Our beating heart

by Matt Mecham on September 10, 2007

in Dad Stuff, Uncategorized

Something amazing happened in an otherwise ordinary day.

We heard our baby’s heartbeat for the first time.

Debbie’s fears had been stalking her for some time. She was worried that maybe, just maybe there was no heartbeat. It seems like such a long time since the dark days of the first trimester that I was slightly taken aback by just how worried she was.

I did my best to comfort her that everything was okay and we had no cause to worry. I told her it was perfectly normal to worry but it didn’t mean that anything was wrong.

Debbie’s sister owns a doppler. She has offered it to us on several occasions and on each we’ve politely declined. That double edged sword could cut us deeply if we couldn’t locate a heartbeat. Rationale says that you may not. Trying to locate such a tiny heart deep within the pelvic cavity is a feat that even midwives are unable to perform on occasion.

We asked to borrow it. We had to know.

Debbie nervously applied the gel. She pressed hard on her pelvic line. The scratchy buzz from the speaker denied any immediate relief. Moving the sensor brings more static. The suspense from the white noise deafening. A sound. Her heartbeat? No. It’s too feint to tell.

Reposition. Try again.

I stare at the speaker. Willing it to make a sound. Trying to tune into a distant radio station . Desperate to hear our favourite tune.

The crackle clears and the unmistakable sound of a fetal heartbeat fills the room. The galloping throb fills our ears and we’re grinning. That’s our little Flump!

Deep within, Flump is performing amniotic acrobatics and the heartbeat disappears.


Whump whump. There she is again. Shaking, Debbie phones her sister. We all share the moment. The heartbeat between crackles of static. The sound transmitted down the phone as clear as day.

I’m grinning like a village idiot. The relief wells up in Debbie’s eyes and begins to pour down her cheek. I’m laughing. She’s wracked with sobs. The stress of the past few days shake from her body. I realise that my entire world is wrapped up in one body.

I managed to get a recording on my mobile phone. We play it every now and again.

Yesterday was a good day. We’ve seen our baby, and now we’ve heard her too.


1 MarkP September 10, 2007 at 7:13 pm

I thought about getting one of those while Lindsay was pregnant but was to scared to because of the distress I thought it would cause us if we couldn’t pick up a heart beat.

I am pleased to hear things are going well for you…

2 Debbie Mecham September 22, 2007 at 8:18 am

I’m so glad I gave in and decided to use a doppler. It’s served as a real anxiety tool. LOL. I use it every day, a couple of times a day and I love to hear Flump’s heartbeat. It’s a lovely, comforting experience.

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