Week 09 - Ossification

Dear Baby,

I am hopelessly behind in writing these entries. This one is being written nearly two months after the fact, and while the emotional distance from the goings-on of this particular week should allow me to write about it with far greater clarity, I nevertheless feel as if I need to start barrelling through these things if I’m ever to catch up. I don’t want to still be writing entries about the weeks leading up to your birth when you’re celebrating your first birthday. That would defeat the whole purpose, I think.

So, expect that these next few might be a bit rough. I’ll try not to fret too much about it either. We’ll just chalk it up as an artistic experiment. That is, since you were growing so fast at this point, the passages describing your growth should be equally swift. Right? Right!

Inside your mother’s womb, nourished by your placenta, you continued your hard work. I’ve read that this was the week you finally grew elbows. Yay for elbows! Your bones were hardening too, in a process known as ossification. And your gonads, following the genetic instructions set down at conception, had just become either testes or ovaries.

They say that, beginning this week, if you were touched through the uterine wall, you would move away. That brings me to the final point I’d like to make here today.

Outside the womb, tensions were high, and your mother and I, little by little, were moving away from each other just as you might move if your mother had pressed against her stomach.

We’d been given instructions to cut back to one progesterone injection every other night, but there had been miscommunication between the fertility clinic and your mother’s obstetrician about when this was to happen. I was convinced, from what I’d written down during our final meeting at the fertility clinic, that the obstetrician, who was now in charge of your mother’s care, was taking her off of the drugs too soon. And that had me panicking that we might lose you. I was convinced we should be doing shots nightly for another week. Your mother, on the other hand, though initially happy to be down to doing shots every other day instead of every day, grew impatient with having to continue the shots at all.

On the nights we did shots, it was an agonizing half-hour where we grew increasingly agitated with one another. On the nights we didn’t do shots, though your mother was getting on just fine, I remained decidedly un-fine. We disagreed about how much danger you were in, and we didn’t want to argue, so we kept our distance. After dinner, I’d often head off to one room while your mom headed off to another. It went on like this for at least a week, maybe more.

But your mother was still bearing that terrible burden of pregnancy—morning sickness. And that did make me feel a little bit more secure. I do wish that I could have sensed your presence inside the womb, that by leaning close to your mother’s belly I could bring myself some sense of calm. But it would be a long while before I would feel safe that you were safe in there. A good, long while. And until then I’d just have to trust that you and your mom knew what you were doing.

Love, Dad