March 22, 2013

Love at First Sound

Posted in Watermarks in Progress tagged , , at 12:56 pm by Tamara

The storybooks talk about love at first sight, but I’m a believer in love at first sound.

I’ve experienced it twice: the first time was several years ago, as Adam and I sat in a tiny room at my first midwife’s appointment.  In spite of a positive pregnancy test and torturous morning sickness, I still had a nagging fear that the midwife would take one look at me and declare, “You’re not pregnant, you idiot.”  Haha.  So, needless to say, I was anxious for our first sight or sound of baby.  I waited with bated breath as she tried to find a heartbeat first.  She couldn’t find it right away, and my fear of being called an idiot swiftly turned to a chilling dread that she would actually say we had been pregnant but had lost our baby.  It was one of the longest minutes of my life as she moved the scope around and around on my tummy and my own heart pounded faster and faster.  The shifting power of a minute is mind-boggling: how it can be a desperately too short time in some circumstances and morph to an agonizing eternity in others.

Then, suddenly, there it was: a rapid pitter-patter filled the room as we heard our Bear’s tiny heart beating for the first time.  Tears burst from my eyes, and in that instant something indescribable happened: an invisible but indestructible bond leapt from my heart to his.  It was finally real—I was a mom, and that was my baby, and I loved him with every fiber of my being.  Love at first sound.

I experienced this again a few weeks ago, at my first appointment for Baby #2.  This time I wasn’t at all worried that they would say I wasn’t pregnant—the nausea was even worse than with Bear, as was the crippling exhaustion.  But I was still eager to hear that little heartbeat.  This time, the midwife set the scope down and immediately, there it was!  The precious little pitter-patter heartbeat of our baby, and that bond instantly anchored just as strongly as it had with Bear.  In an instant, pregnancy went from just meaning that I felt horrible, to meaning that there was a precious life growing inside me that I loved with all my heart.

Addition in Progress

Addition in Progress

Amazingly, this heart-bond between mother and child is more than emotional; it’s actually physical.  This video  gets me all teary eyed every time I watch it.  Researchers have found that living cells with a baby’s unique DNA actually cross the placenta and can live in the mother for the rest of her life.  Not only that, but they can actually live in the mother’s heart: scientists have found cases of heart failure in mothers where those cells from their children have actually replaced her damaged cells.  And in case that’s not enough to make you teary eyed, this is true even with babies who are lost before they are born.  Our children truly do live in our hearts, even the ones we never get to meet on this earth.  We carry our children our whole lives.

Elizabeth Stone said that “Making the decision to have a child is momentous.  It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”  I couldn’t agree more.

Someday, too, I think I’ll experience love at first sight.  Adam and I suspect that someday one of our children will grow not under my heart, but inside it.  I experienced a taste of this love the day I first saw pictures of my nieces and nephew, who God brought to our family all the way from another continent.  I cried happy tears that day, and I can only imagine the bond that formed in my sister and brother-in-law’s hearts when they saw their children for the first time.

The heart-to-heart bond that I formed with Bear the first time I heard his heartbeat has grown stronger every day.  I can’t wait until I hold Baby #2 and snuggle the tiny body that holds the heart I already love.  And it’s awe inspiring to think, if God has enabled me to love my children this much, and even thought to weave this bond into our very DNA, what kind of a message must He be trying to send to me about how much He loves me, His child?

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2 Comments »

  1. Mom said,

    Yes, now I’m all teary-eyed too. I also feel privileged to have gotten to see an actual photo of Baby Number 2! I think THAT was love at first sight. :-)

  2. erynlynum said,

    Beautiful post and perspective, Tamara. Thanks for writing it out, it really describes beautifully the bond between mother and yet-to-be born baby. It’s especially meaningful reading it while pregnant. Thanks!

    Eryn Lynum
    http://www.erynlynum.com


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