October 30, 2002
Today was the big day. The day I would find out if I was going to be having a baby girl or boy. Secretly, I was hoping for a girl. I knew more about girls than boys simply because I was one. But boys—how would I would raise a boy on my own. A son would require something different, something more. I had the advantage of being a bit of a tom-boy my whole life. I would much rather watch a Seahawks game than go shopping, so I had that part covered—but what about the rest? How would I raise a man? But in the end all that really mattered was that the baby was going to be healthy—the rest I would figure out as I went along.
I hadn’t really even began to think of names. I knew whether it was a boy or a girl, I wanted it to be something different. I wanted something different than the traditional names like Emily or David. I went out and bought a book of names of different cultures and origins. There were so many different names! I had to remind myself that this would be a name that one day a 5 year old would be having to learn to write. In other words, it couldn’t be too crazy of a name.
So the day I found out what I was having finally came. As I laid on the table with my belly exposed, there was a part of me that wished I wasn’t alone. I wanted to share this experience with someone. I wanted someone to be just as excited as I was. I wanted someone to hold my hand and tell me it was all going to be okay. The sonographer squirted some of that jelly out on my stomach and placed the ultrasound instrument on my belly. First she was going to take a look at the baby’s spine. Everything looked fine from the angle she saw, but she cautiously advised me that it did not completely rule out spina bifida. She then began looking at the size of the baby. She said the baby was growing well and was at a good, healthy weight. I exhaled in relief. Any sign of a healthy baby, I grabbed a hold of. Good heart rate. I’ll take it. Baby is moving. Another one. No complications. Cross my fingers that it will last. She then asked if I would like to find out the sex of the baby. Of course! Up till now the baby stuff I had bought consisted of greens and yellows. I was excited to start buying a lot of blue or a lot pink. She placed the instrument below my belly button, using a slight amount of pressure. She moved it back and forth until she got the image that she wanted. Ok, Christin…it looks like you are having a GIRL! All at once an emotion that I had never experienced before hit me. I was going to have a daughter. A tear or two slipped out the corner of eyes. A daughter. I was going to have a precious baby girl. Birth defect or not, I was going to be the best mom I could be. No matter what disabilities she could be born with, physical, developmental or both—I was going to be the best mom to her. I would figure it out. At this point, nothing else mattered.
Ben’s absence was still in the back of my mind but I didn’t dwell on it. I didn’t need him and he didn’t deserve me or our daughter. I walked out of that appointment with more purpose than I had ever had. My daughter was depending on me to be strong– I had no other choice. A few days later, I came home from work with a big box on my doorstep. I hadn’t ordered anything. Maybe they dropped it off at the wrong address. I dragged the four foot tall box into the house. It appeared to be addressed to me. I didn’t even look who it was from before I opened the box. Inside was every kind of baby thing you could imagine. Diapers, soaps and shampoos, baby towels and washcloths—so much stuff. There was a letter in there too.
I have been thinking about you and the baby lately. I wanted to send some things to help you get ready for when the baby comes. I hope you know how much I miss you.
Love always, Freddie