After trying to conceive for four years and deciding to go the foster parent route, the response to our news of expecting (unexpectedly) has been touching, personal and highly emotional.
Even guy friends sent me emails and direct messages through Twitter telling me in their own way they shared in our joy.
Let’s face it: Babies are wonderful news. They’re miracles and what’s so beautiful about them is the hope they give us.
Since we waited to share our news publicly until week 14, or the start of our second trimester, it’s been a crush of responses in the last few weeks leading up for the half-way point, or week 20 starting today.
Many readers shared that my posts have inspired them, healed them and even brought them to tears. Fortunately, it’s also opened doors from those who reached out to share their own personal stories, some who say that they had never discussed their experiences before.
In some cases, they never became parents and worse, infertility struggles led to the destruction of relationships leaving aching holes in their hearts.
Other stories gave me a good giggle.
One friend, a man, confessed that he and his wife resorted to a “fertility charm’ of sorts and surprise, they conceived after years of heartbreak. He kept the charm until a second child was on the way.
The human connection to such a precious and deeply rooted desire knows no bounds.
The week of Thanksgiving, I entered my fifth month on the road to Houston. We stopped in a scenic area for a monthly “bump” profile picture. Even as I increasingly show, my mind still resists the reality. Perhaps it’s fear to feel too much excitement; a survival tactic.
Yet, every morning, I pull up my shirt and look at my protruding abdomen while I enjoy a rare moment flat on my back, which isn’t recommended nor comfortable. I watch Brian shave and as he’s about to walk out to start his early day, I point and request: “Kiss the baby.”
Much as I learned about society’s feelings and inability to respond well to infertility, they also respond strangely to pregnancy.
I’ve learned that I don’t look pregnant “enough,” and that they get a “boy feeling.” Even a client’s daughter outright proclaimed that I was having a boy.
Even I began to tell people I thought I felt I was having a boy. So, I decided to take a few of those silly online “old wives” gender quizzes and every single one said based on my responses, I was having a boy.
Years before we had started trying, I told Brian I would want to be surprised. But after years of wanting a baby, any baby, being pregnant is itself a huge surprise. But my sister and mom both insist they don’t want to know, which seems an exercise in futility.
I set my ultrasound appointment weeks ago at Naval Medical Center San Diego for today.
As I chugged my 32 ounces of water an hour before my appointment, I began to get nervous. I could learn something scary about the baby. Anything could be going on inside as the baby develops without me knowing.
Sitting in the waiting room, neither husband nor sister were there as I was called back by the ultrasound technician. As I walked in, husband sent a text asking where I was when he realized that my calendar invite was not wrong about the appointment location – he was. He even convinced my sister it was in a different building.
(Please, let this not be an indication of the hospital drive.)
As the technician began sliding the instrument around my stomach, I watched her face intently.
“I’m doing measurements for the doctor’s records and taking pictures of development,” she said.
“So, does it look good?” I asked.
She smiled, eyes still on the monitor, and gave a vague “u-huh.”
Husband and sister walked in to watch her wrap up her measurements when she turned the monitor toward me and switched on the wall screen for everyone to watch.
She pointed out all the important details of a healthy, well-developing baby. The baby never sat still for a second as the technician tried to show us the heart chambers, the spinal cord, feet and face.
“Strong heart at 146 beats a minute, blood flowing through the spinal cord, no club feet or cleft pallet concerns,” she concluded. “Looks real, real good.”
Once sister was safely out of the room, she rolled the wand over to the baby’s pelvis.
“So, here’s the hips and pelvic bones,” she said. “Want to guess?”
Brian leaned over my legs toward the monitor while we examined the shifting image.
“It’s a girl,” he said.
“Congratulations, it’s a girl,” she said.
She printed out some photos, like the one featured in this post. Finally, it’s real. Its not some fantasy. Come April, I’m going to be a mom.
As we walked out, my friend sent me a direct message begging me not to make her wait for this post.
Stories of all the baby activity gave her a sense that it might be a girl; her daughter also was a very active baby in utero.
Well, that’s just what the world needs, I laughed, one more Type A girl.