Monday, April 9, 2007

Pregnancy Fantasies Come True (Wk 21: PREGNANCY)

September 21, 2005

I've crossed the halfway mark. Even if I were to carry to the end of week 42 (Please God, have mercy. Seriously.), I'm down to twenty weeks and four days. I relish this knowledge as I sit writing in an adorable maternity dress that actually fits.

Who knew what a difference a week could make? I've now had two people ask when I am due. Months of nothing, now two! Two ladies asking me a dangerous question that you don't venture unless you're really sure it's not just a beer gut. I'm finally beginning to look and feel the part of a mother-to-be.

A Husband Gets on Board

Even Tom is beginning to believe I'm pregnant. In the first half of my pregnancy, 99% of baby discussion was initiated by yours truly. In the past few days, though, my husband has startled me with spontaneous comments about our child-to-be.

It started when he felt the baby move. Lying in bed one night, our kangaroo was hopping. I placed Tom's hand over my stomach, then felt a pop. Tom's face brightened. He looked up and smiled at me, only to feel another thump. A couple of others followed, my husband's face lighting up each time.

Next thing you know, I'm hearing things like "Gosh I wonder what it will be like the first week we have with the baby... How old are they before they can smile and interact?... So the baby was kicking during that loud music?..." I look around for flying elephants, certain I'm in a strange dream.

On Saturday, Tom was trying to convince me to go out for ice cream. "The baby wants some ice cream."

"No," I said, "The baby is asleep."

So Tom walks over, puts his hand on my tummy, and starts talking right up against it. "Baby! Baaa-by!" He gave my stomach a raspberry and called out some more-- and next thing you know-- KICK!

We went out for ice cream.

Seeing is Believing

In the midst of our marathon of baby bonding, we had our big ultrasound. Having declined blood screenings, I came to this appointment with my usual anxiety. Would all of the chambers of the heart be there? Had the spine fused shut? Did we have four limbs?

All was well. Ten fingers, ten toes-- and either a hoo-hoo or a ha-ha, though we're not sure which. We closed our eyes while the technician studied the gender, wanting to save our surprise for the delivery.

It thrilled us to see our baby on the screen, so much bigger than the peanut we saw a few months ago. Still, I wasn't prepared for the shock when we switched to 4-D. We saw our baby almost as clearly as a photograph. Like a miniature infant, he (she?) was opening and closing his mouth. He reached up and put his hand over his face. At first I thought he was going to suck his thumb, but then he went toward one eye, and he was rubbing it. We watched silently, mesmerized.

Then I broke one of my vows: I began showing off the photos. With the clarity of 3D/4D, I couldn't resist. How can you not show your friends that your baby has a thumb? How can you not show friends the most precious profile you've ever seen? I will forever see friends' ultrasounds in a new light.

Meanwhile, our baby's photo album has begun. We even have a framed photo of her in the living room.

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