! Then we heard the whoosh-a-whoosh-a-whoose of a real little heartbeat. The best sound in the whole world. It was amazing. The baby is the size of a peanut shell, but we could see individual fingers (although they were waving around too fast to be counted!) waving and reaching and grasping. Our doctor told us that the baby now has all of its toes as well, but we couldn’t really see those.
When I first called for an appointment and the receptionist scheduled me for October 7th, I considered asking for a different date. It has been a hard day for me for the past couple of years. But I swallowed my fears and accepted the appointment and I’m so glad I did. Now we will forever have something to celebrate on October 7th–our little one’s “heartbeat day.” On Benjamin’s heartbeat day, July 7th, we always make heart-shaped pancakes for breakfast and heart-shaped pizza for dinner. We will do the same kind of thing for this little sweetling.