A Sonogram Letter

I see you in black and white, like an old film photograph; grainy and distorted, and intensely beautiful.  With hands that sway gently, rocking you back and forth, and ten tiny and bony white fingers resting at the end.  Ten toes as well, thank God, even though for a minute I only saw nine and had to recount.  We’ll chalk that up to the grainy snapshot, and not a future character quirk that I’ll have to learn to get used to.  There are enough of those going around already here.

You’re kicking me, with the foot with the hidden toe.  Not in an urgent, pay attention to me now, drop everything and run, type manner, but more in a, “are you sure you don’t need to step out to the bathroom again?” fashion.  A subtle under the table type rhythmic beat that is a mixture of a “hello I’m here” announcement and a gentle caress.  Thank you for the constant reminder, making sure we don’t lose you amidst the crowd.  It is a big one that’s gathered here already.  And then you pause for a second, to wave.

I’m the only one watching, but since you can’t see me, do you just know?  You’re being watched, just for a moment here, and apparently that sits just fine with you.  Or rests I guess, (lays, reclines?), you’re not quite sitting yet, but that will come.  There’s something about that wave, as if I’ve seen it before, but can’t quite place it.  And I’ve certainly never seen it end with a thumb being placed in the mouth, as if you were waving a quick hello to make sure I’ve found you, and then going back to your day to day relaxing and reaching the standard growth milestones.  The others weren’t like that, no waves, no “yes I know you’re watching moments”, no thumb sucking.  Yes, I’ve found you, and don’t worry, I won’t be leaving.

You don’t seem to mind the intrusion; all the prodding and bumping, making you roll this way to check your back, and lie still like this to check your neck.  Everything seems to be perfect, (except for that little toe mishap), and I’m realizing I won’t be privileged enough to stare for much longer.  Wave again please, do you know that I’ll be going soon?  That’s the problem when things go right; they send you on your way with a quick nod and a thank you, shutting off the whir of the machines without a second thought to the fact that you haven’t gotten that second move of the hand you’re longing for yet.  Just a quick flick of your finger, or tilt of your head is all I need.  Oh, I see.  (And feel.)  Another kick.  Well, that’ll do too.

You’re hidden, in a peaceful private world of one, that’s no one but yours, and mine.  You’re not to be shared yet.  The others get to see the photograph I hand them, a moment frozen in time, a black and white image of bones and fluid.  But the wave, and the missing toe question, and the kicking under the table, that’s all mine.  None of that comes across on a flat shiny four by six.  The performance had to be seen live.  And your audience of one, a mama who had the privilege to stare, for just a moment, was captured.  Anyone else would have been an intrusion, but us, it feels just right.  You and I with our silent language of rolling and kicking, tickling, and nausea each morning.  We’re the only ones who got to see.

The grainy film roll image is perfect for you, like an old 35 mm that would have captured your great grandparents walking hand in hand.  It catches you just right; the wrinkles, hunched back, curled fingers, the inability to hold yourself steady, it suits.

For now you’re my own private memory, those twenty minutes.  Not a word was shared, nor a sound made, save for the rhythmic beating of two hearts, inside one body.

For the first time I’ve seen your face.  One more quick wave, before you drift to sleep and I lower my shirt, wiping off the thick gel that only moments before had blanketed you and covered me, opening up the door into your tiny world.  And mercifully, the kicking stops, but only until naptime is over.  Long enough for me to breathe easy for a moment, and you to feel the need to remind me you’re still there when your eyes flutter open again.

We’re all so excited to meet you, but for now I cherish that you’re only mine.

xoxo, Mama

Katherine Bignon Maternity Shoot with a Custom Silk Robe, Image by V.A. Photography

One Response to “A Sonogram Letter”

  1. Katie says:

    I love this beyond words. Your writing is beautiful my dear!!

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