Chapter 2: JAMIE:
It was the day of the ultrasound, and I’d been fighting tears all day. Chase had called me the day before to tell me he had an interview today and wouldn’t be at the appointment. I knew it was silly. I knew it was just an ultrasound. At least, that was what I told myself to keep myself calm. He’d be here if he could.
Right? It was hard not to question everything, with the way my emotions were running rampant.
I sat in the waiting room, reading through old text conversations between Chase and I, just to feel any kind of a connection with him. My heart was in my throat, my eyes burning. A nurse in maroon scrubs called my name, and I followed her down a short hallway, where she weighed me, and then ushered me into a dimly lit room. I slid onto the elevated chair, my phone clutched in my fist, waiting for the technician.
My phone buzzed in my hand and I slid the green icon across the lock screen to open the text thread. You have wifi access right now?
I went through the requisite steps to access the guest wifi for the doctor’s office, and then texted him back. Yep. Why?
The three dots in a gray bubble appeared, and his response came through a few seconds later. I put the interview on hold until after your appointment. FaceTime me.
I put my hand over my mouth and held back a sob. He’d found a way to be here anyway. I sucked in a deep breath to calm myself, hating how emotional I was all the time. I’d never been the kind of girl to cry at every little thing, so this was especially frustrating, since I couldn’t stop it. The technician came in and sat down in her chair, greeting me. She was a thin, younger woman with black hair cut in a short bob, and she had the coldest hands I’d ever felt.
The nurse tapped at the keyboard, slid my shirt up, lined the waistband of my yoga pants with a white towel before slathering the frigid blue goo on my belly.
“Is it okay if I have my husband on the phone with me for this?” I asked her. “He couldn’t be here for the appointment, but he wants to involved.”
“Sure,” the technician responded without looking away from her screen.
I tapped the FaceTime button on my phone and after a few rings, Chase’s face appeared on the screen of my iPhone. I smiled at him and we talked about the upcoming interview forSpin. When the nurse began sliding the wand across my stomach, Chase asked me to show him what was going on. I turned the phone around and showed him to the nurse, who flashed him a distracted and slightly irritated smile, which turned to awe when she realized who he was. I showed him the ultrasound equipment, and then focused on the screen showing the baby.
The nurse hit a key and the room was filled with the distorted thumpthump—thumpthump of the heartbeat, and Chase gave a choked laugh at the sound. “Is that the heartbeat?” he asked.
“Yes,” the nurse replied. “And it’s a good one. I’m gonna see if I can get a good shot at the gender now.”
I swiveled the phone so I could see Chase, and felt love for him ripple through me at the emotions I saw written on his features.
“Where are you?” I asked him.
“I’m in the hotel room in Columbus,” he replied. “The guys are all down in the conference room waiting for the interview to start.”
“Oh, here, look!” The nurse pointed at the screen, holding the wand low on my belly at an angle.
I turned the phone so Chase could see the monitor clearly. There was a blob of white against grainy black, moving and shimmering as the baby wiggled inside me. I couldn’t make anything out at first, but then I realized what I was seeing.
“It’s a girl, Chase, you see it?” My throat was thick as I spoke, and I mentally cursed the damned emotions.
“I see, baby. I see. It’s a girl. Our daughter.” He was equally as emotional, so I didn’t feel as embarrassed by my own.
I turned the phone back to me, seeing a single tear streak down Chase’s face. “God damn it, Jay. I wish I was there with you. We’re having a daughter. A baby girl.” He wiped his face and forced a laugh out. “It didn’t seem really real until now, you know? Seeing it there on the screen made it…god. Fuck, I’m really going to be a father.” He scrubbed his palm over his scalp, which was now darkened by growing hair.
“I know what you mean,” I said. “I knew it was real because I’m the one with the baby growing inside me, but this makes it all the more real.”
“Do you guys have a name picked out?” the nurse asked.
“We’ve discussed a few,” I said. “He likes Beth and I like Samantha. We haven’t decided yet.”
“Actually,” Chase cut in, “I’ve been thinking, and I want to go with Samantha. Sam.”
I looked at him in surprise, seeing the satisfaction cross his face. “Are you sure?”
“Yeah, I’m sure.” He smiled at me, and I wished I could run my fingers down his cheek. “Samantha Delany. It’s got a great ring to it, don’t you think?”
I could only nod until I had control of myself. So damn emotional. Ugh. I sucked in a deep breath and smiled at him. “Yeah, it does. Sam Delany.” I laughed. “I knew you’d see things my way.”
“Don’t I usually?” He asked.
The nurse smiled at our conversation as she continued to tap keys and shift the wand. “The rest of the appointment is just taking measurements and stuff. I heard Dad mention an interview, so if you have to go, you won’t be missing anything dramatic.”
I blew a kiss at the phone. “Call me after the interview,” I said.
“I will,” Chase said. “I’ve been told I have a couple days between shows after Columbus, so I’m going to fly back. We’ll do the nursery all in pink or whatever you want then, okay?”
I said goodbye, and we hung up. As the appointment wound down, I found myself alternating between a confusing welter of emotions. I was ecstatic at the thought of having a daughter, and I was so grateful to Chase for making the effort to be as involved as possible in the ultrasound; on the other hand, I was still terrified.
I stopped in the hallway as the thought hit me. I’d been skirting it for awhile, but now it was out there. I was terrified. I’d never had to take care of anyone but myself. Even now that I was married to Chase, I was still basically independent most of the time. I’d held babies on a handful of occasions, when friends had them, but that was it. I had never interacted with a baby for longer than ten or fifteen minutes.
And Chase would be gone for much of it.
Could I do this?