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As the Friday ultrasound appointment approached, I comforted myself with the reminder that we were doing all we could. Either there would be a heartbeat or the pregnancy was over. We would be capable of dealing with either of those outcomes.
At. Dr. Read’s, Carolyn handed Mary Kate to me right away, and together we walked into the ultrasound room. Linda was in a good mood, as always, remarking on MK’s cute outfit was and ready with a quip about the crappy weather. Carolyn assumed her position on the ultrasound table, while I sat next to her, gripping Mk like a security blanket. Carolyn closed her eyes as Linda prepped her for the ultrasound.
As Linda turned on the screen and grabbed the wand, I know Carolyn was saying a little prayer for the baby and for us. It couldn’t have been more than a few seconds when Linda said, “Well, guys, we have a ticker.”
“Thank God,” Carolyn whispered. The baby’s heartbeat was a mere ninety-five beats per minute.
“Is that normal?” Carolyn asked.
“Yes, it probably just started beating this morning,” Linda said.
Carolyn and I smiled for the first time since the day we received the news. When I saw the heartbeat, the pregnancy went from an intangible to an absolute. We just watched this child’s heart start to beat. In a few weeks, he or she would have legs, feet, arms, fingers and toes, all because of Carolyn. This was real. This was life. At this point, the thought of giving up this baby seemed inconceivable.
As we walked out, Carolyn was beaming. She said, “A heart holds a person’s soul. It allows one to love, and to be loved.” Love feeds the heart, and now this baby was growing. I think it was at that very moment that this little person burrowed into our hearts forever.