Tuesday, November 11, 2008

First & Second Ultrasound

Here is our experience with our first and second ultrasound:

Thursday, September 25, 2008
It was our first official prenatal appointment. We knew we were going to see our baby for the first time but had no idea what we should expect to see. As the doctor turned on the Ultrasound machine we saw something moving and immediately we recognized... a heartbeat! Richard and I stared at that screen with huge smiles on our faces. We couldn't make out much of the features of our baby but that heartbeat was undeniable and unforgettable.
(8 weeks) The baby is the small little blurry thing between the two plus signs. We saw a heartbeat!

We left that day excited and on cloud nine. The doctor assured us that everything looked great and that the baby's heartbeat looked great! We smiled and grinned all the way home.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008
This was the day the Doctor would conduct our first screening test with a
n Ultrasound and blood test. Rick and I had remembered what the first picture of our baby looked like and didn't expect to see all that we did on this Ultrasound. They squirted that cold clear gel on my belly and their was our baby on the big flat screen TV on the wall. Rick and I stopped breathing... We couldn't believe how clearly we saw our baby! Then all of a sudden the baby began, what seemed like, jumping! He/she would not sit still! The doctor was trying to take measurements but waited till the baby settled down. Finally, the doctor began taking measurements but there was another interesting thing that happened. The baby wouldn't sit at an angle the doctor need. She had me take a walk, jump around a little, turn from one side to the other. But the baby wouldn't budge. Richard asked, "Is this the early signs of a strong willed child?" We all laughed and jokingly agreed it probably was. After an extended amount of time the doctor finally was able to take the final measurement and we took home the photos of our baby.
(11+ weeks) The baby kept jumping around, and kept his/her hand by their nose.

We were so amazed at how quickly our child developed. Just a few weeks ago he/she was just a little blur with a heartbeat. But now we could see features, movement and a heartbeat! This was becoming a little bit more real. We called our parents immediately and shared our experience and amazement with them. How exciting! This little child is growing inside me and in a few more months we will hold him/her in our arms and get to know our little baby. We can't wait!


Friday, November 7, 2008

Election Day in East New York

Election Day, 2008. What a day! Like most of you, I got up in the morning with a sense of great anticipation. Something momentous was taking place in our country, and in our world. Like so many voters, I got up early hoping that I wouldn’t have to wait 3 hours to vote. Even if I did have to wait, I would have done it. As I walked to P.S 158 (the elementary school I attended some twenty-something years ago) I thought about what this election means for me, my family, and the church. The world was about to change, so I had better take some time to prepare myself for it.

As I walked into the old gym that I used to run relay races in, I saw old faces and new ones. I walked to the first table to find where my station was and saw Mrs. Guess volunteering. Mrs. Guess has lived up the block from me and was my grandmother’s neighbor for over 30 years. Here’s how our short conversation went:

Me: Mother Guess! How’s it going?
MG: Great darling, it’s so good to see you. We’ve waited way too long for this day!
Me: Yes We Can!
MG: Hallelujah!!! Actually, I’m not supposed to say that, but go to station 63.
Me: Ok Thanks!

As I walked to the station, I chuckled a bit. But I began to realize the significance of this day for the African-American community. As I surveyed the gym (which looks so much smaller now) I observed that I was the only Latino about to vote. For a moment, I felt a bit disheartened. But that thought was quickly forgotten when I met another person. I think he was a volunteer, although I didn’t know for sure. Here’s how our conversation went:

Brother in the Gym: Wassup brother! (As his head nodded and smiled at me)
Me: Hey man (I responded with my own Brooklyn head nod and smile)
Brother in the Gym: You know what to do! (I think he winked, but he kept smiling)
Me: Yes We Can! (Then I gave him a pound…for all you urban outsiders, that means I gave him a fancy handshake)

I proceeded to cast my vote and walk out the gym that I had so many fond memories of and went immediately on cnn.com hoping to hear the latest. After work, I went to my Tuesday night class and there was a buzz in the room. Something significant was taking place. After class ended I jumped on the C train with haste and eavesdropped into conversations on the train between perfect strangers. Three older black men were talking about which candidate was up on the polls and for a brief moment I wanted to join their conversation. As I nodded and smiled at them (trying to get them to invite me into the conversation) I realized it was my stop. I jumped out the train and walked like those speed walkers in the Olympics. I’m sure that wasn’t a good look, especially in East New York.

As I got home my attention was fixed on the screen and in a matter of moments, the country voted in our next president. I have to say, I was in awe of the moment. The feel in NYC was like a combination of New Years Eve, the Mets and Yankees winning the World Series and getting another stimulus check in the mail.

In my neighborhood they started shooting! Rosie got a bit nervous and asked if those were gunshots. I said, “Yes baby, but those are celebratory shots! They’re just happy. You gotta know the difference.” I think she was still nervous.

I stood up until 2am trying to process what had just happened. The world was about to change, so I had better take some time to prepare myself for it.


***In my next blog entry, I’ll address some of the implications that I see in this historic shift in our country’s history***