Everyone has made, or at least talked about, their top fives. Top five destinations to travel to, top five restaurants to eat at, top five most attractive people in the world, and top five goals to achieve at the start of a new year. We like to rank, to categorize, to measure our lives up against our own expectations for living.
Today, I added to a few of my own top five lists. Top five best days of my life. Top five most emotionally charged days of my life. Top five days I won't ever forget.
Today was my 20 week appointment. My ultrasound. Today, Beau and I found out the sex of our baby. We saw pictures, listened to its little heartbeat, and watched it yawn, kick its feet, and rest its little hands under its little chin. It was one of the most surreal moments of both of our lives. Although my mind has raced today more than I think it ever has before, time seemed to slow down to a peaceful halt. I knew I needed to sit down at my computer before the day was through; to sit and try to put into words the feelings of this day. So, as Beau watches TV and Jade sleeps soundly in her fur kitty bed, I write. I heard once that tears improve vision; I'm hoping my words become clearer too.
I don't think I was really expecting the absolute whirlwind of emotions this day would bring. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that none of it is in our control. Sure, my wedding day was a whirlwind of emotions, yet, it was planned so meticulously, so carefully, that I felt pretty much, in control. This is different. This takes an unbelievable amount of faith and trust in something much bigger than what is humanly possible. And when I look back on today, it is impossible not to see God's hand at work in every piece of it.
My appointment was at 10, so last night, Beau and I both looked forward to sleeping in a bit. That, however, ended up being a pipe dream. We were both up early, attempting to act cool, yet unmasking much of our mutual excitement and anxiety.
As I look back at it now, I realize there was so much of this day that I hadn't even thought about. For example, what the ultrasound room would be like. To some, it may be a sterile hospital room, complete with cords, computers, and plastic sheeting. To me, it was perfect. The lights were dimmed, the atmosphere was cozy and inviting, and a little screen that would show us our baby sat patiently in front of us like a movie theatre screen before a movie starts. Beau sat close to me and immediately rested his hand on my arm. Within seconds, we were watching live footage of our little one. It was as if 'it' was expecting us, saying, "Here I am Mom! Here I am Dad!" We saw a perfectly round head, two little feet crossed at the ankles, two little hands resting on a sweet little chin. We listened to its heartbeat and watched it pump simultaneously in complete disbelief. At this moment, I think it all became real. I immediately wanted to hold it. To feed it. To bundle it up in a blanket and snuggle with it; however, the nurse reminded us that Baby J was only about six inches long and 12 ounces. Beau decided I needed to go on an all-meat diet to 'beef' up our little one. Its arms were bony, its ribs were showing, and it looked a little skeletore-ish!
After our ultrasound, we were asked to wait in the waiting room until Dr. Hines was ready to see us. We grabbed our CD of pictures, our DVD of footage, and our endless strip of snapshots and headed to the waiting room to study our baby. There was no doubt that we were first time parents, looking at pictures of our baby for the first time. There we sat, at times, laughing hysterically, blinking through tear filled eyes, attempting to swallow the lump in our throats. I definitely thought the baby reflected Beau's personality...it wouldn't sit still at first; however, seemed to quickly grow 'bored' with us by flashing us a big yawn. Beau decided the frontal picture of the face resembled that of a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. Its nose looks small, and its fingers look long.
Dr. Hines is awesome and exactly the kind of doctor I need. I teach both of her boys at NU, so knowing her in that light added such a personal touch to our appointment. We felt comfortable asking lots of questions, and she was extremely down-to-earth with her answers. Although I don't know who exactly will deliver Baby J, I feel confident and assured that we will be well taken care of at Covenant.
Afterwards, I was dying for a cheeseburger, so Beau and I had lunch at the Screaming Eagle. Man were our minds racing. At times we would talk at the same time, other times, it was obvious we were both deep in our thoughts, unable to put the puzzle of emotions running through our minds into complete sentences. Up until this day, life consisted of us. Now, even though we still have five more months of 'us,' we don't feel alone. I think seeing our baby today changed everything. I think knowing that we are having a son, or daughter changed everything. In October, we will welcome a beautiful little person into our lives.... and now we are in the pre-game mental warm up.
We shopped. We registered at Target, test drove strollers down the aisle, played with baby toys, and smelled precious little baby clothes. Beau went back to work and I played some more. Mostly, though, I thought. I thought about my life in five months, bringing home a newborn for the first time. I thought about my life next summer, watching a seven-month old baby sink their toes into grass for the first time. I thought about next Christmas, first birthdays, and a first day of kindergarten. I thought about car seats, jogger strollers, and baby names. I thought about closet space, baby bedding, and lullabies. I thought about life, about love, and about miracles.
Today I am thankful for my miracle. My six-inch little miracle.
Stay tuned for this weekend! Baby J's gender will be revealed to all!!!