“So, how’s Heidi doing today?” Dr. B. asked me with a smile.
“I have a cold, but other than that, I’m doing great!” I said, thankful yet again to be in my second trimester with morning sickness and dampened spirits a memory from the past.
“That’s great!” he replied, “Let’s have you lay back and we’ll measure you.”
Dr. B. pulled out his tape measure and held it over my growing belly.
Bubbers watched with confusion mingled with concern from his Daddy’s lap nearby.
I smiled and pointed to the doctor, “This is Dr. B. He’s the one that took you out of my belly. And he’s going to take your brother out of my belly, too.”
Bubbers looked at me intently and then looked at the doctor.
“Hi,” Dr. B. beamed at him.
Bubbers continued to watch him, but didn’t reply.
Then Dr. B. reached for his doppler monitor.
“Let’s take a quick listen for his heartbeat,” he said as he lubricated his probe and then pressed it to my belly.
I settled back to hear the familiar thumpthumpthumpthumpthump that I love.
“That’s your heartbeat,” Dr. B. said quietly as he moved the probe around, trying to locate the baby.
We waited patiently.
“I think I heard it briefly, but I can’t separate it from yours,” Dr. B. murmured, as if to himself.
Huh, we’ve never had a problem finding it before, I thought in passing.
We waited again.
My husband cleared his throat and asked, “When was the last time you felt him, Heidi?”
My answer was immediate and had already been running through my head, “Last night.”
I then recalled looking forward to seeing Dr. B., because I hadn’t felt the baby yet that day.
Loud static rang from the doppler machine as the doctor concentrated on hearing that small, yet ever reassuring thumpthumpthumpthumpthump.
Though I couldn’t hear it, I could feel the clock on the wall behind us ticking as each second went by.
“Would it help if I moved positions?” I asked hesitantly.
Dr. B. shook his head, “This position is fine. I should be able to get it….. Unless the baby is really far back.”
Then he added more lubrication to the probe and searched some more.
The minutes ticked by.
More loud static.
Finally, Dr. B. turned off the machine.
“I’m going to schedule you an immediate ultrasound,” he said quietly, “I’m pretty sure I heard a heartbeat at the beginning, but just to make sure, we’ll get an ultrasound.”
I nodded silently and he left the room.
Charming left for a moment and handed Bubbers to me to hold.
I sat on the exam table all alone and held my son.
Gently, I rested my cheek on the top of his head.
I started to sing him songs and tried not to think.
I tried not to think of a previous ultrasound.
I tried not to wonder if we’d lost another baby.
And I tried not to wonder if we’d ever be able to hold another baby, or if this child in my arms would be the only one.
I said a silent heart prayer.
One with no formal words.
Directed toward a loving Father.
And I felt the tears coming.
My throat started tightening and my eyes began burning.
And then I remembered.
I remembered the words in my patriarchal blessing that spoke of my children.
Those words echoed in my mind.
And they soothed me.
The burning in my eyes subsided and my throat relaxed.
My husband and the doctor returned.
“Your ultrasound has been scheduled for 2 pm,” the doctor said.
And then he paused and looked at us for a moment.
“Let’s try one more time,” he suddenly said as he reached for his doppler monitor again.
Eagerly, I handed Bubbers to my husband and laid back down.
Dr. B. lubricated the probe and placed it on my belly in the same spot he’d tried countless times before.
And there it was, almost immediately.
It filled the room.
And filled our hearts.
The doctor looked up with bright eyes.
“There it is!”
The baby kicked.
And I smiled with joy.