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The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Lucy Gao: Mother-to-be hopes to help expectant mothers see their babies for the first time

City College student Lucy Gao, biology major, poses for a photo in the City College photo studio . April 25, 2016. Hector Flores, Staff Photographer. |
City College student Lucy Gao, biology major, poses for a photo in the City College photo studio . April 25, 2016. Hector Flores, Staff Photographer. | [email protected]

Bobbie Vang, Guest Writer. | [email protected]

There she sat in discomfort on the red picnic table. Her back was straight and tall. But her round belly was bulging. She looked down at her stomach to measure the distance from the table. She made sure it was out of harm’s way. Then she gave her belly a warm smile and caressed it.

“He’s asleep,” she says.

Lu Gao, known as Lucy, is 23 years old. She is in her first pregnancy. The City College student is eight months pregnant and expecting a boy. Going through pregnancy for the first time led surprisingly to a new career: sonography.

“Being able to hear his heartbeat — it was the most incredible thing,” says Gao. “And I want to be able to share that with other mothers out there.”

She say she has decided to major in biology and pursue a certificate that will allow her to give sonographs to patients.

Gao came to City College in the fall semester of 2014 with hopes of finding a career. She previously attended the California Art Institute in Sacramento, but could not find the career she was searching for in animation. It was not until her second ultrasound experience that she found her career.

Denise Luong, Gao’s friend since 2007 and her baby’s godmother, introduced Gao to the idea of sonography as a career at the beginning of this semester.

“It seems like a job she would enjoy,” says Luong, whose major is nursing, “especially since you’re getting to witness couples getting together and having a baby. You get to witness that process, and I think because Lucy is now pregnant herself — she’ll enjoy that.”

Gao says that the “first-hand experience” of seeing her son made her “light up.”

Gao is the oldest in her family and was born in China. She, her parents and her brother came to the United States in September of 2000. She started first grade that year. She was turning 7 years old.

Her friends describe her as persevering, cheerful, reliable and a “straight-for- ward” person who embraces all her struggles, especially since she comes from a traditional Chinese family.

“I like how positive she is and how willing she is to take on life no matter where it brings her,” Luong says. Gao says the pregnancy was unplanned, but she does not mind coming to college while pregnant.

“Never once has she described her pregnancy as ‘undesirable,’” says Luong, “and she always sees it as such a fortune. And I don’t think many people can do that, especially since we are so young.”

Gao says she is at a “good age” to have children. She also says that pregnancies vary from person to person, as well as when people are ready to have children.

Joann Ngai, Gao’s friend since 2006 and another of her baby’s godmothers, says that she is “very happy” for Gao’s pregnancy after the struggles Gao faced of getting kicked out of the house by her parents — not once, but twice.

“Even though she was struggling, she was still happy about it,” says Ngai. “She didn’t seem, like, sad during those times because she had support from her friends. And that just left an impression.”

Wendy Tram, another longtime friend and another godmother, describes Gao’s struggles from their teens as “crazy obstacles.”

Tram says she is “really excited” for Gao’s pregnancy.

“She’s a really close friend of mine,” says Tram. “She’s the first one out of my close friend group to have a child. So, yeah, it’s really nice.”

Tram, Luong and Ngai say they can’t wait to see Gao’s son and spoil him with the same love that they have for his mother.

“It’s really nice seeing her having her own family,” says Tram, “because it’s like seeing a new chapter in her life.”

Gao, still sitting tall and in discomfort, caresses her belly once more. She jokes to her son that “it would be a total nightmare if my water broke in the middle of my finals.”

She then tells him she can’t wait to meet him on May 24 — her due date.

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