A day or two after my mom passed away, I knew I had to call Kaiser (insurance) to reschedule our ultrasound appointment. We were able to make an appointment in the next day or two. Considering the newly found darkness that seemed to be consuming me and my life, the ultrasound was the only thing I was looking forward too, and I let it be the light in my life. I was quickly realizing that I would be in a much worse state if it wasn’t for the baby growing in my tummy, who was getting stronger every day, and with every kick and turn reminded me of the happiness that was to come. I knew that my mom wouldn’t want me to be consumed with sadness about her, but rather with love for my baby. But I also knew that she would understand my need to mourn for her loss, so I let myself do that too.
The day of the ultrasound came, and after a 20 minute crying session thinking about how I wouldn’t be able to celebrate this with my mom, we went to our appointment. Nate and I decided that we didn’t want to find out the sex of our baby in the room with the ultrasound tech, so I made a piece of paper with “We’re having a….” typed on it, so the tech could write boy or girl on it and stick it in the envelope with the pictures of the parts that made him or her a him or her.
The technician seemed to like that idea and was happy to honor our wishes. She lubed up my belly and began to explore my innards in search of a baby. She found it pretty easily, and we watched in awe, seeing its toes, fingers, heartbeat, spine. They have things they have to check for, the size of its head, its bones, and as fun as that was, I wanted to see its face. My little nugget was being a stubborn baby though and was giving the technician a hard time, turning its head into just the wrong position so she couldn’t get information she needed. She tilted the bed so I was head down, she asked me to go to the bathroom because sometimes relieving the bladder helped the baby turn to the right position. Eventually she gave us the fun stuff, turning the monitor to 3D mode and getting us pictures of its face, though it even made that hard by putting its hands and umbilical cord in front of its face. We turned our head as she found out the baby’s sex and printed out pictures and wrote it down on the paper, stuck it in the envelope and gave it to us.
When it was all done, I knew I most likely wasn’t going to even make it to the car before opening the envelope, but I did. Nate and I agreed that opening it in the car was fine, it was mainly just important to us that it was just us, our moment. Earlier in my pregnancy I had wanted a boy, but now that my mom was gone I kind of hoped for a girl, so I could incorporate my mom’s name into hers. I felt like I needed it to be a girl.
We opened up the envelope and pulled the paper out first and under the “We’re having a…” it said girl. I felt so happy and relieved, I hugged Nate, thinking how weird it was to feel happy, considering recently the only emotions I felt were sadness, anger, and more sadness. We pulled out the ultrasound pictures to see her “girl parts” but instead of seeing a vagina, we saw a little nub that said “penis” right next to it.
Did our little girl have a penis or did we actually have a boy?? We stared at the picture, along with the others, which all said “penis” or “boy”. It seemed pretty obvious. I mean that definitely looked like a penis. Then we started laughing. It felt good to laugh. Nate ran back in and talked to the tech and she said she didn’t know why she had written ‘girl’, he was definitely, definitely a boy. She crossed out girl on our paper and wrote “Boy!” instead.
We shared the news with our family, who were all happy and amused by the story that came with finding out what he was. All I could think about was how hilarious my mom would have thought that was, she would have wanted to frame it. I also knew how happy she would have been that it was a boy. She had two girls but had always wanted a boy, and though she always told me that she didn’t care either way, she just wanted a healthy grand baby, I knew that secretly she was rooting for a boy.
Focusing on my baby boy is what got me through the worst time of my life. I concentrated on every kick, elbow jab, hiccup. When I was crying, he would move, reminding me what there was in my life that was good. He kept me grounded and sane and he didn’t even know it.
He may have been an accident, but everything happens for a reason.