At my first doctor’s appointment after I’d found out I was pregnant with Bryce, I had an ultrasound. The first time we saw him, at seven weeks old, he was just a peanut. A gray, hazy peanut. I teased Shane that the baby obviously looked like him.
The goal of the ultrasound was threefold:
1.) To determine the number of embryos. (Thank God there was only one. The thought of twins/triplets/even greater -ets hadn’t occurred to me until the doctor said so.)
2.) To determine time of conception more accurately and to set a due date.
3.) To see if there was a heartbeat.
You can’t see a heartbeat when everything is gray and ghostly. The doctors or nurses performing the ultrasound have to set up what I think of as the Technicolor setting, which allows you to see where bloodflow and whatnot is. The doc switch Technicolor on, and there it was.
A red thrum thrum. It took up her whole peanut-like body.
Flash forward to this morning. Bryce is now five years old and has discovered a stethoscope. He’s sitting on the floor, using it to listen to a doll’s hollow chest. And now he puts the stethoscope to his own chest.
I think of that whole-body heartbeat and realize:
He’s hearing the same heart.
Jenny writes dark fiction that her mother hates. Her stories and essays have appeared in Across the Margin, Pantheon, Shimmer, Black Denim Lit, Skive, and others. When she’s not writing her own stuff, she’s reading mysteries for Criminal Element. When she’s not writing fiction or reviews, she’s writing/directing/performing/designing plays at Springs Ensemble Theatre.