July 14, 2008
Peace, Love, & Belly Pics
A couple of weeks ago, in the midst of a nasty sinus infection, I woke up to discover I had lost several pounds over the last couple of days. This was not a huge surprise since solid food absolutely repulsed me at the time - but my stomach had also lost that hard spot that I had identified with being pregnant. So I panicked, sure that the meds I was taking (although on the *safe* list from my doctor) had somehow caused something to go wrong with the baby.
So where did I go for relief? Why, the internet of course!!! And within minutes I found myself on ebay purchasing a Doppler for $39 from Hong Kong. Normally I have a pretty strong aversion to buying things made in China but all I was seeing was a Doppler and a dollar sign at that point.
Of course, the doppler took about a week and a half to arrive so it wasn't exactly offering me much peace in the moment - but I knew that there would be many more freak-outs ahead and waiting 3-4 weeks between doctor appointments to hear the sound of our baby alive and well was just not going to work for me. I figured my peace of mind was worth at least $39.
I did go to the doctor that same day to be seen for the sinus infection and the nurse got out the doppler (which I know cost a great deal more than $39) and I heard the baby's heart beating away. It *almost* stopped me from wanting to stab my own eyes out to be free from the pain in my head. Almost.
So a week or so later when the doppler finally arrived I was no longer in panic mode and was in fact on my way out to a concert (True Colors Tour at Red Rocks - AMAZING!!!!) but I still ripped it from the box, plopped myself on the couch, rubbed oil on my belly, and began the search. It took me a couple minutes to find the heartbeat the first time, during which Mr. Spicy continued to point out that it was a cheap plastic doppler made in China and that I shouldn't expect too much out of it....and then......Eureka!
There was the galloping swooshing beating of our little Poblano's heart. I breathed a deep sigh of relief. Mr. Spicy had tears in his eyes. And I left for the concert a few minutes later with the biggest smile I have had in years.
Initially, I would obsessively use the doppler both morning and night, seeking confirmation that this little life was still growing inside of me. Slowly, I moved to using it only at night, and now I might even skip a night or two between uses.
I expected this little machine to give me some peace, and it has. I feel an immense peace settle over me each time I hear that tiny beating little heart working away inside of me. My heart rate drops significantly every time I hear the baby's.
What I didn't know to expect was the overwhelming feeling of love and adoration - just from hearing this little heart. Each night that I lie there in the dark listening to our little one before falling asleep I feel this love within me just swell and overflow. My favorite moments are those when I can hear the slower whooshing of the blood flowing from my heart through my veins and the quick rabbit-like pulsing of my baby's heart beat, at the same time. In that moment I am reminded in a very concrete way how we are in this together, our baby and I. I realize that the sound my baby knows the very best right now is the sound of my own heart. My heart, beating away without any instruction or supervision from me, doing just what it is meant to do - it is feeding, nourishing, and comforting my little one. My heart already knows how to do this, and is doing it naturally and perfectly. This is the most comforting thing in the world to me.
When I imagine the Poblano growing away inside of me, as I lie there and memorize its heartbeats, I imagine it in a garden, or in a large flower bud, tucked away inside, being nourished and fed with beauty and life. And when I see this in my mind, I am overcome with the peace and love in it all.
And.....I have some belly pics! Here are photos taken at 10 weeks, and then at 12 weeks - I will be taking the 14 week photos tomorrow and will try to be a little more timely about getting them up here. I still cannot believe I am about to put pictures of my stomach on the internet! Ah well....so much for vanity! :)