Daddy’s little girl takes breath away
BY BETH COLVIN
Assistant Food editor
July 03, 2012
The ultrasound tech thought to keep the gel warm. Bless her for that.
I was nervous enough without having shocks of bitter cold running up and down my abdomen. And the little creature inside that abdomen wasn’t exactly comfortable, either.
A lot had happened since John and I found out I was pregnant. I was horribly sick. Even in spite of a regiment of drugs, I lost 16 pounds that first trimester. Smells made me sick. Sights made me sick. Even the thought of food made me turn a little green. On top of that, John was laid off. It turned out to be a blessing because he could nurse me through the worst of it, but we didn’t know that then. At a time when we were intensely concerned about the future, we had absolutely no idea what would happen next.
At this appointment, we’d find out if Ziggy — our all-purpose, unisex nickname — was a girl or a boy.
Nervous would be the understatement of the year. John really wanted a boy. Really. He had visions of playing football in the yard, of a compadre amidst all the women — even the dogs are girls. When we talked about names, he focused on the boy names. He sifted through old wives’ tales about cravings and sicknesses for any signs it would be so.
As the gray blurs began to make some sense on the screen, Ziggy shifted this way and that, seemingly perturbed at the intrusion. Then, the ultrasound tech stopped and snapped a picture. Ziggy was a girl.
For a half second, John’s face fell. Then, she hiccupped. He stared in wonder at the screen. She did it again. He stepped closer. “Is she ... ?” he asked. The tech finished for him, “She’s hiccupping.”
As the tech swept the wand to and fro, checking off measurements and internal organs. Ziggy, now Ainsley, rolled and turned and even appeared to shake her little fist at all the activity. I asked a torrent of questions. Is that her kidneys? Are they OK? What’s that big gray spot? Oh, that’s my kidney? Is it OK? John stood transfixed, mouth agape, watching Ainsley’s every move. He didn’t have any questions.
Finally, the tech asked him, “Is everything OK, Dad?”
He blinked himself awake and repeated in a whisper, “Dad?”
Yes. Dad. Of a little girl named Ainsley. Who loves foofhall and the LSU Tigers (roar!). She’s John’s buddy, even though she’s most happy in a dress rather than in jeans or shorts. She’s his shadow — she always has to know where Daddy his (her sentence construction and pronounciation), and what Daddy’s doo-ming. And, for my money, she still has the cutest hiccups around.
So, Happy Father’s Day, John. Or, as Ainsley would say: Hallpy Daddy Day. Luh yooooou.