I was going through some pictures recently and I came across this. Everyone, I'd like you to meet Josh, when he was but 14 weeks along on his journey to this world.
When I found this I must have stared at it for about 20 minutes. Just stared at it. Ultrasounds tend to fill me with awe in any case but this, this was something else. Then the tears started to come as they are now as I write.
Hello, my little baby.
I remember this. This was done because my Dr couldn't find your heartbeat that day. I was so scared for you - I had your big brother with me and he was only 18 months old, so I had to keep taking care of him while I waited to have this ultrasound. I couldn't cry because I didn't want to scare him. But I wanted to. But you were ok. Just hiding. Very sneaky, Mr! I had no idea then that that would not be the last time I would be so afraid for you.
I didn't know if you were Josh or Emily yet and wouldn't until you showed up. Everyone else was convinced you were Emily - but I knew you were Josh. I did. Your aunt tried to steal your name for your cousin, did you know that? You should thank your uncle next time we see them.
You were already so very different from Zach. You were easy. I wasn't sick a day, no random bleeding, no pre-term labor, no bed-rest, no hypertension. Just easy. Thank you, I needed that after the first time.
Two things you and your brother did have in common were making me drink chocolate milkshakes way more than I should have and heartburn. Oh. My. God. The heartburn. It would have killed a rhino. I'm not even sure what that means, but rhinos seem pretty tough and the heartburn you two gave me would have taken one down in a second, that's how bad it was. I blamed Zach's hair the first time (your brother was born with a full head of Elvis hair - true story). But you didn't have much hair, so, there goes that theory!
I also had no idea you were going to be in such a hurry when you decided you were ready to show us your sweet face - and prove all those "you're having a girl" people wrong. Would it have killed you to give me enough time for an epidural? Or even just give my OB a chance to get to the hospital? Really? Well, makes sense I suppose, given that patience isn't exactly one of your strong points... Mind you I shouldn't complain, since I only had to push for all of 3 minutes.
Zach wanted me to read to him all the time when you were doing your fetus thing. I read to him about being a big brother, so he'd be ready for you. I didn't know how he was going to react when you showed up, but he loved you from the moment he saw you. He was never jealous or possessive. I couldn't even have imagined at that point that at the age of 7, he would grasp the significance of what your life was going to be like and inform me that when I could no longer take care of you, he would. Your big brother is a very special person.
You have a nice profile, my little love. I like your nose. Your chin. And your knee!
But I can't stop looking at your brain. Yes, you were so good about giving such a great profile shot, we can see it - it's a pretty fantastic image, really.
14 weeks. Had something already happened that would lead you down the path your life would take? Was something already going on in that tiny, beautiful brain that wasn't right or was everything ok? I can't stop looking at it. And wondering. Were the blue prints to your future set or did something happen later to change them? Could I have done anything differently to have kept things from being so severe? If I hadn't had that horrible chest-cold for 5 weeks in my first trimester, would anything be different? I know genetics plays a part. But is severity pre-determined or is that influenced by other things? So many questions, little baby.
And no answers.
But you were beautiful. You always have been.
And you still are.