that's hilarious ... all that empty space in there ...I was told by the consultant that it would be louder in the first months because everything had been pushed out of the way for the surgery and my heart was in an 'echo chamber' lol.
but seriously Gail, it depends. Mine (certainly different to others) is a deep and steady thud which I can hear whenever I choose (indeed not hearing it is difficult). I am well used to it now. I don't need to do anything special to take my pulse ... just start counting.
Also some years back I was with a friend quietly working on different things and he said: "oh, that's your heart, I thought it was a car stereo outside."
I'm just saying this as expectation management can be important. Get used to it early, if it goes away, good, if not you're already used to it.