A Sonogram Story
February 16, 2005
Confidential to my coworkers who may be wondering what happened to that entire box of Girl Scout Thin Mint Cookies that disappeared from the kitchen about 30 seconds after it appeared: It wasn't me. I swear.
By the time I got to the ultrasound appointment, I was only thinking about my bladder. My furtive prayers and soul-selling bargains with God had switched from "please don't let anything be wrong with my baby" to "please please please don't let me pee myself on the elevator."
Making a woman show up for a medical appointment with a full bladder is mean. Our bladders are always full, and we always have to pee. Just ask anyone who has ever driven anywhere with us.
Making a pregnant woman show up for a medical appointment with a full bladder is just fucking sadistic. Making her fill out insurance forms while she's visibly fighting back tears and hopping around on one foot is perhaps the most evil thing that can be done to a human being.
I ended up bolting for the bathroom by the time I got to the line asking for my employer's information, because OH MY GOD, I DON'T REMEMBER WHERE I WORK, BUT I REMEMBER THAT THERE ARE TOILETS THERE. Then I stuck my head under the sink faucet and desperately tried to drink enough water to ensure a re-filled bladder within the next five minutes.
(By the way, Jason witnessed all of this and thinks I am the most insane person ever. But it's okay because I got to witness him reading a pregnancy & baby magazine in the waiting room, which he picked up OF HIS OWN FREE WILL.)
I was still recovering from my near-miss bladder explosion when we were called back by the most adorable ultrasound technician ever. She looked exactly how an ultrasound technician should look. Cute and round and sort of fluffy. I don't know. Post-urination euphoria or something. All I know is that she warmed up the ultrasound goo before putting it on my belly, and I love her.
In the 15 seconds it took for her to locate my uterus, the screen was blank and empty and completely devoid of anything remotely baby-like, and I realized that I was not pregnant after all and was going to have a very difficult time explaining to Jason why I've been demanding so much Kraft Macaroni & Cheese this past week. Then I felt bad for wasting our soft and pretty technician's time.
"And there's your baby!" she said.
I think I said something supremely stupid at this point. Like, "Really? For real?" Like she was lying.
And she zoomed in, and yes, there it was. Tiny and sort of oblong but undoubtably embryo-like.
I don't remember who grabbed whose hand first, but suddenly Jason and I were squeezing the hell out of each other's fingers.
And then I saw the flicker. Jason raised his finger to point and the tech said, "And there's the hearbeat! See it flickering?"
And I let out the breath I think I've been holding in for about a month.
She ordered me to lie still and then turned up the volume.
THUMP THUMP THUMP THUMP THUMP THUMP THUMP THUMP
And then there were tears and some laughing and a lot of "oh my Gods" and she turned to us and told us Happy Valentine's Day and I suddenly realized that this RIGHT HERE was the greatest moment of my entire life.
"About 160 beats-per-minute," she told us, which meant nothing to either of us, so we just nodded studiously. (However, if you're playing the Guess-the-Gender-Old-Wives-Tale-a-Thon, heart rates above 140 supposedly mean a girl, but not necessarily at this early stage, and really, not ever.)
Then it was kind of a boring blur as she took images and measurements of all sorts of random things. Cervix, check. Right ovary, check. Left ovary, check. Big honkin' cyst on left ovary, check.
Secret, persistant fears of a tubal pregnancy because of the twinges of pain on my left side? Rendered stupid and obsolete. Stupid cyst. Don't eat my baby.
Then it was back to the center square for one last look at the baby and another listen to the heartbeat. The baby measured right on schedule, which means my baby can officially be named the first Spawn of De-Lurking Day, and now you all know what I was doing on January 5, 2005, and that it was not responding to my hundreds of de-lurking comments like I claimed to be doing.
She printed out two pictures for us (one with arrows pointing at the wee blob and helpfully labeled "BABY"), but unfortunately they don't offer the heartbeat as an MP3 file for your iPod. It's like living in the Dark Ages, I swear.
Also, I do not own a scanner, so I can't post the ultrasound pictures until someone a) Buys me a scanner, or b) Shows me how to use one at work for illicit personal reasons, which I'm sure is allowed, except that I'm too shy to ask a coworker to help me scan photos of my womb.
Afterwards, Jason and I went out for a Valentine's Day dinner at a very nice restaurant, where I could not eat a thing, because the entire restaurant smelled like scallions.
Jason: (sniffs) I don't smell anything.
Amy: I cannot believe you don't smell the scallions.
Jason: Well, here's something that might take your mind off...
Amy: I mean, MY GOD, does the kitchen put scallions on everything? Do they think people really like scallions that much?
Jason: I'm sorry, babe, but like I was saying...
Amy: NOBODY likes scallions that much. NOBODY.
Jason: (gives up, practically throws Tiffany's box at scallion-obsessed wife)
Yep. That's a sterling silver baby rattle. Baby's First Tiffany's. This is going to be one spoiled little Tadpole.*
Anyway. Keep on with the thumping, Tadpole. We'll see you in about 12 weeks to nose around your private parts and such. And if you're good***, we'll buy you some more expensive shiny things.
*I have been ordered by both my mother and Jason** to stop calling the baby Eraserhead. Apparently, it's "weird" and "gross" or "something."
**We now know that Jason does not read this site as often as he claims, as he was unaware of the whole Eraserhead nickname until I told him about it, and while he was not amused, we are all free to talk about him as much as we want, because he'll never know.
***You totally don't have to be good. We will spend money on you anyway.