The Return Ultrasound

where one heartbeat changes a heart forever

It was what we call a “return ultrasound” appointment. A week earlier Jada came to her first appointment without the father of the baby, received a consultation and pregnancy test and was now returning for an ultrasound. This time, though, he came with her.
Jada, certain an abortion was her best choice, was now returning with the father, who she didn’t even want included in the first appointment.
The ultrasound revealed she was quite a bit further along than she expected to be. A clear image of a definite baby. The couple was quiet, but not upset. There were some tears, but not of despair, more of awe. Later, as I thought about it, it seemed to be a sacred awe. One that feels like fear, but weighs like a privilege.
Afterwards, in the consultation room for another consult, both Jada and the father of the baby stated similar sentiments: overwhelmed, with a mixture of fear and excitement. The father spoke of wanting to do this right.
“I have a great program I want to tell you about, Dad,” I say to the young man, planning to tell him about a local program just for Dads.
He exhales and smiles. “Wow, you called me ‘Dad.’ That’s the first time anyone has ever said that to me.”
It was a word that rolled off my tongue quickly, but a word he clearly felt very deeply.  “I’m going to call them as soon as we leave here,” he said of the program for Dads.
A man, coming in just to see an ultrasound image, leaving with the weight and honor of fatherhood. It was a good day.
* Name changed to protect our client’s identity

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