How shall I praise you? How will I find the words to convey all that you mean to me, and all the ways that I love you? I suppose all I can do is try…
I’ll start with a story. This morning, I awoke at 4am seized with panic. For no discernible reason, and without warning – I just did not feel pregnant anymore. Which doesn’t make much sense, because I would argue that prior to that time I didn’t feel particularly pregnant. But in that moment, I felt my heart sink, and could not shake this terrible thought: “I’m not pregnant.”
But you, Doppler. You were there. A few hours later when I was feeling a little more sane but still apprehensive, you hummed to life with that reassuring crackle and found my baby’s steady heartbeat in an instant. You quelled my fears and dispensed of my doubt. You soothed me, as only you know how to do.
How many times have I counted on you for sanity’s sake? How many times have I guiltily slipped into the bedroom to use you – often closing the door so my husband can’t see how truly crazy I am? Twice a day. Sometimes more. Sometimes I make you find the heartbeat again and again, then close my eyes and hold you there for more time than seems necessary, or make you re-find it over and over when squirmy baby moves out of earshot. But you do not judge. You just faithfully report, and comfort, and offer me the one thing I desperately need, probably for the duration of my pregnancy – reassurance on demand.
Without you, I’d be running to my OB/GYN on a weekly basis and driving them all crazy, or curling up in the fetal position trying not to panic. I’d be plagued by “What if?” on a daily basis. I would cry, and lash out, and slowly descend into panic during the endless weeks between ultrasounds. I would, without a doubt, have a mental breakdown (or several).
But you’re here… and you give me what I need. You may not always register the heartbeat on the screen (you’re weird like that, little Dopp), but that doesn’t matter because you let me hear it with my own two ears. That precious little chugging beat like a miniature train. That endless thump-thumping that I’ve come to crave almost as much as I’ve been craving oranges… and trust me when I say, I’ve been eating a hell of a lot of oranges.
Doppler, you cost me $50. That’s all. That’s less than we spent on hibachi last week. That’s a fraction of what I’ve paid for Coach bags. You were worth that, and so much more… for what you’ve given me, I’d gladly have paid triple (even if my dear husband does not understand our love).
I just want to say thank you, Doppler. Thank you for existing. Thank you for preserving my sanity during one of the most nerve-racking times of my life. Even on the rare occasions that I restrain myself from using you, just seeing you sitting at the ready on top of the dresser is enough to get me through. Because I know that in my moments of weakness, you will be there, and you will tell me everything I need to know.
Doppler…I love you.
Amanda, one paranoid pregnant chick