Michael was in the driver's seat and I was holding a string of ultrasound photos: glossy, black-and-white images that gave us glimpses of our first child. Moments before, we had been in the dark room where the technician had asked us if we wanted to know if I was carrying a boy or a girl. Yes, we wanted to know.
A girl, the technician had told us. We were having a girl.
Now, driving in the car, we said her name over and over to each other. This was Ella, hiding away in my belly. This was Ella, her name no longer an option on a list but a person joining our family. A baby. A girl. Our girl. Ella.
I looked up from the photos as we drove down the four-lane road. We were heading to our favorite restaurant to celebrate, and as I looked up, I saw Michael's eyes softened with tears. "Someday," he said, "I will walk her down the aisle and give her away."
Praying for Her Husband
Now, eight months after staring at those ultrasound photos, and three months after her birth, I often look at Ella's face and try to imagine what she will look like in 5 years, in 10 years, in 20 years. Today her tiny, rounded nose and full cheeks beg for kisses. Her eyes are more blue than the grey they reflected in the hospital, just 14 weeks ago. Her mouth, always moving, always sucking, and—more and more—smiling back at us, is small and pink. She is still more baby than girl.
I wonder still, as I did during all the months of pregnancy, who this child is, what she will be like, who she will love. She is still a mystery even though she is in my arms, and I pray that we have many years to learn each other as she grows up.1