First Ultrasound

I always thought that being pregnant would feel magical. I would be a princess, and I’d have something fantastic inside me.  When I sat in a room full of people who didn’t know, I would feel like a queen sitting on some important secret.

It’s not like that.  Instead, it feels like my body has been taken over by something foreign.  It’s not a part of me, it’s not mine, and I don’t feel like it ever will be.  Whatever it is, it’s stronger than me already.  That’s a pretty scary thing to think about.

At the ultrasound yesterday, a very sweet technician told me to undress and sit on the table.  I’d prepared for the event by wearing a short dress and leggings in hopes that I wouldn’t have to get completely naked.  (In other news, it’s convenient that this long shirt or short dress and leggings things is in style now—it leaves room for my bloated belly when my jeans no longer want to button.)  I began to take off my leggings and underwear (with Baby Daddy having gotten comfortable in the corner). 

As my leggings hit my knees, I glanced up at the ultrasound screen, which already showed something grainy, black and white.  Suddenly, it was overwhelming to be in the room with all that equipment, and I was terrified that the kind woman who’d told me to undress wouldn’t be able to find the baby in there.  Even more so, I was scared that she would find a baby in there and just like that, Baby Daddy and I would be responsible for another life.  I cried, and Baby Daddy got up to hug me, my leggings still on my knees.  “It’s scary,” I told him, but I didn’t have the words to explain what exactly was so scary.

I calmed down after a moment and installed myself on the paper-covered table with stirrups.  The technician came back in, arranged a paper cloth over my lap, and lubed up a long white stick.  I barely felt it when she put it inside me, however, because all of a sudden the grainy, black, and white screen was showing the inside of me.  I felt disoriented inside myself, not sure of what I was looking at.  Eventually, the imaged focused.  It looked like a baby.

It actually looked like a baby.

I was kind of shocked and made some stupid unmemorable comments to help myself not get too emotional.  The screen kept focusing in and out, and on one view, the screen showed a little pulse right in the middle of the baby’s chest.  Suddenly that little sound wave that appears on old stereos showed up at the bottom and we could hear:  bump bump bump bump.  So fast and so regular and so strong.  So bizarre, a real thing living inside me already.  I cried again, and Baby Daddy held my hand. 

While the technician continued to find other things inside me (a yolk sack, measurements of my uterus, and only my right ovary, since my left one was busy playing hide-and-seek behind other stuff), I just watched the baby.  It moved, and the technician commented on how active it was.

Oh, no, I’ve thought since then.  I’m going to give birth to my wild, energetic, unstoppable sister.

Watching the baby dance around in there makes me nervous.  It’s another reminder that this child is not a part of me.  This child is its own.  This child is new, never-before-seen, and it’s going to take time for us to get to know each other.  I think everyone talks about how much mothers just know.  It’s going to be really interesting to discover just how much we don’t know.


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