It is always amazing to me how things can be so perfect one moment and terrifying the next.
Four days ago we went to the doctor for an ultra-sound to see our baby for the first time. It was a magical moment for both of us, but it would not last long. As we marvelled over the small wonder, the doctor was instructing the technician to focus in and take pictures of certain areas. We just assumed that this was normal, as no one was making a big fuss over anything, and the baby looked perfect to us. After it was all over, we went home and ate dinner, watched a movie, then went to bed. the next morning, sunday, we received a call that the doctor wanted to talk to us about the ultra-sound. We gave each other a worried look and tried to think of other things to take our minds off the worry and anxiety until it was time to leave to see the doctor. I think our dishes and furniture were cleaner after that afternoon than when we bought them. On the way to the office, we had to stop for gas, and it was then that i realized that the doctor simply wanted to tell us that he had determined the sex of our child. I told this to my wife, and she seemed to relax alot and had a very relieved look on her face. We continued to the office and had to wait in the waiting room for a few minutes before a nurse came out and said that the doctor was free and could see us. We walked in and sat down in front of the desk, he reached over and shook our hands and thanked us for coming. I asked him if we needed blue or pink paint, and a confused look grew on his face. Suddenly, realizing what i was asking him, he laughed slightly and said that was not the reason he had asked us to come in. Once again the nervousness returned and i looked over at my wife, and she too looked nervous. The doctor told us that he had detected a few discrepancies in the photographs taking during the ultra-sound, but that was nothing to worry about. He said that it could just be a shadow, but there appeared to be a second child. We looked at each other again, and i asked if he meant that we were going to be having twins. His answer was not at all what i expected. He told us that twins were a possibility, but he only heard one heartbeat. He quickly gave several explanations however, that it could simply be that one child was in front of the other, and thus making it difficult to detect a second heartbeat, or that the mothers heartbeat and the babies were mingling with the noise of the third and making it hard to distinguish, and it may not even be a second child, it could simply be a shadow of the umbilical cord. We both knew however that it was not that simple, and asked him what if it wasn't one of the example he gave us. He took a deep sigh, and said that it could be a second child, but that it died for any number of reasons, be it that it was strangled by an umbilical cord, or that even perhaps it's cord had detached from the uterine wall and it starved to death. He said that it could also be a start of twins, but that the cells did not separate completely, similar to siamese twins, but where one twin dies, or forms partly inside the other twin. But he said that the odds of something like that happening were astronomical, that it was extremely rare for something like that to occur and it was mostly likely a shadow of the umbilical cord. To be sure however, he wanted another ultra-sound done, and if needed, an amniocentesis. We both agreed that it was a good idea, and she asked if there was any danger to the baby. The doctor told us that the baby appeared to be very healthy and in no immediate danger, but the ultra-sound and amniocentesis would help to confirm everything. We scheduled the ultra-sound for the next morning, and the amniocentesis in three weeks. All three of us got up and he walked with us to the door, thanking us again for coming. As were leaving, i quickly remembered and asked the doctor if he did know if it was a boy or a girl yet, and he said that it was difficult to tell, and that hopefully the next ultra-sound would clear everything up, and if not, the amniocentesis would be sure to tell us the sex. I shook his hand and thanked him, and walked with my wife to the car in the parking lot, neither of us saying anything. Once in the car, she turned to face me, and asked what if it wasn't as simple a shadow. I told her twins would be great, knowing that wasn't what she was asking me. She kept looking at me and put her hand on my shoulder and asked what if again. I put my hand on her's and told her that no matter what, everything would be ok, and that we would love it with all our hearts. she sat back in the seat, as if satisfied with my answer. after a few minutes of silence she told me that she hate's when i'm right, but i better not be wrong about everything was going to be ok. I laughed slightly and told her again that everything was going to be ok, and that i was always right. She asked me why if i was always right, hadn't i picked the correct lottery numbers yet, and we both laughed. We decided not to tell her parents or any other family until we were sure about something, so no phone calls were made that night.
Yesterday we both took off work so that we could go for the second ultra-sound together. We said hello to the doctor and watched as our baby began to appear on the monitor. This time we payed attention to what the doctor was taking pictures of, and could began to see what he meant by "discrepancies" almost immediately. By the end of the procedure though, we were all pretty well convinced that it was simply a shadow or other easily explainable occurrence. The doctor thanked us again for coming and said he would call us in the morning with any results. We drove home, stopping at a gas station to get something to drink, then proceeding home. We both wanted to call family, but we wanted to be completely sure about the situation before we did. Later however my wife called her mother and told her about everything while i made dinner. We ate and watched a little tv before watching a movie late into the night and eventually falling asleep together on the couch.
The phone woke us up this morning, but it was imply her mother wanting to know if we had heard anything yet. I told her that we were still waiting, and we would call her the second we heard anything at all. I had barely put the receiver back on the wall, when it rang again. I quickly told my wife it was the doctor, and she ran and picked up the phone in the bedroom. We were overjoyed when he told us that we would be the parents of a healthy baby girl. He said that shadows were nothing more than a piece of the placenta that had come loose, and the umbilical cord as he had suspected, and that in a few more months, after the baby grew a little more, it would be much clearer. He also said that the amniocentesis would not be required at all, but he could order one for us at 6 months, if we liked, just to make sure everything was going good, and that the placenta had grown back nicely. We told him that would be great and thanked him very much for calling. As soon as he hung up, we ran and gave each other a hug. She said that she still hated when i was right, but for the record, she was happy that i was this time. I laughed and said that i hoped that the streak would continue until the next lottery drawing and we laughed some more. Later she called her mother and told her the good news, and to spread the word. Her mother asked if we had thought of any names yet, and since we hadn't, that is something we need to do soon.
My wife went to bed early, she must have been exhausted from all the stress of the last few days. I too am tired and will go soon. I just want to marvel at the fact of being a father in a short six months.