There are few things that can get me up in the early hours of the morning. Chief among those things is golf and apparently I can now add babies to the list. We trekked down to midtown on the East side for an 8:15 a.m. appointment…the first ultrasound. I had no idea what to expect other than the awkwardness of being a guy in a woman’s lair.

Thankfully, after a frantic search for a Starbucks (and coming up empty and having to settle for Oren’s Daily Roast) there was hardly anyone else in the waiting room when we arrived and we were ushered back to a private room pretty quickly. The nurse got to work right away and the image of Baby X flashed onto the monitor. It was our first look at the peanut-sized (and shaped) living being incubating inside Carrie’s uterus. It was both exciting and emotional, especially when she turned on the sound to hear the heartbeat, which sounded more like a string of firecrackers going off than the typical sound of a heartbeat that you hear on TV shows and movies. But it was the best sound of firecrackers I’ve ever heard.

The first ultrasound

As I sit here looking at the souvenir printout of the baby that she printed out for us, it really sheds a new light onto the issue of abortion in my mind. I just cannot fathom how somebody can look at this knowing that it is a part of the two of you and is being intricately woven together over a period of nine months, and decide that it’s not worth keeping. Of course, my situation is much different than that of many who get to this point, so my feelings of love and compassion for this peanut I’ve only seen in a 2″x 3″ picture don’t reflect those of everybody else, but it just goes to show how amazing the miracle of life really is, how it’s so far beyond our control, and how life really does start at conception, rather than birth.

The only awkward part of the experience was while waiting for Carrie to get her height, weight and blood pressure measured, I was standing next to the bathroom door where other women were passing by with their urine samples. I may have gotten a few dirty looks, but hey, I just saw my kid for the first time, so I don’t care.

The doctor we met with after the ultrasound was very nice and not like the doctors I’ve been warned about in the fatherhood books I’ve been reading. She welcomed my presence in the room, talked to me, and asked if I had any questions or input. Apparently some doctors barely even recognize that the guy in there with his wife or girlfriend. This one, however, seems great and Carrie seemed to really like her. She could be the one delivering the baby (she’s one of four doctors in the practice) so it should be an exciting time over the next seven months!