Friday, August 6, 2010

And Then There Were Five--Part I

I never wanted kids, but then my husband said,  "Try it.  You'll like it."

I crossed my arms and huffed.  "Oh, all right," I said.  "Just one.  For you."

"Hey," I said when our daughter turned one.  "I do like it.  A lot.  But one's enough."

"How 'bout another one?" I said across the dinner table a couple years later.  "You know.  To keep the other one company."

My husband's eyes looked buggy.  "Really?"

"Really," I said as I handed him a spatula.  To scrape his chin off the table. 

So there we were.  At Sea World.  With the two girls.  And all the babies.  Good golly!  I'd never seen so many babies in my life.  In strollers.  In slings.  In backpacks.  Toddlers too.  Some were taking their first Monster Mash zombie steps.

I turned to my husband, and as I did, I heard my voice say, "Wanna try for a boy?"

I see the moment in slow motion.  My husband looked like he'd just chugged a pint or two.  His eyes were glassy.  Bright.  His mouth hung open.  Something came towards me.  From him.  Amazement?  Hunger?  Unspeakable joy?

I cupped his chin and lifted.  He put an arm around me and pulled me close.  Tight.  He placed his other hand on my belly.  I smiled as I watched the blonde Sea World girl in her blue and black wetsuit put the tee tiny fish into the giant black and white whale's mouth.  It was an I-can-make-a-human-being-with-a-little-help-of-course kind of smile.

I blipped my key fob to lock the car.  Ran into the house.  Called my friend Kelee in Ohio.

"Guess a what?"


"There's a penis inside me."

I heard her huff.  I grinned.

"I mean, it's a boy."

"A boy?  Oh!  A boy," she said.  "Yay!  You're just like us--two girls and a boy.  Awesome!"

I nodded and smiled.  Leaned over 'til the sofa caught me in a black leather hug.

I stopped smiling when my doctor called.

"I'd like you to have another ultrasound."

Everything stopped.  My heart.  My breath.  Time.  My doctor's words sounded like they were coming through a tin can and yarn.  I heard apology in his voice.

"There's a spot on the baby's brain.  On the ultrasound film," he said.  "It's just a couple of millimeters right now, but I'm concerned.  It could grow.  Sometimes it's an indicator of problems."

I blinked.  Finally.  "Problems?"

"Or," he said.  "It might disappear.  I've seen that happen too."

I pushed my fingers into my hair.  "Disappear."

"I'll call you after the ultrasound results, okay?"

I hung up the phone.  "Yeah.  Okay."

I tipped over until the sofa caught me in black leather quicksand.

My husband and I?  We hardly told anyone.  We didn't want folks to worry about the baby.  Didn't want anyone to feel sorry.  For us. 

I mentioned it to a few people.  Praying people.  "Pray for our baby. Please?" 

I didn't ask 'em to pray for us.  That would be selfish, right?

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