On January 16, 2009, the day after we returned home from Disney World, I went in for my 24 week check up. The vacation had been exactly what John and I needed. We enjoyed having some time together to just relax, celebrate the exciting change that was about to take place in our little family and experience one last visit to Disney World as just the two of us.
As we walked into the doctors office that afternoon, I was anxious to hear the results of our ultrasound. We knew that if there had been anything major that we needed to be aware of, we likely would have gotten a call from the doctor already. However, I was anxious to hear directly from one of the doctors that our baby appeared to be healthy. I went through the normal routine that I had come to expect with each appointment… get weighed (ugh!), pee in a cup, check my blood pressure, measure my belly and listen to our precious little boy’s heartbeat. After all of that, Dr. Long reviewed the ultrasound results with us. My hopes were confirmed as he shared with us that our little boy seemed to be healthy! However, Dr. Long quickly caught me off-guard. He mentioned that the report indicated that they had not been able to get the profile images of our little guy. He said “Okay, we’ll let’s get you scheduled for a follow up ultrasound in a week or so…”
I think I just about fell off the exam table! For the last few weeks, I had been trying to adjust to the idea that that I wasn’t going to have that precious little profile image of my baby boy. I had “grieved the loss” of that dream and was trying to move on and be at peace about the whole thing. Since the ultrasound technician had said that she didn’t expect they’d sent me back for a repeat ultrasound, I just assumed there was no way that would happen! I was delighted… maybe I was going to get the chance to see his precious little face after all!
Ten days later, on January 26, 2009, we walked back into Holy Spirit Women’s Imaging Center. This time, it felt familiar and my nerves were far more settled than they had been when we had been there just a month prior. I was so excited to be seeing my baby boy again and was praying we’d have the chance to see his precious little face. When I heard my name called, I moved quickly toward the exam rooms. I was surprised when I realized that the technician who would be taking care of me that day was one of my customers from the bank where I worked!
As the technician began the ultrasound, she told us that she had a series of images she had to take before she started to look for the profile. She assured us that they were just routine images that she needed to take with each prenatal ultrasound. So, I waited, rather impatiently if I’m quite honest, for her to get to the “good part.” After what seemed like an eternity, I began to realize that she was beginning to search for my little boys face. I kept watching the monitor closely, waiting anxiously for the first glimpse of that sweet little profile. Eventually I heard the technician let out a sigh as she said “He’s not really cooperating again.” I remember thinking “What?? How can that be possible?? Again??” She tried from seemingly every angle to get a view of his face. I’d lay on one side, then the other, then roll back to my back… but nothing seemed to work.
After awhile, she told me that the next best thing to try was to have me get up, drink some cold water and walk around the hall for awhile to see if he would change positions. So, that’s exactly what I did. John and I paced the hallways for the longest time. As we walked, we talked to our little boy…. told him we loved him, that we were looking forward to meeting him, and could he please, PLEASE turn so that the technician could see his face? I just knew that after two ultrasounds, it would be very unlikely that our insurance would be willing to pay for a third one without a different reason. Finally, the technician came and found us walking the halls, told us it had been long enough and we should try again. As I climbed back up on the table and waited for her to begin the ultrasound again, I took a deep breath and just prayed that our little boy would have turned. My heart sank as the technician told us that he STILL wasn’t in a good position. She said he had moved some, but not enough.
I wanted to cry. I was so frustrated. Why had I allowed myself to get my hopes up so high again? I truly suspect that the technician felt bad for me, especially since she knew me, because she offered one other option. She told me to roll to my side and lay there for a few minutes. I really didn’t think it would make any difference, but she said that was the last thing she knew to try. So, that’s what I did. I laid there in silence, afraid to say much of anything for fear that I’d start crying. I just kept praying that either our baby would turn so that we could see his face or if not, that I would be okay with it.
We only waited about five minutes before the technician returned. I knew that it probably hadn’t been enough time. I hadn’t felt any significant movements, so I resigned myself to the fact that I needed to be okay with not seeing his face again. As the technician started up the ultrasound for the third time, I couldn’t even bring myself to look at the screen. I just looked up at John and waited for the ruling. “Ah, there he is!” Those words took my breath away! “Really? He turned?” I asked. “Yes he did!” the technician replied.
My eyes filled with tears as I turned my head and looked over to see my precious baby boy’s face for the very first time. In an instant, my heart was overwhelmed with joy and an incredible new depth of love. There he was… that precious little button nose, those sweet little lips, the adorable little chin… there was our baby boy… nothing could compare to that moment! I had dreamed of this moment, not just for the past few months of my pregnancy, but for years. All through the time we had struggled with infertility, I often would lay awake at night trying to envision our child’s face. I didn’t know if God would see fit to give us the incredible gift of a child someday or not, but my heart longed for that so deeply that in my mind’s eye, I had seen this moment countless times. There were simply no words to describe it… I loved this child more than I ever knew was possible. It was simply incredible.
The technician recorded the images she needed for the report for the doctor and then she offered to record some 4D images as well. Once she turned on the 4D imager, we could see our son moving around, rubbing his face with his hands and at times, it even looked like he was waving at us! He was so precious… my heart was just soaring! I felt like in those few moments that I could see his little personality shining through. It was like this child that I had been carrying for six months was suddenly more “known” to me.
Psalm 139:13-16 was suddenly so real to me.
“13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.”
I was overwhelmed by this amazing gift that we had been given. There had been so many days, months, years that I had wondered if we’d ever have the joy of being parents… and here we were, walking the road towards holding him in our arms. We’d finally caught a glimpse of his face and I couldn’t wait to nuzzle that little nose against my own. What a precious little treasure and such an amazing creation that God had placed inside of me and was entrusting us with to love and raise. I knew that this child was not mine alone, but that he belonged to God. That only He could have created this life and that I had to trust He would continue to keep our son safe.
Once again we left the imaging center with a DVD in hand of several of the images that had been recorded for us, but this time we both felt so much different than we had just a month earlier. I couldn’t believe how difficult it had been to get those images, but it was an incredible feeling to have finally seen his face for the first time! I knew that we had another three and a half months to wait until we could meet him, but having these pictures to look at while we waited seemed like it would make it so much easier! I just couldn’t wait to hold him in my arms…