The little blue (or was it pink) line inched across the tiny screen on the stick. That stick. The plastic stick sold by the drug store that tells you whether you'll be taking another person home in around nine months to live with you for the next eighteen years or so.
I saw the line and walked away. Maybe it was a fluke.
Came back in ten minutes. Still there.
Yep. I was gonna have a baby. I don't say the politically correct We were gonna have a baby, because while We would be parents, only my part of We would host the cause of the little blue (or pink) line. Feed it. Expand as it expanded and ultimately usher it into this world.
The line was a surprise and I sat and thought...and panicked. The reality of knowing that I could barely go through three months straight of not locking myself out of the house, much less be in charge of another human's formative years of emotional, psychological, physical and spiritual welfare hit me. Hard.
Fine, I'd have a vodka seltzer to calm my nerves. Oh wait: I'm hosting that little line now. No vodka seltzer. Fine, I'd just have a smoke. That little line can't even roll a window down for air in there. No smoke. At least a cup of coffee? Nope. The little line probably wouldn't like caffeine either.
While Jamie was ecstatic and friends and family absolutely bubbled over with joy over this addition, I silently panicked behind the facade of a smile for months throughout the ultrasounds, the heartbeats, the kicks...and even the ushering into this world.
The nurse asked if I wanted a mirror in those final moments, and I thought Why do I need a mirror? It's not like I'm reapplying lipstick right now. Seriously, that's what I thought and then it dawned on me: a mirror to watch the ushering. Uh...no thank you very much. I had seen plenty -- far too much -- in those classes where they show the films where no one wears clothes or shaves any of things that oughta be shaved and moans and groans and cries until the ushering is complete.
The little line was a person -- a girl, when in fact, I had been thinking for the past seven months that she was a boy. And then, just like that, I was face-to-face with the little line. I rifled through my mental rolodex because she looked so familiar. Maybe it was in her brow, how her nose was so strong and how she looked so serious and was so silent -- unlike the usual newborn howling shown in those films from those classes with the hairy moaners.
I think she was sizing me up as much as I was trying to figure out from where I knew her when it hit me: she had my mom's face, her nose, demeanor -- even at a few hours old.
I'd like to say that all the panicking ceased at that magical moment, but that'd be a lie. I still panic about being woefully unprepared and unqualified for another person's psychological, physical, emotional and spiritual well-being; and I still lock myself out of the house from time to time.
But eleven years and a couple of days later, she's turned Jamie and I into less selfish, more loving, and better people than we could've ever been without her.
...and that's something a little line (blue or pink) could never have predicted.