Thursday, March 21, 2013

Kate Miller 12: The First Doctor Visit

Doctor's visits rank close to #1 on a list of worst things to do with my day, but I'm already learning that people sacrifice (both necessarily and willingly) a lot for their children... and sometimes it's not so bad! 

12. The Doctor Part 1 (Jan, 2013)
            The morning of Kate’s first doctor’s appointment was very cold, and to most people, quite dreary. The sky was grey, the ground was wet, and the air was frigid, and Kate assented that the cumulative effect was less than ideal. But lovely little white flakes of snow drifted lazily down from the sky and scattered over the earth beneath. Kate loved watching the snow. Usually she would enjoy it more, but doctors made her tense and nervous. She was glad that her checkup was the first thing in the morning so she would be able to enjoy the rest of the day in peace.
            But it was not to be. Just as she was about to leave, the office called and said, because of the snow, could they reschedule her appointment for the afternoon? Inwardly, Kate was peeved. But audibly, she was calm and gracious (no small feat the first thing in the morning.) When she got off the phone, she grimaced at Mister who was hovering nearby. “They had to move the appointment to three o’clock because the office isn’t opening until ten,” she said. Mister scrunched his nose and said that he had a meeting he wanted to go to for his PhD program at the university right around that time.
            Kate frowned. “You don’t want to go with me?”
            “I do, but I don’t want to miss this either.”
            Kate decided on a direct approach. “This is important to me. Please come. I really want to have you there. Please?” She grinned and nuzzled against him, “Pleeeease?”
            Mister gave her a tolerant smile and promised that he would come.
            However, when the time came, Kate was worried that Mister was constantly wishing that he had made a different choice. There they were at the office, waiting in the foyer. Kate was filling out reams of paperwork (the receptionist said it was required with each new pregnancy! Outrageous, Kate thought) and Mister was reading his books for class and research. Finally they were called to the back room, for the first sonogram of the baby. The stenographer came in, introduced herself as Jenny, and requested that Kate undress from the waist down. Mister sat in a chair and looked uncomfortable. Would he really rather be at school right now? Kate wondered. But a lot of my friends said that it was their (and their husband’s) favorite appointment. I’d hate for him to be missing it…
            “Are you okay?” she said aloud.
            “Sure. I’m fine.” Mister said stiffly. “I just feel like I don’t really belong here.”
            Kate raised her eyebrow and pursed her lips. “You totally belong here. It’s normal and expected for the husbands to come. This is where you belong.” She gave him a grin, “Own it.”
            When the stenographer came back and began the sonogram, all tension and awkwardness fell away in the wonder of actually seeing their baby. It was so tiny. (About a week smaller than expected, Jenny said.) But there it was, with its wee arms and legs and enormous head, wiggling around all on its own. Kate looked at Mister to share her amazement. He was leaning forward, looking at the screen, drinking in the magic.
            “Ready for the heartbeat?” asked Jenny.
            Were they ever! Kate just bit her lip and nodded eagerly.
            It took a moment, but the heartbeat came through loud and strong, 177 beats per minute. Kate shook her head. Life is a mystery, she thought. In marriage, two people become one, and in pregnancy, one person becomes two. How bizarre…but totally, wonderfully awesome.
            Kate and Mister walked to the car holding hands. It was a long appointment, but a good one. “That sonogram was incredible.” Kate said.
            “Yes it was.” Mister echoed emphatically.
            “Are you glad you came?”
            He smiled and nodded in his calm, deliberate way. “Definitely.”
            She sighed and grinned. “I’m so glad I didn’t just imagine it. I really have a baby!!” 

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