Sarah Marie

My 5-month appointment was made even more special because of the sonogram. The Sonogram. The gender-determination sonogram that would make it possible for us to start really shopping for the baby, and really making progress on getting a room together.

My mom flew in so she could be there - realistically this will be my only child, and there are so many things she misses being so far away, we all wanted to experience this. Zane wanted to be there, but Mom had been in the hospital for a week just a couple of weeks prior and he needed to be at work (no worries, Mom is okay and everything is looking great for her.)

We were all up and dressed early, and wound up leaving at 7:30 for my 9:00 sonogram appointment, 45 minutes away. To say John, Mom and I were all keyed up would be an understatement. We stopped and got a drink (I got a Barq's to try and make sure the baby was moving so the sonographer could see what we all wanted to see.)

We got to the doctor's office at 8:30. I signed in, hopeful that this would be like all my other appointments - arriving early means you get to see the doctor early, meaning we would know that much sooner. I had a new insurance card and all that had to be processed. What I didn't count on was the fact that the sonogram is done by an outside group, not my fabulous, could-not-love-them-more-if-they-were-cupcakes doctor's office. At 9:15 John finally went up and asked how much longer it would be. Around 9:20 we finally were called back.

First they checked my ovaries, and made sure all my parts were there, working properly, and healthy. Then they moved on to the baby. When she asked us did we want to know the gender, I think I said yes before she finished the sentence. And there was our baby - healthy, spinal column clearly forming properly. Head, arms, legs, heartbeat, everything looked so perfect. And then... girl. Definitely girl. No question about it, girl.

Sarah. I could call her by her name. It all made sense. Even though I'd thought boy, even though I'd not-so-secretly hoped for a boy, it made sense. Of course she was a girl. She was my girl. I cried, of course. John has a picture of me with tears rolling down my cheeks. Mom asked if I was disappointed. Of course not.

She moved around a lot during the sonogram. At that time, she was laying with her head down, and her backside up toward my ribcage. She yawned, opened and closed her mouth, moved her arms and legs. And then, she reached out her little hand. You could see the bones in her fingers moving. It may have been coincidence, but it looked like she was waving at us. Those little fingers just clutched at my heart. It sounds corny, I know, but seeing how healthy and normal she was, seeing those little fingers and realizing we are halfway to holding them was literally one of the most life-changing moments of my life.

The doctor said that she is healthy and normal. I had gained about ten pounds at the three-month mark, lost four, and only gained three last month, so my weight is fine. Blood pressure is good. We did the tetra screening for Down's Syndrome, spina bifida, and other potential problems, and every test came back negative. She is just perfect. Normal. The mama in me thinks "beautiful" even though I know she'll probably be this wrinkled, vernix-covered lizard looking thing when she's born.

Later that day, we were able to get her crib (although it wouldn't fit in my car, and John had to go back and get it with the truck) and set up her bedding. I was really happy Mom got to be there, meet Sarah, and see the crib all put together. Hopefully she and Zane will be able to come out later this summer since we'll be so crazy-busy in July, and by August I won't really want to travel much.

Oh, about her name...Sarah was my maternal grandmother's name, and Marie is John's mother's middle name. We were able to honor both sides of the family and come up with a name that will wear well.