Ancient History

Follow Me?



I rented a doppler from Baby Beat on Monday.

Rather than wait for it to be shipped to me, I opted to pick it up in person. Their headquarters are only about 15 minutes away.

I loaded the kids in the car.

“Where are we going?” they asked, again and again as I negotiated the very convoluted route I plotted in my head, thinking it would be fast.

I told them I was picking up something. And I didn’t want to talk about it. End of discussion.

You’d think I was on my way to pick up a load of black market cigarettes to sell out of a battered camper in a dog track parking lot.

The doppler was waiting for me by the front door, housed in a plain white box. A white bag with the bottle of ultrasound gel sat on top. I put it on the floor in front of the passenger seat and tried not to look at it at every stop light or every time I had to make a right turn.

I felt like a fraud for having it.

Yes, my pregnancy is confirmed by a medical professional. Yes, I’ve seen a beating heart thumping away. But that was a few weeks ago and history has taught me that a beating heart on one day doesn’t mean it will be beating the next day. Been there, done that, and not only do I have the t-shirt, I have the ball cap AND the commemorative shot glass.

After Costco, I drove home. I left the doppler in the car for several hours. It was only concern that it would melt that made me bring it inside. It sat on the printer for awhile. My heart trembled each time I caught a glimpse of the white box. Finally, I decided it was time to try.

I laid down, squirted some goo on my lower tummy, and began to search.


Just my thundering, outrageously fast heartbeat, my former breakfast, and the whooshing sound of a lonely wind.

I told myself it was still early. I am on the borderline of doppler capabilities. Surprisingly, I felt no panic. So unlike you, I thought to myself. I put the doppler back in the box and slid it under my bed. I’d try again next week.

But this morning, I heard it calling to me from under the mattress. I had to try again. Calmly, I prepared my tummy and switched the little machine on. I heard the same noises and thuds. I heard my heart, which was much calmer. And then, right before I was going to give up, I placed the hand held unit on my chest and pressed the microphone down a little harder, with both hands.

And there it was.

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