Tuesday, January 10

TWO HEARTS INTO ONE

June 20, 2011: Dear Baby, Today I had my very first appointment.  They did an ultrasound just to make sure that everything was okay so far.  Everything was fine, and I saw you for the first time.  You look like a little baby - not just a clump of tissue.  I heard your heartbeat, and I hated myself a million times more for ever thinking that my life would be better without you.  You have a heart, and it's beating.  You're alive, and you live in me.  We share a body.  I'm supposed to support you - that's how it's supposed to go.  I've heard your heartbeat.  You have a heartbeat, Baby.  You're so tiny and you depend on me for life.  It kills me to think that anyone could hear their baby's heartbeat and not realize that the baby is alive.  You're so small and helpless.  Please don't hate me for not being happy about this.  I hate myself enough for it.  I'm so selfish.

Lately I've been poring over the journal in which I scribbled all my thoughts, my hopes and fears, during the first few months of pregnancy.  I'm unsure whether this is God's good humor or whether it's just a dumb concidence, but on the very first page is the following inscription:


The journal was a gift from Baby B's father -- one he gave me long ago.  Below the inscription he wrote this:

"Two hearts into one."  Funny how that turned out, isn't it?  (Is "funny" the right word there?  Maybe "interesting...")  Two [very different] hearts came together to create one perfect, tiny heart.  And when I think about how topsy-turvy my thoughts were before I saw and heard that tiny heart beating for the very first time, it makes me very sad.  I want to go back in time and tell that young woman that this was not the end of her world; on the contrary, this was the beginning of a pretty amazing journey.  Obviously I was scared, worried, and angry at myself for even getting myself into a situation like this.  This was not what I had planned, and I was not ready for a baby - I could barely take care of myself.  And yet, there I was, looking at my future, watching the black-and-white screen that showed a little heart beating inside me, and I couldn't tear my eyes away from it. 

That feels like it was so long ago, that I was in a totally different world as a totally different person on that day when I was able to see my baby for the first time.  My emotions had gone crazy.  I was elated and scared and terrified and awed, all at the same time.  I couldn't believe what I was seeing on the screen.  And to be honest, when I look at my most recent ultrasound picture, I can't see anything but love.  I can't imagine feeling anything but love.  And while I'm still a little terrified, that's normal for a new mom.  I have no doubt that things will work out.  My faith is strong and I'm prepared to face the vast unknown that comes with bringing a baby into the world.

I write this at the risk of many people telling me that I'm wrong for even sharing something like this - for sharing the ups and downs of my unplanned pregnancy.  There might be many people out there who will call me a terrible mother for it, but I don't care.  I'm glad that I'm able to look back at those sad entries in my journal and be proud of the choice I made.  Maybe that's my point: everyone has a choice when faced with a scary situation.  The choice you make is up to you and only you (no one can make that decision for you).  But no matter what you choose, you're the one who will ultimately have to live with the consequences of your decision.

I'm about 3 weeks away from meeting the consequences of my decision-- meeting the most beautiful person I'll ever know.  And to me, that's certainly something to celebrate.  Indeed: two hearts into one... even if it didn't happen the "right" way, and even if Baby B. will grow up knowing only one of those two original hearts, that little heart will be beating in the outside world in a few weeks, and its owner will be met with more love than anyone could ever imagine.  To everyone who's expressed his or her love to me and Baby B: thank you.  Baby B. is already the luckiest little person in the whole world.

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