If doppler machines did visualizations

Our midwife came by, with her apprentice and their equipment. They brought a fetoscope (or “doppler heartbeat gadget” if you prefer). It was the second time we got to hear the baby’s heartbeat — the first being a couple of weeks ago during a visit to UCSF. The midwife/OB we saw did the usual examinations, then wheeled in the little cart and played the heartbeat for us. Which was splendid, but just as we were starting to connect it to the developing mesh of about-to-be-parents emotions (which is to say, after about two seconds, just as we were starting to grin at one another), she started cutting in with small talk, and what with the whole scene it didn’t occur to me to ask her to be quiet and let us listen until several minutes later.

Having already relayed this story, and not being UCSF staffers, they allowed us lots more time with the machine. And even indulged Beth in hanging out while I recorded some of it (okay, it was my idea, but I was kidding. Beth wanted to do it anyway. We did. It’s a bit faint, and someone’s cellphone rang at the end. But anyway. Here it is:

It does bring up the dire and defining question of childbearing in our time, of course. Namely: what silly eye-candy music player visualization is most appropriate for baby heartbeats? We’ll need to sort this out so we can start manufacturing the fetoscopes for parents with the backlit LCDs and maybe the laser light shows.

– Devin