The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face

One year ago today, July 7, 2008, was the first time we saw Oscar.

I was so afraid of that ultrasound.  Pregnant for the first time at thirty-seven, after our positive pregnancy test I scoured the internet for information, and I knew that there was a good chance, as high at 25%, that we would get bad news.  I was fully prepared to be told that the pregnancy was not viable, that my embryo was hideously deformed, or that I was not even pregnant. I was also terrified of having twins.

We arrived at the doctor’s office on time, but had to wait forty-five minutes in an over-air-conditioned waiting room because they were running behind.  I witnessed several very pregnant women come and go, and overheard a discussion in hushed tones about a patient who had just found out she was having a miscarriage.  I had to pee, I had to vomit, and I had to scream.  I held it together by jiggling my leg so fast I thought my foot might fall off, and babbling random gibberish to Darin.  Poor Darin.

When it was finally our turn I had given up all hope.  I had heard horror stories about doctors studying the ultrasound screen for long, quiet minutes before delivering the bad news.  My doctor placed the wand, turned to the screen, grinned, and said, “Congratulations.”  I immediately started to cry.

The best part came a few minutes later when he showed me and then Darin the heartbeat.  Just a rice grain of a heart, pulsing with a little light.  It was the most beautiful thing I had seen and that was one of the happiest days of my life.  On the elevator ride downstairs, on the walk to the car, and on the drive home, I couldn’t stop looking at the ultrasound.  My little bean.

One year later that bean has grown into my beautiful son.  Sometimes he looks at me like he has known me all along, with a kind of strange wisdom, like an old soul. Sometimes he bathes me with the light of his gummy smile, sometimes he laughs, and sometimes he spits up.  When I look at him I think two things.  One, that I am the luckiest person in the world, and two, Thank God he wasn’t twins.

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