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. 

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