July 19, 2005
After a seven-year stream of weddings, bridesmaids dresses, and rehearsal dinners, I now have more baby showers on my calendar than stock-the-bar parties. A pile of sleepers, diaper sets, and books like Goodnight, Moon have taken over a corner of my bedroom, waiting to be wrapped.
With this ever-growing list of pregnant friends, I also realize (yet again) how fortunate Tom and I have been to conceive in a timely manner. It's a lot easier going to these showers now that I'm pregnant. Before, it was like going to an engagement party after a terrible break-up. Except without all the liquor.
In visiting the newborn babies of two friends this week, I have felt a sense of camaraderie, along with some longing that our day arrives safely as well.
Tom and I went first to visit his good friends and see their eight-day-old son. We took turns holding him, mesmerized by his long thin fingers and tiny features. Tiny nose, tiny mouth, tiny eyes, little tiny miracle... It all sounds so sentimental, but I can think of few things more amazing than a baby fresh from his mother's womb-- a baby which began as a tiny cluster of cells and will one day crash the family car into the garage.
After we left, Tom told me about the conversation he'd had with the new father while I was busy admiring--um, drooling-- over the baby's nursery. Turns out, this baby was three years in the making. I wanted to visit the baby all over again, knowing what a long-awaited miracle he really was.
The second baby I visited, a 24-hour-old girl, also had a long-awaited entry into the world. Her mother experienced a molar pregnancy two years ago, a rare occurrence which means not only miscarriage but six months to a year of blood work before being safely able to conceive again. Watching my friend hold her baby for the first time, remembering the grief which came before, I realized that time does pass. Dreams do come true.
After this weekend of incredible baby visits, I had my second prenatal appointment. Time to hear the heartbeat! I was almost tearful with fear in the waiting room while my husband, after a 36-hour work shift, simply fought to keep awake.
For our first time to hear the heartbeat, I had pictured him standing by my head holding my hand as the doctor searched, Tom bawling with me in either elation or grief. But between my husband's sleep depravity and my own fear-induced fogginess, we muffed it up. I was lying on the exam table with Tom crumpled up in a corner chair when the doctor laid the Doppler on my stomach, and immediately we heard wooshing. Dr. G. smiled and said, "It's 155 beats a minute."
"Are you sure that's not my heartbeat we're hearing," I asked, ever the skeptic of good news.
"If it is, we need to get you an EKG right away."
So we've made it through twelve weeks. And to think that it might be only one month more before I feel our baby move!
Belly Pic, 12 weeks: