Heartbeat

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Heartbeat

The morning we first saw you, the little flicker of you, started as rainy and wet. It was the first day of Spring, although it still felt very wintry.  Your daddy had fixed the brakes on my bike, and I followed him up the hill from our house, on our bikes, in the dark of the weekday morning. 

Your daddy has always looked natural on a bike. I’ve seen a photo of him at only 4 years old riding a bike, with the same confidence and poise that he does now. I am, my darling, am not so poised on a bike. 

That morning I wanted to show your daddy that I could go fast too. We crossed the motorway, and continued on the cycle path. I sped up as I went down a hill, I braked hard on the corner, I felt the bike spin out from under me and then I didn’t know where I was.  Your daddy pulled my bike from the road, where it had landed as I had come spinning off. He tried to work out if I was hurt. I wanted to push on riding to work, but also, I didn’t know where I was.

As the ambulance pulled up, I asked your daddy “Am I still pregnant?” You were just our little secret then. We hadn’t told anyone yet.  I remember your daddy saying to the paramedics “My wife is 10 weeks pregnant.”  I remember one of the paramedics explaining to the trainee paramedic who was also there “ Because the pregnancy is not yet passed 12 weeks, it’s not considered viable yet. We will know more at the hospital.”

Your daddy never looked nervous or worried, but I didn’t know exactly what was happening.  I’m sure he was worried. My brain was working hard to reorder the cards that had all been shuffled when my head had hit the concrete of the cycle path. My helmet – an old one we had just ordered a replacement for – didnt even look like it had been damaged. 

At the hospital they wheeled me through, and your daddy followed. There was a lovely nurse who cared for me in the cubicle in the emergency department. It was only 6.45am on a Monday morning by the time we got there.  The nurse said “Would you like something to eat? Yoghurt? Or maybe you’re not eating that with the pregnancy?’ I thought, oh god, I’ve been eating yoghurt. Im a terrible mother. 

When I was briefly alone in the cubicle, I cried. You were so new, such a tiny little thought. We couldn’t see any trace of you yet. I couldn’t feel you. I’d barely had any symptoms. But you were very much in our hearts. 

We waited for a doctor to come assess me. I sat in a hospital gown and felt better, but worried. The doctor diagnosed me with a concussion and brought over a mobile sonography machine. He put gel on my belly, not even a hint of a bump yet, and brought up you. You – nothing more than a heartbeat- flickering quickly on the grainy black and white screen. Our little heartbeat.  

I looked over and saw your daddy had tears in his eyes. He didn’t cry the day we married, he didnt cry the day you were born, but the day we first saw you – he had tears of relief in his eyes.  Our hearts beating as one, through you. 

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