Friday, January 29, 2010


The anxiety we felt waiting in the hot, crowded waiting room was overwhelming. Was our baby healthy? Was it still alive? Does it have lady parts or boy parts? We must know now! Anxiety makes Adam crabby. Crabby Adam and Andrea don’t get along very well.

Yeah, things were a little tense.

Luckily, we didn’t have to have wait long. Just a few minutes after checking in the ultrasound technician called Andrea’s name.

We walked into the dark room and Andrea sat on the table. I sat next to her, held her hand tightly, and positioned myself for an unobstructed view of the screen. The technician, bless her heart, got straight to work. She asked if we wanted to know the sex. Of course, we said.

Just seconds later, the tech had the baby in her sights. I was amazed by the beauty on the screen; gray and black outlines of limbs and human features flickered before us. I think I see a hand! A head! There’s a thigh!

“You have a little boy,” she said just a few seconds after starting. Holy cow! She’s right! That’s his wing-wong!

Then we saw the heart, all four chambers working in unison, beating beautifully. The kidneys were there too. His femur was the right length. His head was normal, and his spine and ribs were all there. I was thrilled that it was a boy, and I was grateful that our baby was healthy. I was also overcome with wonder and amazement imagining the processes that made this little guy.

For example, look at his foot:

For me, the beauty of this picture is imagining the complex reactions that made Merlin’s perfectly developed metatarsals and phalanges. The creation of this foot began in a single cell wherein some of my DNA and some of Andrea’s DNA fused to create a truly original code for another human being. This unique chemical code, which has never been present on the earth, was responsible for shepherding the arrangement of calcium and phosphorous from Andrea’s diet into a delicate matrix of bone that will eventually support the weight of Merlin’s body. This code was also responsible for the chemical reactions that guided the development of five toes on each foot, five fingers on each hand, and countless other differentiated body parts. It’s nothing short of awe-inspiring.

So that’s one emotion I felt during that ultrasound: awe. I couldn’t wipe the stupid look of shock off my face.

The other emotion? Absolute and unadulterated love. My heart skipped a beat every time I saw the baby move. He puckered his lips a few times and looked like he was practicing sucking, not practicing sucking like his dad sucks at basketball, but practicing how a baby gets food from the boob. I loved him for every movement he was making. During that ultrasound I wanted nothing more but to spend time with my son, do manly things with him, tell him how awesome he’s going to be, and tell him how much his parents love him.

In short, the ultrasound was incredible. I can’t wait to meet this guy.

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