hi little baby,
i saw you for the first time last week and there was something that felt imperceptibly real about the visualization- even though you measured less than a centimeter from crown to rump, just a few blurry white pixels on a screen with my name horribly misspelled across the top. i'm not citing any newly-awakened maternal instinct or spiritual realness that immediately divorced me from my usual routine of tempered pragmatism. you were just a tiny blob that i could barely discern at first. when dr. grisham and his assistant first prompted me with "you see it? right there? that's your baby!" i started to feel frantic, like a kid called on in class to answer a question she hadn't paid attention to. i couldn't see you, despite my education and research and assumed self-confidence. slightly panicked, i struggled to sit up a little bit more and scanned the screen wildly looking for something in that fluctuating, wobbly, monochromatic display.
"see that pulsing?" dr. grisham pointed out helpfully. "that's the heartbeat."
i definitely saw that. not unlike a dog, i couldn't discern detail but i could detect motion. seeing the tiny pulse, seeing you on that sonogram printout attached to a little yolk sac- that was the first step in solidifying the reality of this journey. pregnancy and childbirth and parenthood is so ubiquitous in scope but so personal in experience, i've started to assume a familiar self-deprecating mantle of "lol i have no idea what i'm doing." and that's categorically untrue. i do know what i'm doing. i planned you. i did my homework. i always do.
but the thing that keeps me ambling through these weeks with an innocuous obliviousness isn't so much the concept of not know what i'm supposed to do. after all, i've been preemptively taking my prenatal vitamins and switched off contraindicated medications before i conceived, before well-intentioned friends and acquaintances began peppering me with unsolicited advice. i know what i'm supposed to do. i guess, more accurately, it's that i don't know what i'm supposed to feel.
sometimes i think of you as a very real person. sometimes i think of you as a baby, other times as a child, and every now and then as the adult you will grow into. the last concept is particularly terrifying due to my fear of aging visibly. but most of the time, i think about you as potential. potential but massive energy, on the precipice of coming into being. and i'm sort of on a precipice myself too- my feet balanced precariously on the edge and caught between cynicism and maternalism, between being mimi and mommy. i keep waiting to feel the whirlwind of sentiment and selflessness that comes from an unfathomably deep place and not just a crafted or pat cuteness. and i know it'll come, i'm just waiting for the drop, the irrevocable shift in landscape- but right now i am also potential. the potential for motherhood.
i hope you are happy and comfortable in there. you look like a crazy gross alien spawn and you're on your fourth (and final!) set of kidneys and you've got a cartilage skeleton like a tiny shark but i hope everything is proceeding well. i have faith you'll get pretty cute. your father is a real babe, after all.