It is amazing how far you can travel while sitting in the same place.
Today, I sat in the same chair, next to the same bed, across from the same sonographer who helped my wife and I just over two years ago. Then, it was a long and exhausting session of several hours of scrutinizing two fetuses– of seemingly endless searching for features that weren’t there. Today, it was a quick look at one baby to confirm– along with many other features– four chambers in the heart, three vessels in the umbilical cord, and mouth and lips solidly meeting at midline. Plus some serious speculation about gender (which found the pediatric radiologist offering her guarded confidence that things looked ‘labia-ish’). Words like ‘cute,’ ‘beautiful,’ and ‘perfect’ were uttered by technician and physician alike, and then we went upstairs to have the cardiologist take a look herself via fetal echocardiogram and celebrate with us.
It was a day filled with joy and relief, and a day of recollection and regret. Of looking back on some serious pain and disappointment, and looking forward with real hope and exhilaration, all alongside people who are not just hospital staff, but who had become family to us not so long ago. The tears I cried today were mixed: half were tears of joy for my unborn baby girl, and half were bitter tears of jealousy for my son’s hindrances.