This was the week the long-awaited doppler arrived (albeit a day late), beginning our A.D. (after doppler) pregnancy journey. Before I get into that though, I did want to share a few thoughts about what the last couple months have been like. I’ll admit, when Sarah’s pregnancy first came to light, I was in a bit of shock. I was curious and excited, sure, but more terrified than anything. So many “how” questions circled through my mind. How will we sleep? How will this effect our relationship? How will I handle watching Sarah in pain while giving birth? (I refused to watch birth videos with her for the first several weeks) How will we find the time to get everything done? And most importantly…. HOW WILL WE AFFORD IT?
The first ultrasound is where it really started to sink in for me that this was happening, though not even that we are having a baby, but the fact that Sarah’s body is going through a transformative process. While the “how” questions still circled through my head, I tried not to obsess over them and just started focusing all of my attention on Sarah. This pregnancy is about her, not me. I am doing my best to remember that and do all I can to make it as positive an experience for her that it can be. When she is joyous (which is most of the time), I share in that joy and embolden those thoughts. On the occasions where she is moody, anxious or fearful, I have tried to be calm, patient and understanding (though, admittedly, I am still working on this part). I have also tried to do little things I know she enjoys – cooking meals she is craving (or even going out to eat when we have plenty of food at home), buying lots of seltzer & juice (not to mention a doppler) and most importantly, rubbing her every night.
In focusing on Sarah, I’ve seen how happy she is, how true to herself she is (which can sometime mean being outwardly anxious and worried, which is ok!), how grateful she is for all the support she has received from friends and family, and how appreciative of me she is. I don’t know when exactly it happened, I think it was probably gradual, but over the last couple of weeks, by concentrating on Sarah and her needs, the “how” worries and fears have slipped into the background. I can’t say they’ve disappeared, but my excitement and gratitude has grown to a such a level that it dulls the worry. I (and we) are so very lucky for so many things, beyond just having each other and this pregnancy, but at this moment its never felt so clear, and I am enjoying letting it soak in.
That brings me to the doppler. To me it seemed both unnecessary and a potential cause of undue stress, so I wasn’t really excited about the purchase. I mostly kept that to myself though – her body, her choice. My fears were almost confirmed when on Sarah’s first try she was unable to locate the heartbeat. I could see the disappointment and worry on her face. While watching some YouTube videos on the matter, we heard it works best on a full stomach. Sarah downed some food and we tried again. This time, about 5 minutes in, I first heard Sarah gasp and her face light up. I then leaned in and heard the unmistakable beat of the little nug’s heart, just as Sarah had. I have to say, getting the doppler was definitely worth it, firstly, just to see Sarah’s expression of joy. Secondly, hearing the heartbeat was magical. It is still is hard for me to really make sense of the fact that there is a human growing in her, and that we will have to care for that human. But in hearing the heart, I couldn’t help but feel an intense connection, not just with Sarah, but with the little nug his or herself, and in that moment the realness sets in.
You can see a video of Sarah using the Doppler here!