I had a bad feeling about this.
The "big day" rolled around and we were all sick.
Ittybit had been on the mend, but a belly full of cherry tomatoes came back to haunt her at midnight. I was in the throes of the worst of the vomiting, wondering if I should just postpone it until we all felt 100 percent.
The obstetrics appointment, that is.
The ultrasound; the prodding, the poking -- all of it might best be left to another day.
And yet, the guilty part of me that says you must not procrastinate; you must avoid the glaring voice at the other end of the phone -- the one whose job it is to reschedule these hard-fought appointments. The one who undoubtedly will say: "You know each one of these appointments is IMPORTANT!"
Oh, but bringing a clingy toddler because you really don't want to send her to daycare with an ounce of residual illness that she can lob in the direction of another unassuming preschooler, seemed worse.
Would it even be possible to see the newbie taking up residence in the womb Ittybit once shared through the clingy little girl who’d undoubtedly wrap her tiny body around me as soon as I tried to put her down?
I can do this, I thought optimistically. We can do this.
And so we did.
As usual, I arrived early (operating under the misguided premise that if you arrive early you have a chance of being seen early) and we waited. And waited. And waited.
After the second trip to the bathroom and the 100th "We'll be called when it's our turns," we were called.
To my surprise Ittybit sat quietly in the chair by the door where I'd put our things. She said she didn't want to see her baby on the television screen. She looked away as I turned to sit on the examining table.
The technician applied the gel and started probing around; looking first at the internal organs before going in for a gander at the real goods. I turned my head to ask Ittybit if she could see and she answered "no" with a scowl in her voice. It seemed she didn't want to look. I turned back to the monitor.
But just as the little baby appeared in the screen, a little hand took mine.
No words, just her hand in mine.
It was really the oddest thing.
She wouldn't talk about what happened in that darkened room for the rest of that day. She wouldn't look at the printouts the technician had given us. It was as if none of it ever happened.
But the next day, when we were both feeling better, she headed to school and me to work, she asked to see the pictures so she could show her friend "Elias," the new baby, whose "head was here and body was right there."
I listened at the door for a while as she explained about the "goop" they put on her mommy's belly, and how this was her little sister ...
She poked her head back into the room where I was listening and yelled ... "Hey, Ma? When is my baby sister coming?"
"In July, sweetie. In July."