I love seeing these early pictures of our baby. It's an appointment that never ceases to amaze me each time it rolls around.
On the other hand, the magic of the gestational diabetes testing wore off after the very first time. Funny how that works.
When you are on your sixth baby, there is a little danger in becoming too complacent. If I had a dime for every time I've heard, "Oh well, I'm sure I don't have to tell you anything. You're an old pro!," I'd have the beginnings of a nice little college fund for baby.
I know people mean it as a compliment of sorts, but I think every parent knows that there is no such thing as a parenting expert. Sure, I've learned things in my turns around this block, but each baby is its own miracle. Its own little package of uncertainty.
I don't ever take it for granted that I can have children, or that this little one seems to be developing normally, as far as modern medicine can determine. There are no absolutes in pregnancy, so I choose to celebrate each little baby milestone as if it was my first time to the rodeo.
I just finished reading unPlanned, by Abby Johnson**, and, boy, is that a hard read when you are pregnant. (Although I'm pretty sure that it is not a comfortable read at any point.)
As Abby talked about what she saw and experienced as the director of an abortion clinic, I could feel this little boy or girl stretching and tumbling around inside.
And then I thought about my ultrasound and how the tech kept pointing the screen, referring to the picture, saying "oh there's the baby's . . . " Never once was the picture a "pregnancy" or "tissue" or even a "fetus." It was called a baby because it IS a baby. Words matter.
And as I laid there in the dark and smiled at my baby sucking his or her thumb or flexing that skinny foot that looks just like Francie's, I was thinking. I was thinking that the only thing that separates me from keeping this baby or walking into a nearby clinic and killing this baby is that I want it. And I have people in my life who want it and who will help me.
But just because I want this baby does not make it a baby. Conversely, not wanting the baby does not make it less than human or less than what it is . There is a person with a soul in there. Small, but totally and completely human.
And that's something about which I'll never be complacent, no matter how many times I'm tapped for the job of growing one.
**Although I recommend it, I was not asked for a review of "unPlanned", and I was not compensated in any way for my thoughts.