Life changes with a heartbeat

You may think things get real when you see that pregnancy test with the good news, or bad news, depending where you are in life.

But no. Actually, things get real when you see her feet in stirrups.

On the plus side, we — or at least Kayla — got acquainted with the doctor real quick during the first appointment.

This go around we spent more time in the waiting room than the doctor’s office. After signing in and awkwardly offering the receptionist a cup of her own urine, which was politely declined, we had plenty of time with our thoughts and observations.

A key one of mine was noticing the restroom in the entryway. Why couldn’t I have noticed that the first go around when I had to pee so bad I’m sure everyone thought I was doing some sort of prayer dance before finally asking for a restroom?

I was also tempted, though declined this go around, to thumb through the Christian resource flier, and hopefully find out why there were two deer on the cover.

The cup of urine was eventually handed off to the right person, and after a weight and blood pressure check we had a chance to ask questions. We seemed overwhelmed with them just a few days ago, but in that moment none materialized.

We were reassured not to worry about Zika, and Kayla changed into a gown before waiting for the man himself to enter the room.

Kayla looked like a deer in the headlights waiting to meet our doctor for the first time. Maybe that’s the deal with the previously mentioned deer.

Enter the doctor, armed with a few ice breakers before examining Kayla’s nether regions.

The nurse warned that the guys often wait in the lobby for these initial tests, exams and smears that I can only assume aren’t the kind you put on a bagel.

I figured if I’m going to be in the delivery room for the big moment, which I plan to mentally prepare for by watching “Alien” movies, I could handle this.

Still, I took the advice of a podcast I’ve come to trust, The Podfathers.

The trio of dads offered a bit of advice for delivery time borrowed from Jon Snow on Game of Thrones. Fight from the top of the wall, not the bottom of the wall.

Staying up top comforting Kayla seemed like a good move. And by comforting I mean sitting awkwardly on the short stool designated for spectators.

I must admit, having no knowledge of gynecological tests I was tempted to pop some popcorn and watch over the doc’s shoulder while he poked and prodded. But every relationship needs some mystery, I suppose.

I’m going to skip a few details about Kayla’s swimsuit region (you’re welcome, babe) but will mention that from my perspective, the instrument material made quite the difference. Inspect the area with a plastic device? Go for it. But when the doctor asked for a metal instrument, my mind flashed to an episode of American Horror Story’s season set in an asylum when medical care seemed primitive. And much more painful.

The heart-sinking part of this appointment came when the doctor checked for a heartbeat. He couldn’t find one. In that moment, I doubt one could have been found in myself.

We were warned beforehand that at an estimated 10-11 weeks, it was entirely possible to not hear anything yet, and it didn’t mean anything was wrong.

Our doctor is efficient and seems like a friendly guy. The three of us shared a laugh when he asked how we found him. If we were referred, he liked to send a thank you card to whoever passed along his name.

We admitted that those three sentences in his bio made all the difference, and scoffed that nobody with a degree from Creighton is delivering this baby.

An ultrasound was scheduled for four days later to take a closer look, and hopefully reveal good news. Talk about a long four days.

But the doctor said there was nothing to worry about at this point, so I decided not to worry. Much.

Four days later, we were back for an ultrasound, ready to accept the results.

Fortunately, the ultrasound revealed a lime-sized trooper with a strong heartbeat.

Kayla beamed, smiling ear to ear. We both stared at the monitor in disbelief. This is real.

And the kid is already a hellion. B.K. was spinning in the womb near constantly. Our nurse speculated this abundance of energy is why they couldn’t find a heartbeat before. The kid was just too hard to pin down.

In fact, because there were no signs of anything wrong and B.K.’s energy level, the nurse said we can tell people about the news earlier than she’d typically recommend. Now, how should we tell our parents?