At my first doctor’s appointment after I’d found out I was pregnant with Bronwen, I had an ultrasound. The first time we saw her, at seven weeks old, she was just a peanut. A gray, hazy peanut. I teased Shane that the baby obviously looked like him.
The goal of the ultrasound was threefold:
1.) To determine the number of embryos. (Thank God there was only one. The thought of twins/triplets/even greater -ets hadn’t occurred to me until the doctor said so.)
2.) To determine time of conception more accurately and to set a due date.
3.) To see if there was a heartbeat.
You can’t see a heartbeat when everything is gray and ghostly. The doctors or nurses performing the ultrasound have to set up what I think of as the Technicolor setting, which allows you to see where bloodflow and whatnot is. The doc switch Technicolor on, and there it was.
A red thrum thrum. It took up her whole peanut-like body.
Flash forward to this morning. Bronwen is now five years old and has discovered a stethoscope. She’s sitting on the floor, using it to listen to a doll’s hollow chest. And now she puts the stethoscope to her own chest.
I think of that whole-body heartbeat and realize:
She’s hearing the same heart.