Expecting and Hoping

When the sonographer touched my belly, I held my breath.
“Okay, let’s see,” she said. “Wow, your bladder is really full.”
“I know.” Of course I knew that! This was not what we needed to find out! Thankfully, she shifted the transducer a bit to my left, and the baby came into full view.
I breathed again. That’s what we needed to see. And what a beautiful image. Only three inches long, he/she already looks like a baby. Like the cutest baby ever.
For the next 20 minutes, the sonographer moved the ultrasound equipment all over my belly, getting views from the side and from above and taking measurements. She apologized several times that it was taking so long because the baby was quite active, but I told her to take all day.
Lee was with me, and we were mesmerized watching the baby move. Sometimes it would lie still for a second, then it would jump straight up and swim around before settling back down again, almost as if it’s whole body had a hiccup. Sometimes a leg would flail and a foot would come straight at the screen. Sometimes an arm would wave around, and one time I swear it tried to suck its thumb.
We heard the reassuring gallop of his/her heartbeat. At one point, we were looking at the baby from the back and I asked, “Is that the spine?”
“Yes,” she said.
“How cute!” I squealed. Then I thought, “the sonographer must think I’m crazy to call a spine cute.” Spines are many things, but probably aren’t often called cute. But this one was very cute. She was just going to have to forgive me.
It’s hard to describe how Lee and I have been feeling over the past 13 weeks. We are so excited and elated. But we’re also scared and apprehensive. I’m sure every new parent-to-be feels that way, but we’ve just had a long and difficult road to get here. I’m still scared, but each day that passes gives me new hope.
I have been keeping my secret from most of my co-workers, and dressing for work lately has been a challenge. Nothing really fits, and I’ve been wearing sweaters and jackets and slouching a lot to hide my changing profile. Not that I was embarrassed, I just wasn’t ready to talk about it yet.
But after Friday’s ultrasound, I began spreading the news. Tomorrow at work, I won’t be hiding under my jacket. I’m not going to wear midriff-showing shirts or anything, but I’ll let the world see that my belly is expanding. A little.
And to think, when we first saw baby 8 weeks ago, this is how little he/she was!
It’s still a little hard to talk openly about it, because I know you’re never out of the woods until it’s born, and then you have a whole new set of worries. But I think it’s time to celebrate our pregnancy out loud.
It’s common to refer to pregnancy as “expecting.” But I liked what Lee’s Grandmother said. “You’re hoping.” I can’t go around expecting everything to be just fine. No one can. Everyone has worries. Creating life is such a complex process, and to just expect that it will work out perfectly every time is assuming a lot. But I can hope. And I have a lot of that right now.