Hey, Zoe! What a week! We’re both still so thrilled that you’re here, and you’re healthy, and growing, and all the poopy stuff that goes along with that. This is so exciting! I know you don’t read yet. That’s next week. I just thought you’d enjoy knowing about the parts of your story that you can’t possibly remember.
You’ve heard about your sister Doria, but, like you know, you haven’t gotten to meet her, and that won’t be happening her on Earth. We still miss her, but one of the first things we thought after she died was, “Must try again. Must win this time.” Since we thought that, we set out to try. It was terrifying, because we knew what could happen. Maybe we’d be disappointed because we couldn’t have another child. Maybe we’d be disappointed because things ended up like they did with your sister.. Still, our need for someone like you was more important to us than our fear, so we kept trying. Well, until we quit trying.
See, it had been a few months, about three, and we weren’t expecting yet. Since we still desperately needed to replace our couch, we decided to raid our savings and buy one. We met a great saleslady who is a parent like us, and we found that nice blue/gray one you remember. When we got home, your mom and I had a loooooong talk. We decided that we’d give up the hyperactive effort and wait, even though we desperately still wanted a child. That lasted a few hours.
Since that talk went so far into the early morning hours, I didn’t wake up for church. I know, Zo, that sounds strange to hear, but I didn’t. I did wake up at 11:15 that morning wide awake, and heard the door open 2 minutes later. Your mom ran up the stairs, smiled, looked me in the eye and said “I threw up this morning.” A few minutes later, we were at the store picking out a pregnancy test, and I paced around waiting for this test to happen. Finally it did, and we found out you were on the way!!!! For once, quitting worked out 🙂
That got us off and racing at a nice crawl. We still had everything, so we went about waiting. You did well with the early checks, and everything stayed fairly dull until the big day that we found out we had a girl on the way! No more ZoJo. You were Zoe now and forever! That was a great time in the ultrasound room.
Revelation day brought an unexpected surprise, too. We found out about that little cyst on your brain. It’s normal, but it had the chance to mean something. In this case, Down’s Syndrome or death. You didn’t show any of the other symptoms, so we knew that it would simply go away, but we had to face the prospect of death again. Your mom and I had a nice chat in the car, and drove to the baby store to go get something with your name on it. If nothing else, we would have that to hold on to, but also, we wanted to start moving ahead as though you would live. We stubbornly chose hope in the tears.
The cyst went away, so we were off to a different daredevil stage. This one featured you and your gift for instilling fear in us. There was the day that your mother couldn’t feel you move, so we went in for tests. You passed the nonstress test, even though you loved to move away from the sensors, play with your umbilical cord, and otherwise dare us to believe that you would live. I don’t know why you thought that was cute, and I don’t want to know why. Knowing that it happened was enough for me. You made it through, though, and that was nice.
If you remember us saying “BUZZZZZZ,” that’s from another nice habit you had. We went in for weekly nonstress tests, and you went in sleeping almost every time. The nice lady with the buzzer would wake you up, your heartrate would shoot up, and ours would calm down. You hated it, but it was worth it. This went on week by week, as we worried just a little more, and believed just a little more, and you grew just a little more. We woke you up a few times by filling your mortal enemy, Mom’s bladder, until it intruded enough into your space to tick you off. You hated that, too, but it told us you were alive. We liked knowing that.
Finally, we reached the end of pregnancy time. Your mother and I checked into the hospital to induce labor. In other words, we weren’t going to wait anymore. The doctor was going to push things along to drive you out of your nice little home in the womb. The day was mostly quiet. You dodged the nonstress sensors a few times, creating some more heart attacks. When you and your mother saw your blood pressure drop, that was a shade frightening, but you kept moving forward until that final push. You came out, your cord snapped, I saw the calm doctor move at a speed I didn’t imagine people had, and you were in our arms! All of that time, work, worry, and faith had met right here. You made it!!! Drama until the end, but you made it.
Zoe, I was scared to one degree or another the entire time I waited for you. I half-kidded about inducing you every week, as though it were my call, just to get you out here. It’s not totally logical, but things like this never are. You gave me (and us) enough close calls to last a lifetime, but you were really just getting started with them. I have to say that I never really rested or breathed normally until your second or third day home from the hospital. That’s when it finally seemed like everything was actually going to work out.
Zoe, I just thought you’d want a little background here. There’s a reason I give you that look when you want to take a header from higher and higher points, and all the other thrill-seeking ideas you seem to have. I’m not a thrill-seeker. I’m a chair-sitter that takes it pretty easy. This stuff scares me, but I’m glad you’re so lively. I’m glad that fear doesn’t seem to register with you. You’ll need that crazy courage in a rough world. Don’t lose that, even when I’m losing my blood pressure.
OK, back to reading here, Zoe. Go ahead and put your next fear-inducing scheme together. I like it.