At thirty-one weeks, the baby is the size of a small otter or a croque en bouche. A far cry from the lavender bud or peppercorn she was when I first found out that I was a fertile vessel. The more tangible this child is the more desperate I become to glean any insight into who she might be. This leaks out at odd times, for example when I woke Jacob at three in the morning in a panic to game plan what we should do if the baby does not like us. Or when I decided that it made perfect sense to book an appointment at the jauntily named “Bows-R-Bowties” 4D ultrasound studio after years of smugly judging the high-definition ultrasound photos of Facebook acquaintances that made their babies look like melted candles or that wagon of fat Oprah once wheeled out on stage after losing 60 pounds.
A few weeks back, before reaching our final destination of IKEA (home of the allegedly indispensable $20 high chair) Jacob and I dropped by Bows-R-Bowties, located in an unassuming strip mall between a nail salon and the Coast Guard recruitment office. I was not 100% convinced that it wasn’t a pro-life scheme of some kind before all was said and done, but considering that my definition of living on the edge has shifted dramatically in recent months we decided to throw caution to the wind.
Friends, Bows-R-Bowties did not disappoint.
A perky gentleman named Stephen administered the ultrasound, commenting that our daughter most likely has curly hair and double jointed toes. We played along as much as you can when visiting a scrub wearing stranger for non-diagnostic imaging that promises a fourth-dimensional experience of your fetus (the fourth dimension, in case you were wondering, is movement, though I was hoping for a more metaphysical approach).
Then we saw the baby yawn. Her orange, melted candle image floated comfortably on screen, sporting chubby cheeks and a tiny frown. It took Stephen to convince me that I’m expecting an actual human child and not a large koi fish or small dog.