As we walked into the elevator after about our fourth ultrasound, my mom grabbed my arm and started crying. She was with me, because Dan could not make this appointment, and I needed some support with me that day. It was long before we had any fears about Mary Anna, but there was a question of whether I had a serious clotting issue or not, so I was referred to UAB to confirm or deny that concern. The answer would determine if I would need to be on shots during my entire pregnancy or a baby aspirin. All the news was good, and it was confirmed, no clotting issue, and a baby aspirin was the golden ticket. They wanted to me to leave with a full work-up, so they did an ultrasound to confirm that everything was okay with what we would soon know as baby girl Mary Anna.
My mom cried, yes, because I was okay, and yes, because I did not have to continue nightly shots in my stomach, but mostly because of something that had not occurred to me. She softly said, “I have never seen an ultrasound before.” I began to cry too at that point. It hit me. I had never thought about how my pregnancy was not only a gift to Dan and I, but also to my sweet parents. My mom could never get pregnant, so she never got to walk through all these tiny little things that even I took for granted at the time. It was so neat to watch my mom light up at each little step that we took with Mary Anna, because it was all so new to her. She always told my brother and I that we grew in her heart, but it was precious to see how much she enjoyed watching me be pregnant.
Unfortunately as things continued to get more and more complicated, we had to have more and more ultrasounds. I have no idea how many we ended up having, but it was a little unreal. Of course, we loved seeing our girl so much and watching her grow, but it was also hard, because we knew that nothing we were going through was a “normal” pregnancy. Some friends of ours taped their ultrasound pictures up in the kitchen and bedroom, so before we announced our pregnancy, we taped our pictures in our room, and after it was public knowledge, we taped them in our kitchen. Still to this day our sweet Mary Anna’s pictures are up. They are such a gift to remember how much she changed and grew each week that went by and what a true miracle that life is. Many times that I stop and look at them, I picture my mom on that elevator holding my arm and know how Mary Anna’s little life changed each one of us.