Thursday, March 23, 2006

Baby Story Chapter Six (Final One)

The next few weeks in getting out of there was kind of a blur. A combination of personnel issues, moving issues, and just life in general kept us zipping back and forth for the last three weeks that I was there. I spent a few nights with friends drinking beer and reminiscing about our ventures in the years I was in Europe, playing PlayStation, and having those last few rounds of poker. All in all, Grace and I didn’t know where we were going to from here. This was the first time in our relationship that we were going to be apart without knowing when we would be together again. Grace had only just begun her ordeal of separating from the military and on top of that, faced the prospect of going it alone when I left for Little Rock. We weren’t sure where we were going to live, have our child, get married, or even be for the next few years for that matter. It was a pretty frightening time for us, even with the way our lives had gone for the past few months.

Just before I left on my way, we had one last item to do on our checklist. Grace was about to hit her 20th week of pregnancy—the point at which doctors say you ca tell the sex of the child. We pretty much knew it was going to be a boy, we just really wanted to get another look at him in the ultrasound world. The military wouldn’t do it unless it was required, so we had to go on to the German economy to get one. So, on the Friday before my departure, we showed up at the OB clinic in downtown Kaiserslautern.

As we drove to the city, I had a strange feeling in my stomach. Grace later told me that she had had it, too. What if this showed that we were having a girl?? Everything we had prepared for said boy—from the Grandparents to the Chinese calander. I, and Grace, just kinda blew it off and went to the appointment. I brought my broken down video camera and sixty dollars to the big event. Grace laid back on the table as I gave up trying to catch the video screen on my camera and we stared at the black and white screen. The baby was MUCH bigger now, with a body so large that it wouldn’t fit on the screen. The doctor pointed out the legs, the kicks and wriggles, and the head. The whole time I kept looking for the wonderful appendage that would confirm that our son was in there. Finally the doc zeroed in on his legs.

“Do you see anything between there?” she asked.

Grace and I squinted as hard as we could, but something was wrong. I sure couldn’t see anything, and Grace was shaking her head no.

“Nope,” I answered, fully expecting the doctor to point out our idiocy.

“Well good, because niether do I,” she said with a smile. Neither do I????? I thought incredulously. She must be mistaken, unless she means…

That’s right—a baby girl. Once again our little angel had dropped another surprise on us, letting us know how much in control of this whole situation we really were.

After a few phone calls we resigned oursleves to the fact that no matter what, this child’s first name had been set in stone. At least with the little boy we had set about 100 names in front of us that people could specualte ad choose from. Not so in the case of having a girl. One name had been offered up, and that one name stuck. Even if we weren’t calling her Princess, everyone else was. Shortly later, a couple of days before I left, Grace sat up boltright while ridng her exercise bike.

”I think she just moved,” she said with a concerned look on her face. I felt and felt, but it was too early for me to tell. Grace wasn’t even showing yet. Pretty rambuncious for a little tyke.

February 22 came a lot quicker than I wanted it to. Even with all the goings-on in our lives over the last few months of my time in Europe I still looked at leaving with a heavy heart. I did a lot of growing up in Germany, as a pilot, as an officer, and as a man. Looking back on it nowit appears to me that Germany was God's way of sending me from my life as a young man into the life as a responsible adult. At the time, of course, I don't think I really new this, since I saw a great path of uncertainty as to my life's direction in front of me. Grace and I were pretty much going on autopilot by this point, just doing what we thought was right and what we were supposed to.

Standing on the ramp in Frankfurt International Airport for the last time, I took what would be my last look at my new wife as just my wife. When we would see each other again, Grace would be 6 months pregnant at the earliest, and from there on I would always look at her as both my wife and the mother of my daughter. This was probably the most scared we had become throughout the 9 months, since until we saw each other once again we would both be alone. We kissed each other goodbye, and I will never forget that feeling in my stomach as I looked at her standing alone as I walked through the metal detector on my way to board. I felt as if I was abandoning her, which she has never done to me. Tears filling my eyes, I climbed aboard the plane and watched as Germany fell beneath my feet for what would be the last time.

Filed under:

No comments:

Post a Comment