Thursday, July 13, 2006

an actual baby

Pregnancy consumes my mind these days. I find myself looking down in awe at this growing belly that blocks my view of my feet. Josh noted the other day that my belly button has become somewhat larger as the area swells outward. In quiet moments I try to keep still, looking for that fluttering everyone tells me about. The other day, I felt a mild tap tap tap from within, and I held my breath at the thought that perhaps those were the tiny tap tap taps of tiny feet. Only time will tell, I guess.

At the same time, though, I try not to talk about the pregnancy as much as I'd like. At home, I talk poor Josh's ear off, with ideas and plans and schedules. My mother also gets the brunt of my chattering, but other than that, I try not to be the all-consumed, self-centered preggo that I actually feel.

Despite all of the pregnancy thoughts, it is only recently that thoughts about an actual baby have entered my mind. Listening to the heartbeat at appointments seemed so surreal, as if something strange was making that lovely chug-a-chug-a-chug, not an actual beating heart. So it was with a good deal of shock that I saw a real live baby on the screen today during an impromptu ultrasound.

I've decided to switch doctors, despite loving my current ob-gyn because I'd gotten some pressure from friends regarding the hospital at which she delivers. With the wealth of options in Boston, many of my friends and family felt that we should be delivering at one of the top rated hospitals, rather than the community hospital associated with my doctor. It was a difficult decision to make, because my doctor is truly a lovely person. Very friendly and kind, laid back and calming, but the possibility of delivering a baby in need of a neonatal intensive care unit was weighing on my mind, despite the low probability of that happening. I wanted to know that the best NICU in New England was a corridor away, rather than a 15 minute drive. Paranoid, I know, but that is first time motherhood for you.

So today, at my introduction appointment with the doctor, I was stunned when she suggested we "take a quick peek" at the baby. Poor Josh had opted to miss his first appointment of this pregnancy, since this was an introductory appointment that was supposed to take 15 minutes, and it was in the middle of the day. Unfortunately, this turned out to be the most exciting one thus far.

I felt that same momentary panic as she got the ultrasound machine set up. That fear that this time something will go wrong, but as she pressed the wand against my abdomen, a fuzzy image of a beautiful, sweet baby filled the screen. A baby that played with one hand against its chin while holding the other hand against its cheek. A baby that flexed and pointed its teeny tiny feet, and turned its head from side to side. A baby's whose beautiful heart showed 4 beautiful chambers that were beating at 140 beats per minutes. It even wriggled a few times on screen, showing off a healthy spine and rounded belly. Two eyes, a little nose, a mouth that opened and closed.

Folks, there was a BABY inside there.

Not some random growth that is forcing me out of regular clothes faster than I can buy maternity clothes to replace them. Not a parasite making me vomit for weeks on end. An actual baby that might actually be born, that might actually come to live in our house. It blew me away.

The doctor said we were taking a quick peek, but in fact, we spent several minutes while she pointed out the different body parts and did a heartbeat measurement. It was amazing, and for much of today I've been walking around in a daze, tears prickling my eyes when I remember the little face turning from side to side.

A baby. Who knew?


Lucy said...

:) how exciting!

R said...

Like your blog very much. I can totally feel your excitement and you bring me back to the days of my own pregnancies. First, second, or last, the amazement doesn't go away. Yup, there's a baby inside you, a real live human inside your stomach. If you say that outloud it's almost freakishly sci-fi. I look forward to reading your adventures in gestating.

Angry Pregnant Lawyer said...

Just wanted to say you're not paranoid for wanting to deliver in a hospital that will be well-prepared to deal with any complications. I'm just sorry that your usual OB doesn't have privileges there.

So excited for you and Josh!

Piece of Work said...

Oh, HL! This is such sweet post and such an exciting time for you! Congratulations, again.

I will tell you, though, that the first words I said when they FINALLY handed Isaac over were "Oh my god. It's a baby."

Phantom Scribbler said...

I'll never forget the ultrasound where we saw LG sucking his thumb. That was when it hit me: omigod -- a baby in there!

I'm always happy to hear all-consumed self-centered pregnancy chatter!

nancy said...

What a feel tingly all over feel good report...and I am all tingly with you!

You helped me bring back such fond memories of those special pg moments.

KLee said...

It's totally amazing that those little flutters turn into a real tiny person growing there, under your heart.

I was in awe the first time I ever saw Offspring on the ultrasound. All I have to say is, wait -- it only gets better.

All that icky stuff -- the nausea, the cravings, all that stuff will fade away when they place your sweet baby in your arms. And it'll totally be worth it.

Girl said...


ccw said...

Oh, I'm so happy for you. The moment it becomes real is such a special one.

Stacy said...

I'm so glad I found you- another pregnant blog to lurk! I'm obsessed with pregnancy ya know.

I agree- the sonogram is always the most exciting test. To see that there is actually a baby in there can change your whole outlook on the pregnancy. It’s not just you anymore. There is another person present- your baby. You’re going to be a mother. Can you believe it?

mamatulip said...

I say whatever makes you feel as comfortable as possible regarding the birth of your child should be done.

I love, love, love ultrasounds. Reading about them is almost as good as having one. :)

Maribeth said...

Oh how wonderful! A baby! Any idea what sex?

Zuska said...

That is so fun!! I had lunch with a few preggie ladies today, and it reminded me of when my 8 and 10 year olds were inside of me.

(fun to find the blog of a fellow bostonian!)

rose said...

Isn't it amazing to realize that it's an actual baby in there?
I had to post the ultrasound picture on the fridge to remind myself when the last ultrasound was far behind me.
After a while you can feel the difference between the tushy and the feet and the head. That's really cool too!

liz said...

Yeeee! I loved watching Muffin Man on the ultrasound. Loved connecting the flutters I was feeling to the trampoline bouncing he was doing inside.

And you're doing the right thing moving to the better hospital.

Ninotchka said...

How beautiful is that? Now, I'm the one with tears in my eyes! ;)


bigslowgirl said...

yay!! so happy to read this! it's very exciting!

but i must admit i'm a little selfishly sad that i'm not following a few weeks behind with southpaw.

thanks for being so considerate and patient. i never imagined it would be so hard.

amygeekgrl said...

awww, congratulations. :) it is pretty amazing to see that actual baby in there. :)
feel free to talk about your pregnancy and baby anytime. it's your blog, after all. :)

Yankee T said...

Sweet post. A baby, indeed!

susan said...

That's a very cool story! I hope Josh gets to see soon, too.

I think it makes total sense to want to deliver in a hospital with a NICU (esp given that there is one convenient to you), although switching docs is always a pain and I'm sorry you had to do that.

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