When last we left Stephanie’s uterus, back on June 22, I was feeling as if I’d just witnessed something miraculous. Today, when we went in for the first ultrasound since our positive pregnancy test, we were distracted. Stef’s elbow was bothering her—a dishwashing injury, we think—and I was still in a huff over the ending of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. We were distracted, and we didn’t quite know what to expect. I’d just read about some horrible experiences that other women had been through, where their hopes were dashed by an ultrasound that turned up nothing. The nerves were all back.

And then, there it was. Two small grayish-white lines pulsing against a black background. The nurse excitedly pointed out where things were, explained how the round shape near the top was not the head but was, in fact, a yolk sac, or something like that. She gave us measurements and told us how good everything looked, but I was mesmerized by the beating of my child’s tiny heart. If I remember correctly, the fetus right now measures about the height of seven or eight dimes. But, like i said, I wasn’t really paying attention to the nurse.

There was only one fetus and for a moment that made me sad, not sad because I had been dying for the challenge of raising twins, but sad because that meant there was one more embryo that hadn’t survived. The melancholy was shortlived, though. There was still one in there, our little survivor. Thoroughly average in every regard so far. And that’s just the way we like it.

This procreation thing—it hits you in stages. I’ve heard people say that it gets better and better and thusfar that’s been my experience. But I can’t even fathom the next steps, the next things we’ll see, because, for once, I am so wrapped up in the tiny little moment I experienced today. No past, no future, just now.

I saw my child’s heart beat today and right now there is no sight I can think of that could ever top that.