I don't think I'm the only new mom who had wild expectations about hearing the baby's heartbeat for the first time. I pictured a real Hallmark moment, Chris lying on the bed beside me, the midwife crouched nearby with the Doppler, and as our baby's heartbeat became audible for the first time, my eyes would meet my husband's, we'd smile blissfully as our eyes filled with tears, and he would tenderly kiss my hand as we pondered the infinite goodness of the Universe and understood instantly that our lives would never be the same.
Well, it was a shining moment to be sure, but it didn't alter my life the way I expected it to. At least, not right away.
What the experience of hearing the heartbeat has done, at long last, is drive home once and for all the truth, the reality of this pregnancy. Or to be more specific, it has driven home the fact that there is more going on than just pregnancy; this is only a means to an end, and the end result that we're waiting to meet is really, truly in there. There's a baby inside me. I thought I understood that, but I really didn't.
All last night I felt vaguely anxious, as if there were things I needed to be doing but couldn't figure out what they were. In the light of morning, I think I understand the source of that feeling: I realized with great peace and understanding that I'm going to have a baby, and that I haven't really done anything to prepare for it. We haven't bought a crib, or any clothes, or even cleaned out the nursery yet. We haven't found any names or even come to any agreements about how to choose a name. We haven't really done any baby-related - as opposed to pregnancy-related - preparation or research. And while in my head I understand that I've got lots of time, logically, my emotions are on a different track, and can't quite relax until a few decisions have been made.
This is where I kind of wish I had a book or a resource or even a person to give me a checklist for the second trimester.