Chapter Eight

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"Well, Mr. and Mrs. Ellis, you are indeed pregnant. I'd say just beginning your eleventh week." Dr. Sumner gave them a huge smile.

"Wait. Eleven weeks already?" Mathew looked at Sunny. "That would mean..."

"That you were sampling more than just creole cuisine during that surprise weekend trip to New Orleans." She gave him a playful look.

"You've missed two periods, is that correct?" the doctor asked.

"Yes, but I also had major surgery, remodeled a house, and planned a wedding all within the last several months. I thought initially that I skipped because of stress. Then I started feeling extremely tired."

"The classic first symptom. Now today, we'll do a full work up. Complete medical history, external and internal exams, along with an ultrasound. The urine test provided us with the proof, but we'll also need to draw blood to confirm things like you Rh factor, certain immunities, and so forth—all standard procedure. If everything looks alright on today's ultrasound, we won't do another one until the twentieth week. At that time, we should be able to determine the baby's sex if the fetus is cooperative in positioning and you two have the desire to know."

"I'll already know." Mathew shot Sunny a look.

"Making wagers already? I must tell you, I've been in this business for twenty-six years and the moms beat the dads two to one on guessing the sex. So just be prepared." He gave them a good-humored wink.

"Do you have children of your own?" Sunny asked him.

"Yes, I have four daughters. One in every step of the educational system. College, high school, junior high and elementary."

"And did you and your wife make any bets along the way?" She asked him again.

"We sure did and I lost every time. The last one really cost me—a week in Maui. I thought for sure the fourth time would be the charm and I'd get myself a deep sea fishing partner. But it all worked out in the end. My baby girl can cast like no man I know."

After the physical exams were complete, Mathew helped Sunny up and they strolled down the hall to wait for the ultrasound. Dr. Sumner would be joining them after the results were ready, but the actual procedure would be with a technician. They sat alone and waited, neither saying a word. After several moments, Mathew spoke.

"Are you thinking what I'm thinking?"

"Is this really happening?" 

"There's a baby in there," he whispered, pointing to her stomach.

"I know!" she squealed.

The technician entered, smiling and extending her hand to them to both. She sat down on a small rolling stool beside the examination table. "This technology is very effective and we should be able to see the fetus even though it's no bigger than a cherry at this stage. Any questions before we start?"

Sunny shook her head and looked at Mathew. "I'm good. Babe?"

"No, I'm ready."

The technician turned the lights down and typed information into the ultrasound machine. Mathew laced his fingers with Sunny's.

"Now I just want you to try and relax as much as possible. You will feel some pressure from the probe, much like during a regular exam. Just keep breathing."

Sunny watched the monitor intently, unsure exactly what she would see. Then, she saw it—a tiny little mass, swimming and moving and kicking.

"Now that's one beautiful baby, don't you think?" The technician smiled as she talked them through what they saw on the screen. "All of your baby's vital organs have been formed and are starting to work together. Fingers and toes have begun to separate and the little tadpole tail has disappeared now. All your baby's internal organs are developing, along with the formation of tooth buds inside the mouth."

"How big is he?" Sunny asked.

"About an inch long, weighing just a few grams. A tiny little peanut."

"It's so strange to watch all the movement because I can't feel a thing."

"But you will before you know it, and the first flutters are the best."

"So does everything look good? Healthy, I mean?" Mathew asked.

"Everything looks great. Let's print out some pictures. Never too early to start that photo album." She continued to enter more information into the machine and within moments, several black and white images emerged. Just as they were done printing, Dr. Sumner entered.

"How does everything look?" He smiled at the technician.

"Just as you predicted. Right on target with your due date." She handed the scans to the doctor.

"These look good. What a photogenic baby you have. I'm sure the Easter Bunny will have a special treat for this baby." He gave them another smile. "I think you have an uneventful, textbook pregnancy ahead of you—the best kind to have."

Mathew extended his hand to Dr. Sumner. "Thank you so much. We're really excited."

"Just be sure she takes her prenatal vitamins, gets plenty to eat and plenty of rest."

"I'll see to it." Mathew nodded.

"Now when you leave, you'll be given a goody bag filled with all sorts of information. The do's and don'ts of the next few months. Please read over everything, and give us a call if you have any questions. And if ever something doesn't feel right, call us. You know your body better than anyone, so listen to what it has to say."

"I will. Thank you, Dr. Sumner." Sunny shook his hand.

"Our receptionist will set up your next appointment on your way out. I want to see you back here in four weeks."


Inside the elevator, they rode hand in hand down to the parking garage. They spoke no words, but shared the sweetest of conversations with their eyes. He swung her arm back and forth as they walked to his car. Just as she reached for the handle, he caught her hand and turned her around to face him.

"I have never been happier than I am at this moment in my entire life. I am so in love with you, Sunny Parker Ellis, you and this baby and I'm telling you right now, you can have the bet. I just want to tell everyone."

"I love you so very much, Mathew."

"And I love you...both." He touched her cheek.

"This baby is so lucky to have you."

"We're both lucky because we have you."

Mathew took several steps back. He continued to hold her gaze, lifting his arms up and shouting in joyful declaration to the city around them.

"I am so in love with this beautiful woman and now we're having a baby!"

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