For Thanksgiving 2009, your grandparents and I traveled to Alabama to visit my sister, your Aunt B, and her family. We all made dinner together and enjoyed a traditional Thanksgiving meal. It was delicious. I went back for seconds later that night and as I was heating up leftovers, I was suddenly nauseated. The food smelled disgusting. I couldn’t even be in the kitchen anymore because the smell was overwhelming. I remember telling your Grandma M that I just felt sick all of a sudden. It didn’t make any sense to me. I didn’t eat any leftovers for the rest of our trip.
Of course, about a month later during one, pivotal doctor’s appointment, it made total sense. I was too shocked to speak when I found out; I was already 8 weeks along. I couldn’t even find the words to tell Grandma M who was at the appointment with me – I just handed her your ultrasound pictures. You looked like a tadpole in them. Pop-Pop 3 called you Kermit for while.
When I found out about you, it took a couple of weeks (try 32) to let it sink it. I was suddenly aware that I was never alone – you went with me everywhere. I talked to you a lot, even in the early days, before you even had ears. I liked it – not being alone, because back in those days, I felt alone a lot. C and I had fallen apart, but I had you and there were times when you were the only thing that could make me feel better.
After that first one, ultrasounds became my favorite thing in the whole wide world. I only had three, but they were enough to make me realize why Tom Cruise bought Katie Holmes her own ultrasound machine when she was pregnant. Of course I was (very literally) connected to you, but getting to see you was an experience beyond words. Everyone daydreams about what their child is going to look like, who they’re going to be and an ultrasound is a window into those daydreams. They are a sneak peek into what is about to be the best part of your life. It’s actually probably a method of placating expecting mothers – we have to go another 20-or-so weeks without meeting you, so we’ve got to have something to hold on to in the meantime. Not to mention that you were incredibly photogenic. Still are.
After ultrasounds, my favorite thing was getting to hear your heartbeat. The way I used to describe the sound was like helicopter blades, right as the engine was starting up. Your heartbeats were so fast! It was like a “whoosh, whoosh” sound. I wish there had been a way to record it – I can still remember the way it sounded, crystal clear in my memory. Proof is important to mothers – we feel our babies moves around all the time, we know without a doubt that we’re carrying them, but those little moments of realization, those tiny glimpses into who we’re carrying, mean the world to us. We’re literally connected to you for nine months and it’s not nearly close enough.
I loved being pregnant with you. After the shock wore off, I bought books. And then I bought some more books. I read them from cover to cover – I would have to restrain myself from reading ahead in my because I wanted to read it as it happened, but I would just get too excited. I would want to know what you were doing, how much more you had developed, how big you were…I wanted to know everything about you. I loved buying stretchy pants, I loved feeling you move around, I love what I learned in my childbirthing classes, I loved learning about you and pregnancy period. It was all so new and interesting, and the best part is that it was all about you. I made you. I grew you. I look at you sometimes and I just can’t believe that I actually created something as beautiful as you, just by being me.
Pregnancy was completely unexpected for me; not at all planned for, but truly one of the most amazing experiences of my life. You are my most amazing experience – my proudest accomplishment, my favorite thing, the best thing I’ve ever done with my 21 years of life.
I’ve loved you single every day of you since that first one. I have a feeling that will never change. I just wanted you to know :)