I am setting out to share the thoughts, feelings and emotions that I experience over the next weeks, months and maybe years…depending on how long people will continue reading. I must admit that this will be a challenge in endurance. I tend to to start things very well but over time lose steam. I have a habit of obsessing over a new, “shiny penny,” and then losing track some where along the road. Over the next three post I would like to talk about the three things that have changed my life since the day my beautiful wife and I found out we were having a child. I will begin with scariest one….Fear.
I will never forget the first visit to the doctor when we were supposed to hear our child’s heartbeat. I was sitting in the only chair in the room reading a book, which is something I do a lot. The nurse came in and put that jelly stuff all over Andrea’s belly, which at the time was not as large, round or beautiful as it is now. When the nurse began to run the instrument over Andrea’s stomach I waited in anxious anticipation. I listened intently to the static noise that was echoing in the room expecting any moment to hear the thump thump thump of the heartbeat. All we heard…..static. I now hate static. The nurse tried to hide her fear but did a bad job. We knew something was wrong when the doctor decided to do a sonogram. The doctor began to look for the life that we so anxiously wanted to see. There was nothing and my eyes filled with moisture while fixed on the dark, blank, screen. In that moment I felt pain I can not describe. My child to that point was just a figment in my imagination. My child was a conversation I had with Andrea. My child was a dream I had not seen yet. According to the screen….my child did not exist. The doctor prepared us for the worst. We left his office to head towards the hospital. In the car I prayed with Andrea. I tried to be strong. But the strength I needed was nowhere to be found. When we got the hospital I was in no mood to wait. But as always, we did. The room felt cold. I tried to read a little but my mind could not focus. Andrea sat stoic. Conversation was nothing more than simple sentences. The phrase I remember the most came moments before we went back to the exam room. Andrea said, ” I just knew it, I knew something was wrong.” I had no response. The guy who could talk to a telephone pole had no words of wisdom, comfort or relief. We both just sat there. At Cy-Fair they page you with the same square plastic devices that restaurants use. What normally would bring joy as the device vibrated and blinked red was now a painful sound beckoning us to accept reality. When we got into the room Andrea told me that it would be okay. I told her that I knew it would be. The words were sour in my mouth and burned my ears. Then the moment came. The women who was doing the ultrasound was very pleasant. She began the procedure not knowing what had transpired earlier. I sat in fear. I watched in fear. Then….my life changed. There on the screen was this read blurry glow. The heartbeat of my child. I lost it. The lady was so moved by my emotions and I was unashamed. The fear I felt in those moments will always stick with me. It was so real and so sudden. I have never felt that deeply about something, especially something I have never seen or touched. It was life changing and only the beginning of new emotions and feelings.