I think it's safe to assume that over the next few years the word "first" is going to appear frequently on the pages of this blog. First steps, first word, first Christmas, first tooth, etc. A parent's ability to boast of his child's achievements and major milestones has to be one of those human characteristics shared across cultures. With that thought in mind I wanted to talk today about one of our fist firsts: the first doctor's appointment.
Around Becca's tenth week (she's in her twelfth now for those who are curious) we had scheduled her first doctor's appointment where we got to meet the physician, get a basic checkup, and ask the doctor any questions we might have about pregnancy. I arrived virtually right on time for the appoitment and supprisingly Becca, who had arrived just a few minutes earlier, had already been checked in and sent back into the doctor's office. I walked back to the office to find a slightly panicked Becca who had been afraid I was going to miss the entire appointment. Just a few minutes later we got to meet our doctor for the first time, Dr. Lehnert. He sat down and talked to us for a while and did a great job at answering all of our questions and alleviating some of Becca's concerns. With all the hormones Becca tends to cry a lot right now, but the doctor did a great job of calming her down and making her feel at ease. I would highly recommend him to anyone.
After the Q&A Dr. Lehnert informed us that he was going to bring in an ultrasound machine and let us see the baby. This was a huge suprise for me because everybody I had talked to acted as though you didn't get to see the baby until several months in. The doctor wheeled in the machine, squirted a little bit of that clear goop on Becca's stomach, placed the probe, and there it was. Our baby! Up until that point it was pretty hard for me to wrap my mind around the idea that Becca had a living being growing inside of her. And while the image appeared to be a small amorphous blob more than anything else it was very clear that I was looking at our baby.
The moment of awe was suddenly broken when Becca began to laugh uncontrollably. As she laughed her tummy shaked and the image was gone. Both the doctor and I looked at her as she tried to regain her composure and explained that she really didn't know why she was laughing. We had now gone through the whole gamut of emotions in this one appointment, but the doctor wanted to show us one more thing before we left. Becca regained control and he brought up our little blob back onto the screen and pointed to a small flicker right in the middle: the heartbeat. For those of you that aren't parents I'm sure your initial reaction is probably similar to how mine was when people talked about getting to hear and see a heartbeat for the first time. Every person I have ever met and that I ever will meet has a heartbeat, so shouldn't it just be assumed that the baby would have one also and why would it be a big deal to see it. But seeing that little flicker changed that blob into a living thing. Something I was going to have to take care of, raise up, teach, protect, and provide for. Something I'm understanding more and more is going to change my life forever. That little flicker made a world of difference and had Becca and I leave overjoyed at what June 11 was going to bring.