Week 07 - Heart Beats

Dear Baby,

It was on Wednesday of this week that we saw you for the first time in a month, and that we found out for sure that you were the only one in there. Though it was sad that we’d lost your twin, we were overjoyed at the sight of you. On screen, you were a grayish-white oval laying between two crosshairs that the ultrasound technician had created to measure you. And in the center of that grayish-white mass there were two small lines pulsing back and forth—the beginnings of your heart.

At the time I didn’t think there was any sight that could ever top that, and of course I was wrong—every time I see you tops the time before—but there was something life-changing about watching your heart beat. If I wasn’t a changed man then, I knew I soon would be.

From what I’d read, I knew you still looked like some sort of alien, but all of that was obscured by the blurriness of the ultrasound. All I could see was your heart, and that looked normal enough to me.

Your appendages were forming this week as well (arms, legs, hands, and feet) although you didn’t have any fingers or toes yet. And your brain—well, they tell me that your brain was becoming more and more complex as the days wore on. I held out hope that it would someday become more complex than my simple mind, but you are my kid after all, and that may mean that you’re genetically saddled with a fair bit of idiocy. For that, I’m sorry. But remember what Forrest Gump’s mother told him (at least in the film version of the story): “Stupid is as stupid does.”

It never ceased to amaze me how much was involved in the creation of a human being, how much work your and your mother’s bodies were doing on a daily basis. Pregnancy humbles a man in ways which I can’t explain, in ways which you’ll just have to witness (or experience) yourself. Seeing your heart beat and reading about everything that was going on inside of your mother’s womb—these things left me in awe. Like a screenwriter watching a film based on his work for the very first time, I marveled at the way in which my small contribution to the process now formed the backbone of something far greater than I ever could have imagined.

Love, Dad