I had a doctor’s appointment scheduled for Monday, the 15th. I was excited because the doctor was supposed to be able to hear the baby’s heartbeat. If she couldn’t, she’d do a quick ultrasound to check. I prayed that my belly fat would muffle my baby’s heartbeat so I could get a scan. I desperately wanted a picture of my little Strawberry Shortcake. I wanted it for me. And to take to group to show off, and to shove in H’s face to see if it would make him grow up.
I told H about the appointment. I invited him to come. I didn’t want our relationship to have ended the way we’d left things at the end of November. It had been too cruel, too abrupt. H, I decided, needed another chance. I wanted him there. He said he’d try to come. Our only contact for weeks had been the occasional text from him asking whether I’d decided yet what to do. Was I going to place my baby for adoption or single parent? I told him that a decision of this magnitude was going to take time, and that when I decided, he’d be the first to know. The Saturday before my appointment H still seemed to be planning on going to the doctor with me. I thought that maybe things would work out between us after all. Maybe he really did love me, and he hadn’t just said so because of the baby.
Two hours before the appointment, H sent me a text message. He had some important meeting at work (on his day off) and he wouldn’t be at the appointment. I cried for a moment. Then I got angry. The man didn’t want to hear his own child’s heartbeat. What was wrong with him? “I think I hate him,” I wrote in my journal.
My mother took me to see my OB-GYN. God bless my flabby stomach. I got an ultrasound. My mom was in the room with me, and when she saw the screen, she wept. I looked back and forth from the screen to the wand on my belly. There was a baby on the screen, and the wand was on me, so … mentally, I tried to make the connection that the baby on the screen was actually growing inside my body. It felt unreal – and yet, my pregnancy felt more real just then than it ever had before
The baby was kicking and twisting and wiggling like nothing I’d ever seen before. I didn’t know babies moved around so much at 12 weeks. I got a printout of my baby – a distinct tiny skull, and a blur of limbs and torso. I took a picture of the scan with my phone’s camera, and sent it to H, with the caption “the round thing on the right is the head.”
H was going to ignore me? Fine. I’d just have LDSFS serve him with paperwork and be done with him. If he wasn’t willing to change I didn’t want him in my life, or in the baby’s. Adoption seemed a more feasible option than it had before. It had been on my mind for a bit, and I’d browsed through adoptive couple profiles. A few of them danced through my mind as I waited from a response from H. None of them felt right, but I thought to myself that if my baby’s parents were out there somewhere, I was going to find them eventually.
I also decided that, dominant genes be darned, my baby was going to have my blue eyes and auburn hair, instead of brown eyes and hair like H (much to my delight, she did in fact take after me). I told myself I was better off without him.
Hours later, I got a text from H in response to my latest Tweet. After a bit of useless banter I asked him if he’d gotten the picture I sent earlier. He said he hadn’t.. I was irked. My phone said “delivery successful” after I sent him the picture. He said his phone was stupid sometimes and lost pictures. He didn’t ask what the picture was, and he didn’t ask me to resend it. Highly suspect, all. But what could I do? He also didn’t ask anything about the appointment – how it went or what had happened.
I thought about resending the picture but changed my mind. I wasn’t going to force things. If H wanted pictures or information, he could bloody well ask for them. A day or two later he asked if I’d made up my mind yet. I told him no, and that it might take me six more months to decide. A few days later we made tentative plans to go out to dinner. They never materialized.
I hated myself then. I was full of an intense self-loathing at my past behavior, and at the man I chose to give myself too. I would have given anything to be rid of the guilt and disgust that overwhelmed me. I clung then to the thought of my sweet, precious baby. I looked at the ultrasound picture fifteen or twenty times a day. It kept me going.