Week 13 - Pictures of You

Dear Baby,

At the conclusion of our visit to the doctor last week, we were offered the opportunity to return this week for some additional testing which would include an ultrasound. Though we weren’t particularly concerned that the testing would turn up anything abnormal, we couldn’t resist the chance to get another peek at you. So, on Thursday, September 1, we drove into the doctor’s office for the appointment. And when we got a look at you, looking far more human than you had weeks before, it was really something to behold.

This is what you looked like:

I know that it doesn’t seem like much, that you might not even be able to tell what the heck that is, but for an insecure guy like your father, it was a real blessing to see you there, growing bigger every day, your heart beating strong. It made me feel safe, a feeling that I was rewarded with only at infrequent intervals in these early months of your development. And, feeling safe, I allowed my mind to wander. Here, from my journal, is an excerpt of what I was thinking about during that appointment:

Of all the things that were going through my head as Stef and I sat in the darkened room this morning, the thought that visited me most was that this child was going to be difficult, that this child was going to have spunk and be a real character. And that thought made me smile again and again.

What gave me cause to label my child as a troublemaker even this early in its life? Well, the baby was bouncing all over the place when we first got started, as if its placenta was pumping in pure Jolt Cola. This was encouraging for us, of course, but the trouble was that the technician needed the baby to get into a specific position to take measurements and the baby was just not having any of that. The tech did, with great effort, eventually get two good shots where she was able to measure the child, but she’d been hoping for a third. Unfortunately for her, all that bouncing around tired out the little tyke and, as a final act of defiance, it went to sleep on its side, which was not the position required for the measurements, and just refused to wake up at all.

Inside the womb, aside from bouncing around, you were growing and growing and growing, as per usual. Though you were only three inches long, your eyes had finally moved to the front of your head. Your ears were in position, too. And, as evidenced by all the bouncing, you were developing reflexes. When poked or prodded, as you were through mom’s tummy by the nurse, you would react. Among other things, you’d begun to clench and unclench your fists.

Inside your head, twenty teeth had formed and were waiting for that day, still long off, when they would, one by one, and sometimes two by two, make their painful appearance in your mouth. Your intestines were also heading towards their eventual home, migrating out of your umbilical cord. What fun! If you’re anything like your dad, these particular organs will give you a fair bit of grief throughout your life and for that I apologize.

Yes, there were simply too many milestones to keep track of now. Things were getting out of hand, and they would continue on that way (and are continuing on that way, I imagine, even as you read this) for a long time to come.

Love, Dad

LettersE. Christopher Clark