The Pear Seed

by nicolecallihan

“The secrets that sweep me away” writes Cynthia Ozick, “are generally secrets of inheritance: how the pear seed becomes a pear tree, for instance, rather than a polar bear.”

I was reminded of this yesterday when after having sat rain-soaked in an admitting room for an hour and a half, fearing that C. would miss the whole thing because of a meeting, I was finally led back to the ultrasound room.

“This will be warm,” the technician said and squeezed cold gel onto my belly. She pressed. The screen looked as empty as an unmade bed. “Hmm, fibroid.”

“Is that bad?”

“It’s fine,” and pressed again. Then, finally: the baby. Two arms, two legs, a tiny profile, doing flips. It wasn’t a plum or a lilac bush or a polar bear, it was, indeed a baby.

“Is that the head?” C. asked, and he stood there holding my hand as we marveled at what is and what will be.