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First Contact (Diary Page 22)

First Contact

I’ll never forget the first time I saw our baby on that glowing black and white ultrasound screen. I was already late for the appointment. As soon as we reached, Sameer completed the clerical formalities while the staff at the clinic took some vital measurements. They made me drink more water so that the sonography scan could open an ultrasonic window to the baby. We waited and just when I reached a stage where I couldn’t hold my bladder any longer, I was called inside.

It was a tiny room with a couple of probes, electronic machines, and a comfortable bed. With both the moms and Sameer, the cabin was almost full. After all, everybody was excited to make the first contact with the baby. The doctor walked in and greeted me. Our families knew each other for more than decades. He was very happy and excited. He swiftly connected the system and started the scan. He kept on applying ice gel as he moved the probe over my tummy. We all started looking at the black and white ultrasound screen. For the first few minutes, I was completely lost. “What are we looking at Doctor? I am not able to see the baby on this screen.” I asked a dumb question.

I’m looking at multiple factors such as the Location of an embryo, no. of fetuses, yolk sac, and other important details. By the end of this scan, I will be able to tell you your expected due date and baby’s age. Your fetus is the size of sweet pea, so you won’t see much except a glowing little dot. The scan continued for a few more minutes as he clicked several images and saved them under respective heads.

“Do you want to listen to the heartbeat?” he asked. “Heartbeat. Yes, of course” I exclaimed. The doctor increased the volume and he made us listen to the heartbeat. “Tic-Tic-Tic-Tic-Tic-Tic-Tic-Tic….and the beats continued. At first, it was a blurry sound but with some change of positions, the beats became clear. That thump of the fetus’s heart was one of the most awaited sounds I wanted to hear. It was a moment of trance. The sound was mesmerizing and reassuring. It had rhythm and a steady pace. I was in complete love with this sound and I was sure Sameer too was feeling the same.

“You are lucky to hear the beats so early. In some cases, we may not hear heartbeats in the very early scan because the baby may be hiding in the corner or its back facing out. It’s normal and not a reason to worry. Chances are, they'll be able to hear your baby's heartbeat in the next visit” explained to the doctor as he concluded the scan. I wiped the gel from my tummy and rushed to the washroom. We collected the reports and headed back home.

When you meet someone, you can place them well – how they look, how they sit, how they speak, their voice, and many other finer details. Thereafter even if you speak to them, you start visualizing them on the call because you have met them. While I knew the little angel was inside, today I heard the heartbeat for the first time. I felt connected to the baby instantly. I suddenly realized the new responsibility on my shoulders.

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