Sea’s neat writing on the calendar marked today’s big event:
This morning was the first ultrasound.
Confession: I had spent most of yesterday terrified, convinced that I was going to see blood every time I went to the bathroom, worried that we wouldn’t see anything today. But this morning I woke up less afraid and more excited. We had breakfast, packed up the holy water, and headed out the door.
We were called in for the ultrasound quickly, by one of the ultrasound technicians I rarely see. The room was the same one where I had had my first Clinic One ultrasound, months ago. Under the dim lights the piles of paper sheets and endless baby pictures taped to the walls looked the same, only now the ultrasound technician was smiling and Sea was coming to sit in the chair beside the table. I quickly took a sip of the holy water and went to lie down. The ultrasound technician found the sac and, smiling and making approving noises, began to take measurements. A couple of minutes later she turned the screen towards me and Sea: she pointed out the yolk sac, the embryo and, then, the beating heart. I may have said “wow”. I may not have said anything. I don’t remember: all I remember is that pulsing dot on the screen. Too quickly she turned the screen back towards her and finished the measurements. As I sat up, I told her that we had wondered about twins given the high beta numbers and that, honestly, I was relieved to see just the one overachieving embryo. “Hmm, let me take another look”, she responded, practically shoving me back down on to the table. She did another scan of my uterus, but the embryo remained a lone wolf.
As I pulled my pants back on and Sea and I turned to leave the technician pushed a printout into our hands: “Here, take your baby.”
After that we met with the fourth doctor, Dr. Text having decided not to show up to work today. The fourth doctor seems somehow less competent in comparison to the bored professionalism of the others, and I watched skeptically as he fiddled with the paper due date calculator on his desk. According to the fourth doctor, we’re due on November 10th (though all calculators I’ve used say the 11th). We’re to come back in a week for another ultrasound, and then for another two weeks after that. NT scan at 12 weeks and then a referral to an OB. I told the fourth doctor that I would be seeing my own doctor next week, and that we hadn’t yet decided between an OB and a midwife. He took this in stride and sent us on our way with a quick congratulations and instructions to get another blood test to check my TSH levels.
The woman taking my blood asked me if I was a Catholic and talked about Sunday mass, while cheerfully taking blood from the back of my hand. Then we were done. We left Clinic One and headed to our respective offices, that first photo tucked neatly into the front pocket of Sea’s purse.
Total Ultrasound Count: 29/1