Today we counted down the hours and minutes from “wake up and get out of bed” to 3:15. Because at 3:15 today, we got to see the Bullet for the first time.
That’s right kids. The first doctor’s appointment was today.
We arrived the requisite 10 minutes early, filled out a little bit of paperwork, and I commented to the Hubs on how sad it was that there are two lines on the form:
Husband/Spouse or Significant Other:
Father of the baby:
Then my name was called, and Nurse A was excited to see us and congratulated us profusely. Weigh in (I have a little less wiggle room than I did last time around), blood pressure (perfect, huzzah!), a few questions about the particulars and then the agonizing wait for Dr. M.
I sit in the hospital room, in the belly length, open front blouse-y mess and a sheet to cover my lap, nervously tucking the sheet to cover my exposed butt crack, and I keep pestering the Hubs about questions for the doc. I felt like I had a lot of them before I got in there, but as I sit there waiting for Dr. M to arrive, I am drawing a blank.
I just want to see that heartbeat.
And then, Dr. M is rolling in the ultrasound machine and she cuts right to the chase.
“We’re going to do the fun stuff first.” I love my doctor. Have I mentioned this before?
Forget the pap smear, the questions about last menstrual period, blah blah blah. Let’s get that ultrasound going and see Bullet, already.
There’s just one in there, and it is ours. I laid there and held the Hubs’ hand and took it all in, our baby, this precious creation that was conceived in a trailer park during one of the most stressful and difficult months of my life, and I fell in love.
I did request a thorough scan for multiples, but there really is just the one Bullet. We aren’t getting double barrels this round.
We’re measuring at 7 weeks and 1 day. Our estimated due date is February 20. Everything looked good. Hudson’s baby brother or sister is on the way.
As the appointment is wrapping up, my doctor asks me a question:
“After Hudson was delivered, you asked me for information about any support groups. Did you ever find one?”
“No,” I responded. “But a friend of mine and I are thinking of starting one.”
Dr. M then explains that someone else in our small town just lost their full-term baby, and is looking for somebody to talk to. I told Dr. M to give her my information.
Losing a baby is an absolute travesty. After our appointment, I’m filled with joy for the healthy heartbeat, the tiny bean on the screen, but I am also left with a heavy heart knowing that someone else, in such a tiny little town, will go home without their beautiful labor of love. And that there’s nothing that anyone can do to fix or change it. And that there isn’t even a good support if they wanted it.
I hope that this mother calls me, and I hope that I am given the opportunity to be that listening ear. As my doctor put it, “We [doctors] know what happened, but we can’t relate. We can’t validate how they are feeling the way that you can.”
It is a horrible position to be in, to be the best qualified individual to identify with somebody going through the worst experience imaginable. But here I am in this place, heartbroken for somebody I’ve never met before and hoping that they pick up the phone and call me.
Because even if its miserable, and even if it drags me back to the darkest places of my grief, I know that it is helping somebody, providing hope when somebody can’t imagine any day that could be brighter.
I’m astounded by the lessons I continue to learn because of Hudson. I have a capacity to love harder and deeper than I ever thought possible. I have an appreciation for the miracle of life that makes me value other people more, to cut people a little more slack. And I have learned to listen, to be empathetic, to be silent when it is necessary and to be selective in my word choice when silence is not enough. I know that these qualities are making me a better person, but more importantly, they are making me a better mother. Bullet will benefit from these lessons, and will probably teach me a whole new world of lessons him-or-herself.
But for now I want Bullet to focus on growing those arm and leg buds, getting less tadpole-like and more awesome.