December 14, 2008: Sing in Exultation

Naomi: 11 weeks 4 days old

“Yet you brought me out of the womb; you made me trust in you even at my mother’s breast. From birth I was cast upon you; from my mother’s womb you have been my Father.” Ps. 22: 9-10

Dear family and friends,

Yesterday was a memorable day for the Distad family! Brad and I went to Beijing with Jess Shamblee, for our monthly appointment at the Beijing United Family Hospital. From 11:45 to 1:30 we had a great time learning about our firstborn child.

When we arrived at the hospital, we were immediately ushered into the ultrasound suite where we waited next to a pretty young blonde girl for our turn. As we began to talk to her, we found out that her name is Kristin, she is from Ontario and that this is her second year in China. She told us how she had flown in from Wuhan, in central China. As we exchanged information, we were surprised to find out that she is a graduate of Calvin College! She and her husband studied there (Elementary Education and Physical Education) and graduated in 2007. They now teach at the International school in Wuhan, and she is 7 weeks pregnant with their first. What a small world! We had a fun (though brief) time talking about being pregnant in China before she was called for her ultrasound.

After Kristin’s ultrasound, we parted ways, and then it was our turn. It was immediately obvious that the baby grew quite a bit in 5 weeks! Last month we could barely see our little progeny, and the technician judged that it was about 2 days behind its due date. This time the hungry little leach had more than devoured its share of my body’s resources, and measured in at 3 days ahead of its due date. So it made up 5 days of growth in the last 5 weeks. This is great news of course…a big baby is a healthy baby! On the monitor we could see the over-sized head, small body, tiny arms and legs, and a twisted umbilical cord. We could see its little nose, lips, chin, and ears. We could also see the little heart beating a fuzzy blur in the abdomen. It was so exciting! Brad snapped lots of photos of our 2 ½ inch miracle.

After the ultrasound, we went upstairs for our appointment, only to find out that Doctor Bian had to leave for the airport. So we were assigned to Doctor Chang, whom I immediately liked better. She has kind eyes and a warm manner, and spoke comfortably and fluently in English. She recorded my medical history and then explained to us what would happen in this and upcoming appointments. Brad was particularly eager to know the sex of the child, but she assured us that will have to wait until a sonogram at 15-20 weeks reveals this information. Brad and I laughed though when she explained that some people believe that if the mother becomes more beautiful, then the baby will be a girl, and if the mother becomes more ugly (acne and a wider nose and lips), then the baby will be a boy. She also said that some believe a big appetite or an appetite for foods with vinegar means a boy, and a smaller appetite for more papery foods means a girl. Oh China!

After our little conference, she invited me to lay on the exam table so that we could listen to the baby’s heartbeat. She took out a special stethoscope with a speaker on it. Brad videotaped these first sounds for posterity. There was a lot of static at first, and then the rapid but steady sound of a heartbeat. I gasped when I heard the sound, and then got quiet so that I could hear every beat. To me it sounded like a sucking sound, and it sounded like it was underwater, but there it was. Doctor Chang said that it sounded like a train, and reminded me that our baby’s heart beats much faster than ours.

After the heartbeat, I was subjected to the typical OB exam including a culture, urinalysis, and blood tests. Even having blood drawn from both arms (I have tricky veins) didn’t dampen my spirits. We saw our baby and heard its heartbeat! It was incredible! What a relief to know that despite 5 weeks of food-aversions, nausea, and vomiting, we still have a healthy and strong child who is growing ahead of schedule. What a beautiful and awe-inspiring experience it is to bear witness to new life!

Thank you Father for watching over our baby, even when it is hidden from our sight. Thank you for being its Father even before it knows the voices of its own father and mother. Thank you for using my body in amazing ways to create an hospitable environment to nurture new life. It amazes me that you could use my womb to comfortably cradle our child in perfect warmth with a steady supply of nutrients and the necessities for growth. How could I even fathom the details of your most intricate creation? Thank you for doing what I could never do, even if I knew how. You are the Giver of Life, the Creator of All Things, the Great Artist. Thank you for painting your most complex masterpiece on this canvas, beneath my ever-expanding waistline. You are AWESOME. Thank you for allowing us to witness this miracle.


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One Response to “December 14, 2008: Sing in Exultation”

  1. Thanks for all of your work on this web page. I am looking forward to reading more of your posts in the future.

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