Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Baby's First Photo Op (21 Days to D-Day)


The first time we saw our baby girl on the screen, I cried.

It began with the doctor telling me to lay back. She lifted my shirt and squirted cold jelly on my stomach. I couldn’t have been more than nine weeks, so I didn’t expect much. The doctor grabbed this wand that looked like a bar scanner and rubbed it across my belly. That’s when we saw her.

She didn’t look like much more than a lima bean at first. But then the doctor started to point to her head and her feet and she sort of emerged. Gabe stood next to me holding my hand as the doctor passed the scanner over my belly a few more times.

“Oh wait, there is the heart beat,” the doctor said, pointing to a little flash of consistent movement on the screen.

“Oh my God,” I heard myself say.

I felt Gabe squeeze my hand. I felt my eyes start to sting. I tried not to look at him. I knew what would happen if I looked at him. I thought about all the love I had in my heart for this man standing beside me. I thought about how well he treated me and how well I treated him. I thought about the pretty greeting cards that sometimes showed up in the apartment for no apparent reason and said things like, “I’m lucky.” I thought about the way he asked me out on our first few dates with funny picture messages, and how on Valentines Day he didn’t give me a gift, but tucked an expensive cook book into my collection that I didn’t find until several days later. There was that night I had a horrible headache and he put a washcloth on my forehead and gently rubbed the back of my head until I fell asleep. And the Birthday when he gifted me with an original Ron English print that I had been visiting weekly at the gallery down the street.

I thought about the many late nights we worked together on his graduate school essays. I thought about the day I had to talk him into going to the Olympic Gamefarm to feed the zebras and at the end of the day he smiled and laughed, “Okay. I was wrong. It was fun.” I thought about the surprise party I planned for his 31st birthday, making five courses of Cajun recipes for ten of his closest friends. I thought of our day at Pike’s Place Market, buying a steamed crab, fresh baked bread, and Ranier Cherries that we ate from the top of the hill in Gasworks Park.

I watched the little lima bean move around the screen and wondered what sort of little person our love could create. Then I looked at Gabe and the tears just started rolling.

There she was – the product of our love story. A little miracle growing inside of me and she was real. This was real. This was really going to happen.

“Are you crying,” he asked, his own eyes red and blurry.

“Get used to it,” I said and let it flow.

12 Weeks
19 Weeks
19 Weeks

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