We Saw Your Heart First

Tara Mandarano Pregnancy

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We saw your heart first, galloping along at 141 beats a minute. You were shaped like a shrimp, all big head and curved tail. The doctor said you were smaller than a peanut, so we couldn’t call you “peanut” yet. I didn’t have a name picked out for you besides Mango.

Now and then it still hits me: you are here, despite the obstacles of my body, the stumbling block of my psyche. Years of scar tissue and surgeries and hot water bottles and painkillers melt away. You are here. I was able to make you.

I didn’t leave it to chance, though. I kept Guatemalan health dolls in the medicine cabinet. I said a prayer every day. I stocked my own supplement pharmacy. I let a woman stick needles in me.

I started to believe you might be possible. One morning I woke up from a dream after you were conceived but before I found out I was pregnant, and I was telling someone “let go and let God.” It was only hours later that I realized I was probably talking to myself.

The morning we found out about you, I peed on a digital pregnancy stick and didn’t wait the full four minutes to check. Your Papa and I simply lay in bed, stunned. He cried, while I curled up in a state of happy shock. I kept that stick, and keep it still, even though the battery ran out and the screen is blank. The letters spell out yes, but all I see is hope.


About the Author

Tara Mandarano

Tara Mandarano lives outside Toronto, Ontario. A first-time mama navigating life with a tyrannical toddler, her work has also been featured in The Huffington Post and The New Family. Follow her story at .

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