Pregnancy Journal: The Heartbeat

By Kelly

I still remember the first time I heard my baby’s heartbeat.

It was January 5, 2001. I was sick and miserable. I had never been sure I even wanted children. Now, deep in the throes of first trimester yuck, I was even less sure.

My husband accompanied me to my first OB appointment. We had no idea what to expect. I went through the usual pre-visit routine – urine sample, weight check, blood pressure, please enjoy this lovely paper gown and wait for the doctor.

When the OB came in, she asked a few questions then informed us she wanted to check for the baby’s heartbeat. We had no idea how far along I was – long story – so we were both surprised and intrigued. She squirted the goo on my stomach, plugged in what looked like a toy microphone and pressed it into my abdomen.

It took a minute, but then we heard it – the tell-tale sound of a baby’s heartbeat in utero.

And my life changed forever.

I wrote in my journal later that day:

I’m not exactly a pregnancy novice. I mean, almost all of my close friends have been through this process before me. So I knew that people talk about hearing the heartbeat in terms normally reserved for the Second Coming. I really didn’t think that I would be that extreme.

But it was really an amazing experience.

Maybe it was extra-special because we weren’t expecting to hear it. But when [the doctor] moved the sonar microphone over to my right side and we heard that distinctive “woom-woom-woom” … well, it blew me out of the water.

Then, to make things even more otherworldly, the baby moved – and of course, I didn’t feel a thing! It was so weird to lay there and think that I have whole other human being living inside of me – and I can’t really tell.

Wow. I’m still thrilled.

Shock and awe. I’ve never gotten over it.

This past Friday, at my 12-week OB check, I got to hear this baby’s heartbeat. It took a while to find, but all of a sudden, there it was. Loud. Fast. Strong. “Woom-woom-woom-woom.”

My OB grinned. I grinned back.

And my own heart began to beat in time with that little one.

I hope I never get over it.

Kelly is currently expecting her fourth and final child. She blogs about her life, faith and family at Love Well.

16 Responses to Pregnancy Journal: The Heartbeat
  1. Jen
    November 4, 2009 | 11:38 am

    I was always happy to hear the heartbeat, but it was never a life-changing experience. Maybe I need to grow a more powerful emotional barometer or something.

  2. Melissa
    November 4, 2009 | 12:22 pm

    We heard my little one’s heartbeat yesterday. It never seems real to me until I hear the heartbeat, and then all over again at the first scan.
    I couldn’t see my 17 month old daughter from my belly-up position, but my OB said that she was smiling and swinging her foot in time with the baby’s heartbeat. :o)
    I love that she’s already moving to the rhythm of her baby sibling. :o)

  3. Stephanie
    November 4, 2009 | 1:46 pm

    I love this. Brings back so many feelings.


  4. Erin
    November 4, 2009 | 1:50 pm

    Reading this gave me chills. I remember hearing my second baby’s heartbeat and telling my midwife, “It doesn’t get any less amazing.”

  5. gretchen from lifenut
    November 4, 2009 | 2:05 pm

    Sigh. I adore that sound. I am getting tingly thinking about it now.

    With my first, I didn’t hear her heartbeat until 16 weeks (long story there, too). I went to work after my appointment and gushed to everyone about the heartbeat—what it sounded like, etc.

    It was a marvel, heck I was a marvel for being so privileged to have two hearts in my body.

  6. Carrie
    November 4, 2009 | 4:13 pm

    Hearing that heartbeat is always so amazing. My little boy (23 months tomorrow) has been going to my OB appointments with me this time, and when we got to the exam room yesterday, he said, “Mommy lay on table. Mommy’s belly go baby go ‘boom boom'”, describing the baby’s heartbeat – it was ultra-cute!!! 🙂 It is such a precious experience. 🙂

  7. Krista
    November 4, 2009 | 5:48 pm

    I had to take my 2 1/2 year old with me to my last mid-wife appointment, but that meant he got to hear the heartbeat. I think he got it, it was fun to watch him!

  8. Mindy
    November 4, 2009 | 10:24 pm

    May our hearts always keep time to that little beat.

  9. candace
    November 5, 2009 | 1:20 am

    I remember hearing for the first time with my husband there. We were so excited! I cry however I cry at everything(including my wedding, birth, about every birthday and the whole first year of preschool). I let my MIl come for a visit to hear the heartbeat and she cried like a baby!

  10. Becky
    November 5, 2009 | 7:22 pm

    The first time we went in to hear the heartbeat, we didn’t hear anything. Our little baby had died at 9 weeks. When we found out we were pregnant again 5 months later and went in for my appointment we were so nervous. We actually we able to get an early ultrasound so not only did we hear Nolan’s little hearbeat, but we got to see it pumping away too. What a wonderful experience!

  11. Kellyn
    November 5, 2009 | 11:56 pm

    It is such a rush. I remember when I heard Boo’s for the first time, I cried. I wasn’t sure if we would get to hear it, but once we did I was so emotional. It is a sound I will never forget.

  12. Susan (5 Minutes for Mom)
    November 6, 2009 | 4:11 am

    Isn’t it so amazing? I can never get over the concept that another human being was inside me. It really is unbelievable.

  13. Heather of the EO
    November 6, 2009 | 11:58 am

    Why am I crying?

    Well, probably because it really is THAT amazing. I love that you had that moment (and Zofran)

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