The sound coming from the small hand held speaker was full of scratches and static. I held my breath as I listened for any sign of organized sound but couldn't. It sounded random, chaotic. My breath was stuck; my heart started beating faster and faster. Would we hear anything? Why weren't we hearing anything? Then I heard it. The strong steady beat of a heart in perfect rhythm. Tha-dub, tha-dub, tha-dub or as my wife heard, whirsh, whirsh, whirsh. Although we disagree on what the heart sounded like, we both experienced the same reaction on hearing the sound of our first child's heart beat only twelve weeks old in the womb, pure joy.
I have known my wife was pregnant for over two months now. I know what that means and yet, it really didn't sink in fully until I heard the heart beating steadily over that little hand held speaker and microphone pressed to my wife's lower abdomen. I had created life. I am going to be a father. Sitting there listening to someone else's heart beat now totally dependent on my wife, but soon dependent on both of us, tears started welling up in my eyes and I felt a huge smile of joy engulf my face, so much so, I thought my head my just split at the mouth and topple over backwards. All too soon, the probe was removed, the sound stopped and the real world came crashing back in. I suspect I could have sat there the rest of the week listening to that sound and never getting tired of it.
All day long at work, the sound keeps replaying through my mind overtaking all thoughts and sounding sweeter than a symphony. My mind unable to focus on anything else so I'm happy that it is Friday. The doctor confirmed what we already had guessed, we are twelve weeks along and tomorrow will be day one of the second trimester. My wife has a superstition that says she can't spread the news until she has reached the second trimester and I can understand why since the first trimester is where more things can go wrong. Other than her mother, she had done well in keeping it a secret. Until today, only my parents and a co-worker who also recently gave birth for the first time knew, excluding my readership who is largely anonymous to me. The co-worker knew only because I wanted to find out who their OB-GYN doctor was and it turned out to be my mom's doctor as well. But today, I am officially pulling the cork out of the bottle. I've told my boss and another co-worker but because the gossip hound is out sick today, it hasn't spread beyond that yet. That is okay though. I'll enjoy the silence and listen to the sweetest sound I have ever heard, my child's heartbeat.