Friday, February 19, 2010

The Extra Chamber

I grew an extra chamber in my heart this past Monday. It’s the one Moms have to have to comfortably accommodate the amount of love you possess for your offspring.

Back at Littleton Regional Hospital at 8:30 am – and, I don’t care who you are, if you’re pregnant in your first trimester, this is impossibly early – and I am already welling up at the registration desk. I am terrified. I am slightly non-responsive to Stacey’s inquiries and remarks, as I am on planet What If. What if, what if, what if there’s nothing there again? I can’t handle more bad news.

We took the early appointment to avoid waiting, our doc’s recommendation as apparently the later it gets in the day, the more backed up this specific area of the hospital gets. Wouldn’t you know it, the place was already packed. Not even a seat available in the waiting room. Not good zsa zsa if you asked me!

We let the receptionist know we are there, and proceed to a homemade kiosk detailing the horrors of heart disease in women these days. Whoever made it dressed it up with red construction paper and online print-outs, it was actually pretty in an alarming way. Distracting to say the least – downer zsa zsa.

I am pacing now, within 3 minutes of signing in, and my patience has only so much oomph this morning.


Hey, that’s me! I’m here! I’m ready! That was fast – great zsa zsa!

We got the same guy we did the first time – John. John has seven lovely kids and he is a total peach. He doesn’t remember us, but says he’s been looking over our previous empty ultrasound. That’s all we get – no comment otherwise. Sometimes just hearing “It will be OK this time” could momentarily calm my out of control nerves. I’ve come to learn that medical professionals make no promises, false or otherwise, they simply rely on advanced scientific equipment to answer their questions.

So, never mind my belly is sticking out-to-there and my hormones are literally shooting out my ears, there are no reassuring words for me until he performs the ultrasound.

Gooey blue stuff on my tummy, Stacey’s hand in mine, tears of sheer terror oozing out my eyes, fingers crossed:

“Thump, thump-thump, thump, thump-thump, thump, thump” – I guessed the machine was picking up on my heart beat in overdrive and the sound ricocheted off the walls and into our ears.

Still nothing. 30 seconds go by before John speaks up:

“Oh, by the way, that’s not your heartbeat.”

O, Happy Day! He turns the volume up and we all quietly dance to the world’s most magical music. 179 beats/minute of what can only be described as God’s miracle. I am bawling, losing it completely at the relief of life inside my round belly. Thank you, God, thank you, thank you, thank you!

I could have listened all day, but John still had to find Kangaroo in there somewhere. She is still very small, only about the size of a kumquat and barely over an inch long. She weighs a fraction of an ounce, so why am I so plump? He glides the device back and forth, up and down, and locates the yolk sac. This! He says, This, if we see nothing else, is the sign of a growing pregnancy. Phhhhheeeeewww. Good, yolk sac, good.

“So I have some sad news,” John says in such a relaxed and impartial way that my heart hardly had time to sink. “The writer of ‘My Sharona’ died today.” Oh, John. If you only knew how close I am to completely annihilating your existence right now. Thank you for that tid bit, now find my baby.

And then there she was. Head, body, arm and leg buds, and a sweet little halo. Stacey and I, almost at the same time, deeply sighed and laughed. “Hi, buddy”.

This moment changes you. You make room for a deeper kind of love, and because of it, you resonate on a different level. From where I’m sitting, you don’t ever go back to who you were, and you don’t want to. You begin your transformation into a parent. You grow your extra chamber.

Kangaroo, Mommy is waiting. I love you.

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