“Sarah?” asked the nurse.
“Yes?” I asked standing up walking towards her.
It was 12:57 p.m and my appointment was for 1:00 p.m. I had driven three hours back to Toronto from the family cottage for my appointment with my OB. The entire time I was away with my family my mind was occupied with the fact that my baby had a 5% chance within the first week (after my procedure) of not making it through the week.
Although the number seems low, stats hadn’t seemed to be on my side during my pregnancy since I only had a 15-20% chance of twins and yet I found myself looking at an ultrasound showing two babies at my eight week ultrasound.
About a week before my appointment I reached out to some girlfriends and asked if someone could possibly come with me to my appointment. My Mom wanted to come to the appointment but I felt really bad making her drive six hours with me during the day for the appointment.
This was one of my most crucial appointments and I knew I wanted to my Mom to stay at the cottage but knew I should probably have someone with me.
“So how have you been feeling?” asked the nurse.
“In all honesty I am not feeling well at all” I confessed. “I can’t keep any food down and I have no energy. Every day I need at least one nap for 1-2 hours and I am getting at least 10 hours of sleep per night. I am taking two diclectin but I am just so tired.”
“Why are you only taking two diclectin?” she asked.
“I keep weighing out the pros and cons of either sleeping away the entire day or not keeping any food down.”
“It is way more important for you to sleep during the day than throw up during the day” she said.
“But I am going back to start teaching in two weeks. I can’t be too tired to begin the school year” I said.
“You may need a doctor’s note” she said.
Then she took my blood pressure.
“Have you had high blood pressure during your pregnancy?” she asked. “It is high today.”
“No” I confessed.
What she didn’t know was that I could feel my heart beating out of my chest. I just needed to know that my baby was okay. I just needed to hear the heartbeat.
My two friends that agreed to meet me at my appointment weren’t with me yet because I told them to come and meet me at 1:30 p.m. I had waited 1-5.5 hours to see an OB so I didn’t want them to be there all day.
I felt terrible. They were missing this. I also felt as though I needed to be alone for this. I needed to be able to totally shut down if there was no heartbeat.
“Now I want to hear the heartbeat” she said.
I went on the examining table and closed my eyes.
“I’ll be using the Doppler” she said. “I want to let you know that your baby is really small right now and it may take me a bit to hear the heartbeat. Please don’t be concerned.”
“Of course” I said.
As she ran the device over my stomach I wanted to get sick. Everything was coming down to this moment and I was absolutely petrified. How was I supposed to stay calm?
“I can hear the heartbeat” I said with a smile.
“It’s not actually the heartbeat of the baby” she said. “It is your heartbeat.”
My heart was beating so quickly that she just kept picking it up on the machine.
“Deep breaths” I told myself.
The whole experience felt like at least 15 minutes but I am sure it was more like thirty seconds until I heard the heartbeat.
“That is the heartbeat of your baby” she said with a smile.
I burst into ugly tears and the tears wouldn’t stop. The baby’s heartbeat was the best sound in the world.
“I am so sorry” I said. “I am such a loser. It’s just that I have been so worried about everything since my procedure and it has been so hard.”
I stopped myself realizing that I was making my confession to a nurse not a therapist.
“I am so so sorry” she said handing me a Kleenex. “I am so sorry it took me so long” she said.
“It wasn’t you” I admitted. “You did an amazing job. It was just my nerves.”
“Are you able to sit up because I think we can move you into a room to see Dr. Snelgrove now ” she asked.
“Oh my gosh yes” I said drying up my tears. She left the room and I looked at my face in the mirror. My eyes were bright red and my face was blotchy.
I looked down at my phone.
“I am here” my friend C texted.
“There is a heartbeat!” I texted and then started sobbing again.
I poked my head out of the room to try to find C amongst all of the patients waiting to see my doctor and my friend C was running towards me looking absolutely frazzled.
“You told me 1:30!” she said.
“I am sorry” I said noticing that it was only 1:10 p.m.
We hugged and I sobbed again.
Moments later another frazzled person came running down the hall and it was my friend K who had somehow found the admin assistant (down a random hallway) who helped K to find my room.
“I am so sorry” I said. “I had no idea my appointment would be so quick. I am so sorry you weren’t here for the heartbeat.”
“Group hug?” my friend asked.
We all hugged in the small hospital room and moments later Dr. Snelgrove entered. He brought a doctor in training with him who resembled Gigi Hadid.
“It is a party in here” I laughed as there were now five of us in a super small room all crowded together.
Dr. Snelgrove explained that the heartbeat of the baby was great and he asked me to start taking four diclectin a day. He also told me that I could take gravol as well on days where I found it extremely hard.
“4 diclectin + gravol means that I will sleep forever” I admitted. “What about work?” I asked.
“Let’s try this out and if you need a note, you need a note.”
By 1:37 p.m. I had met with the doc, heard the heartbeat, got my blood pressure checked twice (the second time I was totally fine), and got a new prescription for 270 diclectin. I felt terrible that I had made my friends take off work and come all the way to my appointment.
We sat on a bench outside the Ontario Power Generation Building (where my doctor is located) and spent about an hour and a half catching up.
“I love you ladies so much” I said to my friends. “Today could have been a really difficult day and you both showed up and were totally there for me.”
I could start to feel the tears coming to my eyes.
What started off as an extremely anxious/difficult day turned into a day of complete joy and excitement.
Now it was time to celebrate. Now I could tell everyone (aka the people not following my blog).
As soon as I found out I was pregnant I bought a beautiful shirt with the word “Mama” on it. It sat in my closet and there were a lot of times where I thought I’d never be able to wear it. Sometimes I felt as though the shirt was staring back at me and mocking me. Something inside me told me that I’d one day be able to wear it.
After my appointment I felt as though it was really time to celebrate being a Mama and I was finally ready to let everyone know (especially the people not following my blog) that I finally had achieved the goal I had always wanted in life – to be a Mama.
Thank you for all of your kindness and well wishes during such a difficult time. Nothing brings me greater joy than being able to share such positive news.