The sonogram technician cautioned me to calm down or she wouldn’t get an accurate fetal heart monitor reading. She said taking that spill on the freshly-waxed hallway probably hadn’t done a thing to the baby, but he needed to be checked. Taking a deep breath didn’t help settle my nerves. No one had successfully told me to stop crying since I was a child, and then only under threat of spanking.
What if the fall hurt him? I may have done irreparable damage to my unborn son before he ever had a chance to make his way in the world. The last trimester means a baby is almost fully developed, I think, but God only knew where he was positioned within my body. My lack of anatomy savvy kept me wondering, worrying … and crying.
I took deep gulping breaths, tried to control my jagged sobs and follow directions. “Take a deep breath,” I think, “a deep breath.” Eventually it begins to work.
The baby has to be all right. He just has to be, because I can’t accept anything else. At my age, and after losing a previous pregnancy, there is no other outcome my mind can withstand.
I close my eyes, and I listen. He’s okay.
He was fine. Now, seven years later, I still close my eyes and listen to the sound of him breathing while he sleeps. My hand rests on his back as it rises and falls in a rhythmic pattern that brings me great peace. I can’t imagine my life without him.