I couldn’t hear it at first, but I could see it through his body. I watched it pump and move up and down in a rhythmic motion that could lull me to sleep. It wasn’t the first time I’d seen his heart and it wouldn’t be the last, but there was something truly magical and deeply emotional for me today when I watched Davey’s beating heart on the ultrasound screen.
I’ve held many children in my life, cuddling them and snuggling with them, stealing some of their kisses meant for their mommies and daddies and I’ve loved them. I’ve loved them in a way a child should always be loved, they are innocents and gifts of God. They are by far some of the sweetest and most cherished things within the human world. I’ve experienced love in my life, every level and every form of it, but I found a new love today watching my son.
We still have a little over 19 weeks before we can hold him in our arms and I’m sure my love for him at that point will be greater. As the ultrasound progressed today, a full 15 minutes with 3-D images and a mini-DVD movie to match, I could see my sons legs, long and lean with beautiful calf muscles already forming. I giggled as I watched him tap his left foot as if he were keeping time with the beat of some unknown song, perhaps one that he has heard me sing or one that he’s created in his own mind. I told my husband the image on the screen was definitely my son. I am an eternal foot-tapper.
I counted his toes, 5 on each foot, 10 total, and watched as he moved his hand up to his eye almost as if rubbing the sleep out of it. His cheek bones were so defined and a part of me wanted to reach up and caress them. His body is long and lean, his head the perfect size and all in all everything about my son is perfect, according to my doctor. And of course everything is perfect, he is MY son.
I’ve had multiple ultrasounds since Davey’s conception thanks to my absolutely marvelous insurance plan that understands I’m considered high risk thanks to my age, but this ultrasound gave me a feeling I hadn’t experienced before. I’ve heard my son’s heart beating, I hear it every time I’m at the doctor. I’ve seen his body, his spine pronounced in the most recent pictures. I’ve watched his legs kick and his arms go behind his head like he’s relaxing in a green meadow under a beautifully starry night. I’ve watched all of this, but today I experienced a love I never thought possible. I’ve never wanted to sacrifice so much for someone. I’ve never wanted to protect and care for someone as much as I do with Davey. I’ve never had someone tug at my heart-strings as much as my son.
I was once told that if you are a selfish person by nature, that selfishness will dissipate once you hold your child for the first time. I disagree. I think that selfishness vacates at the sound of his first heartbeat.