Today, I had the opportunity to listen to the beating heart of my first child scheduled to make his or her arrival into the outside world on March 14, 2010.
I did not know what to expect when "listen for the heartbeat" time came during today's appointment at the doctor's office today. I imagined I would hear some static-y sounding something that the doctor (or the midwife, in our case) would say, "Can you hear it? Right there!," to which I'd reply, "Um, yeah! I think I do," when in reality I had no idea what the sound actually was, but I'd just play along so as to not appear as a complete stooge.
The realty was the sound on a large speaker projected clearly upon the four walls (and a window) of the brightly lit examination room. A loud, rapid, distinct pulsation. A tiny, beating heart caused more blood to circulate for those 10 mere seconds than it has pumped so far in its fairly young life.
Crazy. I have somehow managed to add the title "Father" to my resume.
Let me take you back about two months ago. My wife Ruth and I got married on June 14, 2009 and had the incredible opportunity to spend three weeks together in Hawaii on our honeymoon. So we go. Honeymoon. Relax. Enjoy life.
At the end of the trip, we began joking about the possibility that we'd have a "honeymoon baby." Not really conceiving it being a realistic outcome, we kind of went with it. However, upon our return from the trip, after the first week back it became apparent that we needed to take a test to see if what seemed to be happening actually was. God being up to something. The joke was on us.
So, I (yes it was I) went to Target and picked up a home pregnancy test kit (3 for the price of 2!) using none other than EPT, which promised me the greatest accuracy from the products that I briefly reviewed as I awkwardly gazed at the products in an aisle of the store that really doesn't have too many window shoppers.
It was Friday evening, and after assembling our new bed from Ikea with the assistance of people we love dearly but were hoping would leave so that we could continue with the agenda of day, Ruth went to the bathroom to take the test.
She took it, left it on the counter, and we sat together on our newly built bed awaiting the results. For those two minutes life was what it was. But at the end of the two, things had the potential to change significantly. And they certainly did.
Upon seeing the results, both Ruth and I initially came away with different reactions - Ruth in denial that the test said what it did, and me with my hand covering my mouth repeatedly yelling at the top of my lungs "OH MY GOODNESS!" We eventually came to agree that it was, despite the faintness of the plus sign on the test, that it was positive.
However, some doubt arose on Saturday morning and since we had two tests left to go, Ruth took one again just to be sure that we saw what we thought we did. But the test came out looking the same exact way that it did the previous evening.
We had a third test in the package, and Ruth really wanted to see what a negative test looked like. So after a brief discussion on how to make it happen, I volunteered to take the third test. I figured, we paid for two and got the third one for free... no money lost on this venture.
So I went to the bathroom and took a pregnancy test. I had the strong desire to update my Facebook status with "took a pregnancy test" that morning but figured it was a bit to soon for that sort of thing. During our joking about pregnancy, I expressed my annoyance at the concept of, "We're pregnant!," because it just sounds so hokey. So from the bathroom I jubilantly exclaimed to Ruth upon seeing the result... "WE are not pregnant! But YOU are!"
So there you have it. That's what the last two months have been like. Wrapping my head around the whole concept of fatherhood which seems to be a job that's way to big for me. I enjoy running around, screaming at the top of my lungs with my nieces and nephews. But parenting? Wow.
I heard my baby's heartbeat today. Big day.