Exactly two years ago today I heard your heart beat for the very first time-fast and fine and definite- just like you.
From that moment on, this day stopped belonging only to me, as the anniversary of my birth, and became instead the anniversary of us both, from one to two, from ‘Happy Birthday’ to Happy Both Day’, or as I like to think of it ‘Happy Heart Day’.
Here is something I wrote about it a few months further on into my pregnancy, when I’d not only heard your heart but also seen it:
After our anomaly scan I take us out for lunch, in Dar’s shady scented gardens, to celebrate the doctor’s proclamation that he is very happy with what he sees, that it’s no surprise you are already tall for your age, by a week and a day, and that in his expert opinion you ‘have a lovely heart’.
I think about the first time I heard your heart, on my birthday, how you became real, how I became a mother.
I’ve been growing you all this time, little jewel seed, all your vessels and ventricles and vertebrae that this morning were meticulously checked by the doctor, but it isn’t until now that you feel like my daughter, not just a butterfly winged, ballet toed, baby whale, playing in the ocean in my belly.
And you have been growing me. Slowly stretching my heart, into a wide worry free garden, where we can play.
Now two years on, my heart is still stretching, further than I ever thought it could. And this morning, we played together, not in a garden, but in the sunlight dancing down over Zaitouneh Bay, laughing and running back and forth, sometimes in opposite directions, and sometimes side by side. Hearts full and happy.
A very appropriate birthday gift