I’m a week late for Lori’s Perfect Moment Monday, but her list is still active and hey, it’s a Monday, so I guess I’m still in the clear.
I realize my post title sounds like I’m listening to dubsteb but it refers to something entirely different. Last Monday, Larry and I got to hear the most incredible sound: the Knish’s heartbeat.
I had my first OB appointment last week. We met with one of the many midwives in the practice. It’s a pretty large group, so I have the option of seeing any one of the OBs or midwives there in the office anytime I go. They’re close, they’re affiliated with a great hospital and I’ve heard so many wonderful things about both their OBs and midwives.
Some very quick “how’s the Knish doin?” updates before I get into my most perfect moment.
My midwife was very nice and did a thorough new patient intake. Even better? She acknowledged and engaged with Larry in the room. He’s really interested in trying to go to as many appointments with me as he can. Since he doesn’t get to experience the joys of morning sickness and labor/delivery, he figured he could at least be a second set of eyes and ears at my various appointments over the next 7 months. It helps him stay connected and it’s really comforting to have him there with me.
We talked about how often I would need to come in, which my midwife noted, “might seem like a shock after how often you went to your fertility clinic.” She’s right: they only want me in there once monthly for check-ups until week 20, at which point I’ll come biweekly.
We also discussed just how high risk I might be. With my thyroid, weight and familial history of gestational and type II diabetes, in addition to being pregnant via IVF, our midwife basically said I’m not low risk, but I’m not super high risk either. We’ll just need to be vigilant and proactive. I can get behind that.
She did an internal exam and noted that my uterus feels “nice and full and pregnant” and that my hips were “plenty wide” for birthing. Curves, for the win
And then she got out the Doppler. “Let’s take a listen for your baby’s heartbeat,” she said, pressing the scope over my abdomen.
“First, we’ll hear your breathing and your heartbeat, and maybe some intestinal noises-” she was interrupted by a soft sound.
wub wub wub wub wub wub wub wub…
I felt my ab muscles tighten as I struggled to keep my lower body from moving so we could all hear the sound more clearly.
“There it is,” she smiled. My stomach shook as I tried not to sob, tears spilling from the corners of my eyes and onto the paper sheet underneath my head. Larry took my hand. “Like a little choo choo train,” she said with a chuckle.
My abs would flinch as I tried to keep still and keep my composure, causing loud bursts of static on the speaker. I laid there, mesmerized, Larry squeezing my hand and looking at me with this genuine look of joy and amazement and wonder.
wub wub wub wub wub wub wub wub…
Like a whisper from my womb: steady, strong and vibrant.
I’m twelve weeks today. Just 6 more days and I’ve cleared the biggest hurdle yet: the first trimester. I can’t believe how fast this time has already flown by! I had another appointment for another heartbeat check today, followed by early risk screening for Down’s and Trisomy 18, which consisted of a 30 minute ultrasound and followed by a blood test.
I had a quick 12-week heartbeat check on the Doppler. Since I was more prepared for today, I kept my belly and breathing nice and even. At first, I started to get worried; it took the midwife a good solid minute before she could get the heartbeat. And there it was, faster this time, about 173 beats per minute. Good and strong.
We headed to the ultrasound room where we spent a luxurious twenty minutes seeing the Knish on screen. The sonographer did all sorts of neural tube measurements. It was marvelous, seeing little toes and fingers, and the distinct outline of a face. The Knish already has one helluva schnozz! The sonographer asked me to cough a couple of times. She put the wand back on my abdomen and Larry and I watched, in amazement, as the Knish began to kick its legs and flail its arms.
“Just wanted to wake him up a little bit,” she said. “To get a better picture.”
We were mesmerized by what we were seeing: little arms and legs waving around, the Knish even fliped upside-down at one point. It was pretty crazy: the Knish had some pretty violent kicks. At just over 2 inches long, I couldn’t feel any of it. The sonographer noted that some women don’t even feel movement yet until 18 or 19 weeks. Since the Knish is surrounded by amniotic fluid, it’s the equivalent of a goldfish in a plastic baggie filled with water. If you put your hand on the bag, you wouldn’t necessarily feel the fish swimming inside.
Between the wub wub of the heartbeat and seeing our little Knish moving around… I’m just so in awe. And so grateful and humbled to be here in this moment, to be able to bear witness and be present for these milestones.
Perfect Moment Monday.