Monday, June 12, 2017

Expecting Oliver, Part 1

Two years ago, we had just moved back to Pittsburgh after two years in Rochester, NY. We moved into a rental home, unpacked a few boxes, flew to a wedding in Atlanta, and discovered that I was pregnant. In that order. We were thrilled, which surprised people. I'm still not sure why that was. Because we already had four children? Because we weren't in our twenties anymore? We were surprised by the world's surprise... Another baby was welcomed, wonderful news. We rejoiced.

We snuck away a few days later for my birthday and I had the first tiny picture of our sweet boy in my pocket... that morning I'd had an ultrasound my new obstetrician had insisted on because of my age. Determination of viability, she'd written on the script. I know that cruelty was not her intention, but her words sliced my heart like a sharp butcher knife, and I walked into that ultrasound the next day with quaking knees. I already loved this baby. I was already dreaming of his smile, his soft newborn head cradled against my chest, that sweet first gaze we'd share. When I saw his tiny heart flickering on the screen, his tiny arms and legs already swimming and cycling, I felt that specific joy I've only felt three other times in my life. He was so new that his heartbeat couldn't be picked up on a doppler, and yet there he was: one hundred percent alive. One hundred percent our boy. If anyone ever tells you that at six weeks gestation, or eight weeks, or twelve, it is not yet a baby, you are being lied to. Email me, and I will tell you the truth. I give you my word that I will help you.

We stayed at a fancy hotel downtown and hung out on the rooftop deck with the twenty-somethings. We felt old and didn't mind. Already queasy, I sipped ginger ale and looked out over the city I loved so much, the city that God, in His faithfulness, brought us back to. We were home, and we were having a baby, and life could not have been sweeter that night.

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