A Little White Swish in a Sea of Black

Today I found the stash of Little Mouse's sonogram pictures and videos.

We were fortunate to have an OB who teaches young medical students through OSF Hospital and is also a good friend of ours. Much to my enjoyment, this meant being the guinea pig at several of the OB appointments I had throughout my pregnancy!
2 months pregnant with our little boy...
When at 5 weeks pregnant I began having unexplained bleeding, I panicked. I had been seeing a naturopathic nurse practitioner specialist while we were trying to conceive because of my PCOS, and the office she practiced in was closed that weekend. She only offers OB services for the first 12 weeks anyway, so the need for a dedicated OB was rapidly approaching.  Naturally, this was also the day we were traveling an hour an a half north to reveal to my immediate family that we were expecting. 

So, like a chicken with my head cut off, I ran around the apartment frantically plotting our next move. Do we rush to the hospital? Is this normal?

My husband, always the cool-headed thinker, handed me his phone. "Call Tom," he said confidently. "He'll know what to do." Tom explained every possible scenario with care and compassion, and sent us to the hospital for a quick blood test (much cheaper than a visit to the ER!). Within a few hours, we got the results (numbers were in the rock star category, indicating a super viable pregnancy!) and our marching orders. I called his office on Monday and set up the first of our of many sonograms.

I can't even explain the emotions I felt when I first saw that little squiggle on the screen. It was mesmerizing. I stared and stared, trying to wrap my head around the fact that that smudge on the monitor - that little white swish in a sea of black - was the start of a life inside of me. 

That was the answer to all of our prayers. That was the fruit of our hard work. 

And then, when I thought it couldn't get any more amazing, we saw a small flicker of pixels. Then another. Then a rhythm began. 

Flicker, flicker, flicker, flicker...

"You are witnessing your baby's first heartbeats," Tom said in a hushed voice.

Love doesn't even come close to the emotion I felt in that moment. The sight of our sweet baby's heart beginning to pulse made mine jump. My stomach fluttered. My eyes teared up. I squeezed Lucas's hand a little tighter. That is our baby! 
As the weeks wore on, the morning all-day sickness intensified and our little miracle continued to grow. At the next sonogram, though it was too early to tell based on anatomy, Tom predicted it would be a boy based on the location of the yolk sac in my uterus (how wild!). I even got to see our baby "dancing" as he wiggled his tiny arms in reaction to feeling vibrations as I spoke. And because Lucas couldn't be there that day, the session was recorded, so we forever have proof that Little Mouse started life dancing!
At 16 weeks, we were referred to Dr. Egley, a perinatologist in Peoria, for a routine anatomy scan. He had a "textbook perfect" heart and was growing wonderfully! In their attempts to snag a good profile picture, he started being a little stinker and turning constantly to face the transducer. He was our little Terminator baby for those pictures.
16 weeks pregnant: Terminator Baby in Repose
Not everything was picture-perfect, though. At that appointment, it was found that our baby had a blockage in his kidneys, stopping urine from flowing freely through his ureters. We were told, however, that it is something that normally clears up in utero and is more common with boys. They were right on both counts!

After several more OB appointments and surprise "guinea pig" sonograms with Tom, we returned to Dr. Egley at 32 weeks to check on baby's kidneys. One had cleared completely and the other showed marked improvement (kidneys et al ended up being PERFECT at birth).
32 weeks pregnant - FINALLY a good profile picture!

During the sonogram, the technician turned on the 3D and allowed us the special treat of seeing our baby's face for the very first time. It was magical!
We wondered endlessly who baby would look more like...
We spent hours after that sonogram studying the print-out we were given and comparing it to our baby photos. Who does baby look like? Does baby look more like a girl or a boy? We were captivated by our little wonder.

At 39 weeks exactly, my water broke and 12 hours later, we met the baby we had until that point been getting to know only through grainy black-and-white pictures.

Looking back at those snapshots of our baby before we knew him as "Little Mouse" fills my heart with so much emotion. I can't explain it, really. It's not love. It's not wonder. It's something so much deeper than I've ever felt. 

It's experiencing the Father in a whole new way.

My bold prayer while I was pregnant with Little Mouse is that he would bring people closer to God in his time here on Earth. I never in a million years dreamed that God would fulfill that prayer by impacting ME. And yet here we are, exactly one year since our baby boy came into existence, my relationship with the Father stronger than it ever has been - all because of him. God is so good!
It is amazing and so special that we got to know our baby so intimately before he arrived in our arms, and it is my prayer for his life that he will be for this world what we knew him first as: A little white swish in a sea of black.


Until Little Mouse lets me write again,

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