*Oh, Baby


The sonogram technician cautioned me to calm down or she wouldn’t get an accurate fetal heart monitor reading. She said taking that spill on the freshly-waxed hallway probably hadn’t done a thing to the baby, but he needed to be checked. Taking a deep breath didn’t help settle my nerves. No one had successfully told me to stop crying since I was a child, and then only under threat of spanking.

What if the fall hurt him? I may have done irreparable damage to my unborn son before he ever had a chance to make his way in the world. The last trimester means a baby is almost fully developed, I think, but God only knew where he was positioned within my body. My lack of anatomy savvy kept me wondering, worrying … and crying.

I took deep gulping breaths, tried to control my jagged sobs and follow directions. “Take a deep breath,” I think, “a deep breath.” Eventually it begins to work.

The baby has to be all right. He just has to be, because I can’t accept anything else. At my age, and after losing a previous pregnancy, there is no other outcome my mind can withstand.

I close my eyes, and I listen. He’s okay.

He was fine. Now, seven years later, I still close my eyes and listen to the sound of him breathing while he sleeps. My hand rests on his back as it rises and falls in a rhythmic pattern that brings me great peace. I can’t imagine my life without him.

*based on a true story Studio30

Linda originally wrote the Studio 30+ prompt “I close my eyes, and I listen.”


  1. That is gorgeously shared and am glad it had such a wonderful outcome. I am 3 weeks away from having our first child and your writing has made my skin go all prickly. In a good way!

    • I’m glad your prickly skin wasn’t a scare. The worry was unfounded, and everything was fine. Just like people always say, they’re protected pretty well in there. We’re so lucky he’s always been healthy. Good luck with your impending due date – how exciting!

  2. When I was pregnant with my son, I used to listen to his heart beat every night using a portable fetal heart monitor that a friend gave me. I could relate very easily to your tale!

  3. Oh! Oh, I felt like Tara , standing right there, listening for the tell tale Whump whump to let me know he was okay. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the memory of those heartbeats that lived under my heart for 35 weeks. I’m so glad you shared this story, it was perfect for the prompt. ❤

    • Thank you so much, Kir! I guess all she could hear was my crying, and I certainly didn’t know what was the right thing to hear at the time. In retrospect, the prompt really felt suited for the experience.

  4. Love the happy ending. I can relate to that feeling. Sometimes I’ll walk into my kids room if I can’t sleep and feel worried. I’ll check their breathing. It always soothes me.

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