Friday, June 10, 2011

An Ultrasound, Third Time Around

I had my 20-week routine ultrasound this week.  Because I go to a midwife for my OB care this is the first and likely only ultrasound I will have for the duration of my pregnancy.

Ultrasounds are such a funny thing, aren't they?  You feel this "thing" within you and then you get a chance glimpse inside and every. single. time. I am astounded at just how developed and real this little being is.

Brian and I both commented after the appointment how different we felt this third time.  I thought maybe it would be no big deal since it's my third.  Everything seems to be running smoothly and this was just another appointment, right?  In fact it was more of a hassle this go round because I had to find a daytime sitter for the other two beings in my house.

But it was so much more emotional and meaningful than I ever thought.

With my first pregnancy I was so over-the-moon about it all.  This was the big halfway point.  Would we find out the gender?  What would he/she look like?  I was excited about all the insignificant things.  The ultrasound felt pretend in comparison to his actual birth.  After all, we were first-time parents and everything still felt "not real."  Was that baby on the monitor really inside my belly?

With my second pregnancy we were veterans.  We knew what to expect on the ultrasound.  We knew what a 20-week baby looked like.  We made every comparison to William.  But when Lucy's birth day came we were shocked.  We had two kids and they were completely different.  It wasn't the copy & paste we had assumed it would be.  It's hard to expect something you aren't familiar with.

And that's why this third ultrasound was such a treat.  We are now fully aware that this third baby is a completely new and unique being.  It was not William.  It was not Lucy.  Who is this little person?  What will he/she be like?  I wondered if it was a girl or a boy.  I wondered if it would keep us awake all night or sleep blissfully.  I wondered if it would be an earlier walker or earlier talker?  I wondered if it would be social or shy?  Strong-willed or compliant?  Would it have a natural inclination toward music?  Art? Nature? Books? Sports?  A whole new life for a chance at anything.

And that's what they don't tell you when it's your third, fourth, fifth...  They don't tell you it won't be like the rest.  They don't tell you how much more you will cherish the little things, the things that really matter.  They don't tell you how much more relaxed you will be so that you really can enjoy those little things.  They don't tell you that you'll still cry the happy tears like you did the first time.  They don't tell you that you will actually love this third one with more vigor because now you know just how great it all is.

Yes, this third time around I'm discovering the sheer splendor of the miracle of life has not been diminished.

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