He was eight simple cells when I first saw him, through an electron microscope.
We went to the doctor’s office that day to have the embryos from our invitro fertilization implanted, and the microbiologist asked us if we’d like to look. Would we! I stepped into the back room and stared at the screen where the microbiologist brought up the eight perfect circles that would eventually, hopefully, become my baby. I reached out to touch the outline of those circles and I remember saying “Come on, baby. I’ve waited my whole life for you. Don’t make me wait anymore. Your sister wants to meet you.”
Five months later, I sat in another doctor’s office, my fingers touching and tracing a tiny printout of my baby. My baby boy, I now knew, and I couldn’t stop my fingers tracing the shape of his head, the way his hand reached up like he was already curious about the world around him. My finger lingered on his hand and I remember thinking I’d be holding it someday.
I lay in bed a few months later, unable to sleep. It was that last hellish three weeks before the due date, and sleep came in 20 minute snatches, interrupted by kicks and prods, heartburn and bathroom breaks. My hand reached down to touch my distended stomach, gently pushing, and I smiled in the dark as my little somebody pushed right back, against my questing fingers. “I love you,” I whispered. And I knew he loved me too. I knew it.