This introduction has been a long time coming! Peanut made his or her presence aware to us via the traditional "+" sign on October 7, 2008.
Those of you who have known Jon and me for at least a couple of years know that we have seen the "+" sign on three previous occasions since 2005. As such, we met this news with ambivalence. I think I might have cried, but I cannot remember whether they were tears of joy or sadness...for a well-traveled path with an uncertain destination. Can we do this again? Can we bear it?
My obstetrician Dr. Baer knows how anxious we are. He has given us more opportunities to see the little one than he would with a typical pregnancy, for which we are grateful. Here is the first ultrasound, taken at six weeks, two days:
The crown-to-rump extent is marked by the two "+" signs, and the little dot between them marks the location of the heart. We saw the heart beat, just one little flashing pixel on the screen.
Just two weeks later we saw the little one again, and this time the image was more cohesive. The ultrasound always seems to resemble something at this point in development. And thus "Peanut" received his/her official nickname.
A long wait followed the above ultrasound, and admittedly I spent this entire period of time in denial that I was pregnant at all. We still had not told anyone except immediate family and a couple of friends and coworkers. This was a protective move, because there is nothing worse than having to un-tell pregnancy news when things go wrong, and to have to do it for a fourth time would tear me apart.
For some reason, the final ultrasound of the series, at 11 weeks 6 days, changed everything. The ultrasound technician was funny--she was busy moving the paddle around, trying to take measurements of various organs, and all Jon and I wanted to see was the heartbeat. When I finally caught sight of it, I said "oh thank God--the heart is still beating". She said "I'm sorry, guys--I forgot about your history. Yes, the heartbeat looks great."
There before us was a head-shaped head, four intact limbs, a skeleton. I remember thinking, "This child may have a fighting chance after all". After that we felt comfortable sharing our news. It's funny...in this image, Peanut actually looks a bit like Schroeder from "Peanuts", bending over a piano.
Peanut, please keep growing. This is a special journey for all three of us.