Viola turns to the tech and smiles with an idea. “Could you write it down and seal it in an envelope for us?” Viola asks, and I want to know what she’s up to. Of course, she notices.
“I thought we could open it on New Year’s.” She’s enjoying torturing me way too much. “As soon as the clock strikes midnight.”
I laugh at her sweet idea. “Let’s do it.”
“This is going to be a little cold,” the tech warns Viola as she spreads the gel on her stomach so the wand will move easily across her skin and there’s no air in between. I feel my heart begin to race as the tech places it on her stomach and moves it around until she lands on a pulsing beat. The room fills with a sound that reminds me of a washing machine. It’s our baby’s heartbeat.
“So, you’ve had no issues since your last appointment?” the tech asks.
“Nope. Everything’s been great.” She glances over at me and smiles genuinely.
“So, have you two picked out any names?”
“Not yet,” we both say at the same time. It’s something we haven’t discussed yet.
I’m in awe that I can see our baby’s face in a 3D image. I glance over at Viola, smiling as tears of happiness stream down her face. I stand up and grab her hand in amazement. “I can see the baby’s mouth and nose.”
“Everything looks perfect,” the tech says with a satisfied smile. “Now I’m just going to take some measurements for the doctor, and then when I get to the lower half of the baby, I’ll let you know so you can look away.”
I’m half-tempted to sneak a glance, but I don’t. I want to share that moment with Viola. It’ll be something just for us.
“I’ll print some images out for you to take home,” she says, clicking some buttons on her machine. Once she’s finished, she sets everything down. “Here are some tissues to wipe the gel off.” Viola takes them and cleans her belly. It suddenly feels so real.
The tech hands us the 3D images, and we’re both in awe.
“I can’t believe we can see so much detail already.”
“I think it’s going to look a lot like you,” I say, examining the images.
“Yeah?” she asks with hopefulness in her tone.
“Yup. Just add some glasses, a tiny wand in their hand, and voila! Miniature Viola.”
“Very funny!” She wrinkles her nose and pulls her shirt back down. “Well, he or she will clearly have good taste in books.”
“Clearly,” I mock.
She stands up, and I hold her in my arms and kiss her hair and tell her how much I love her. “We’re having a baby,” I whisper. “We’re really having a baby.”
“I’ve got a surprise for you,” Travis says as we head down the highway in the opposite direction of the hospital. The streets and houses are decorated with Christmas lights, and I think about how this will be our first Christmas together as a couple. He interlocks his fingers with mine and squeezes. When we pull up to the mall, I laugh at his choice of location.
“You’re bringing me to the mall?”
“Thought you’d want to see Santa.” He chuckles. “Actually, I’d like to spoil the shit out of you and my little prince.”
“Prince? So you think it’s a boy?” I grab the envelope out of my purse and wave it around. Inside on a piece of paper is the sex of our baby, and while I’m so tempted to rip it open, I don’t.
His eyes widen. “New Year’s. It’s not too far away. Just a couple of weeks.”
I lean over and kiss him, and he places his hand on the back of my head and pulls me even closer. We get out of the car and walk into the mall. Twinkling Christmas lights are strung from the trees, and it’s so damn crowded that I almost second-guess this decision. Travis grabs my hand, and we walk through different stores, and he asks me questions about things I like. The next store we walk into is a baby store. He finds a onesie that has a crown on it and buys it immediately.
“But it’s blue,” I state.
“It’s because we’re having a boy. But if we have a little girl, I’ll still dress her in it,” he chuckles.
“If we have a little girl, you’re going to be that scary dad with tattoos that doesn’t let her date, ever.”
“Damn straight. And she’ll have a big strong uncle that carries a gun and handcuffs. No dating until she’s thirty. I’m serious.”
I shrug with a grin. “She’ll just sneak around. Seriously, look who her parents are.”
“We don’t have to worry about it because we’re having a boy.”
“Okay, whatever you say.”
As we walk past Victoria’s Secret, he turns and gives me a smirk.
“Don’t even think about it. I’m a house. The last thing I feel is sexy.”