SHE SAID: "Congratulations. We're having an orc."
That's what Bob said to me Friday when we got our very first look at Dawson Christopher Miller, live in 3-D glory. I think it was the piglike snout that contributed to this impression.
"Don't worry, I promise his nose doesn't really look like that. It's just the angle I had to take the picture at," the ultrasound tech assured us. Uh-huh. I bet she says that to all the parents who are about to give birth to mutants.
We debated doing the 3-D/4-D ultrasound. It's not medically necessary for one thing. But after multiple miscarriages, we were anxious to get our first glimpse at our bundle of joy. So last week, we drove to O'Fallon to a clinic that specializes in this type of ultrasound. There are no guarantees, that's the first thing the receptionist tells prospective clients. All sorts of factors contribute to successful images; sometimes the tech just can't get great photos.
Such was our case. Dawson just wasn't positioned well to get those adorable photos advertised in the clinic's brochures. The tech offered to let us come back another day and try again; I didn't want to make the two-hour drive. So instead, we have 18 still images of what may or may not be a little creature with a great future in the circus. We also have a 20-minute video (with nursery rhyme background music). For the most part, watching this video is a lot like staring at one of the still images for 20 minutes straight. The little guy doesn't really do anything; just sits there. The big highlight comes when he deigns to turn his head and yawn.
You should have seen how excited Bob and I were by this, our son's first great accomplishment recorded for posterity. The technician, committed to salvaging some part of the experience, did an ESPN-worthy instant replay of this miraculous moment three times within the video.
"We can't make fun of him like this after he's born," I told Bob after our fourth pig-snout joke.
"OK, but he won't really feel like part of the family then," Bob said.
Jokes aside, the 3-D images were absolutely amazing. There was an emotional attachment with our first traditional black-and-white 2-D photo from the doctor's office. But seeing this little guy with chubby cheeks, a double chin (he gets that from you, Bob told me) and little wrinkles just blew me away. He was absolutely beautiful, pig's snout and all.
HE SAID: I hope Dawson gets Callie's cuteness and talent. I hope he gets my creativity and uncommon common sense. I hope he gets her memory and my patience with people.
Her unwillingness to accept mediocrity. My nature to find the good in things.
Callie's mother's determination. My mother's tenderness.
Callie's nose. My teeth.
Callie's dad's ingenuity. My dad's sacrificial nature.
Callie's long fingers. My long fuse.
More than anything, though, I hope he receives God's blessing of health and gift of eternal life. I hope he becomes his own little man who looks at life as an opportunity to do wonderful things.
And, by golly, if we find a life in the circus, then so be it. That'll mean he also got my sense of humor.
Want to see more of Baby Miller?
Log on to shethemagazine.com/blogs/babymamadrama/.
Bob Miller is the managing editor and Callie Clark Miller is the special publications managing editor at the Southeast Missourian. Their adorable, pig-snout mutant is due in April. Reach them at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.