Originally written on August 20, 2009
This is the story of today. The story of my first appointment. The story of the beginning.
By the time today rolled around, I had fully convinced myself that I had some sort of abnormality going on…a tumor, a distended ovary or my forefront runner on the list….a blighted ovum. I woke up knowing without a doubt that I wasn’t actually pregnant. It couldn’t happen. There were all those indiscretions in college afterall. And then on top of that, God would know better. He knows that I’m not ready. That I don’t deserve it. That I need to struggle like everyone else. All my friends who had suffered over and over with miscarraiges, I knew it would happen to me too. I just knew it.
And I walked into the office with complete certainty.
Jeremy, on the other hand, was thrilled. He kept saying how excited he was. How we would see the baby. And I kept reminding him that things go wrong. That it might not be now. That it might be nothing. And that I was scared.
I was so freaking scared.
Scared of myself. Scared of my fears. Scared of the possibility that I might be wrong.
It just was happening all too soon.
I filled out the paperwork, hoping that I didn’t catch a glimpse of Jeremy’s face. And that smile. Because then I would cry. And nobody wants to cry in a waiting room full of pregnant people. It would probably start a crying epidemic. Like when one person starts barfing…and then everyone can’t handle the smell and then its a verifiable pukefest. That’s exactly what would happen. And pregnant people have lots to cry about…they are about to have their seams ripped open from the inside by a eight pound human. So I kept my eyes forward.
“KATIE BOWER”, the nurse called.
crap. That’s me.
Walking back to the ultrasound room was like the walk of doom. I grabbed Jeremy’s arm. I knew that after this, I couldn’t deny it any longer. It would no longer be a dream. A strange fairy tale. A made-for-tv-movie that I was watching from inside one of the actors. It would be real. Really real. Really really real.
I don’t really remember how I got undressed and draped in a flimsy paper gown. I just remember sitting in the room wondering how cold the ultrasound gel would feel on my skin. And that’s when Ann walked in.
Ann was a middle aged woman with dirty blonde hair and a pleasant smile. Nothing overly memorable. Just simple friendly face and a soft bedside manner. She drilled us down with the basic questions…name, date of last missed cycle, history of pregnancies.
“Ok. Well, everything seems ready to go. Are you ready to see your baby?” she asked.
“uh-huh.” I sighed. Poor sweet ultrasound tech with the high expectations. There is no baby. I would know.
And that is when the dirty blonde started shaking the white lube bottle. OH BOY. Here we go. But then she did something quite unexpected. She squirted it on the giant penile wand next to my shoulder. WHAT THE HECK IS THAT?! AND WHY IS IT SO FREAKIN CLOSE TO MY HEAD?!? My heart started beating fast.
“Um. What’s that for?” I asked.
Ann calmly replied, “Well, the first ultrasound is vaginal. And then the rest are on the belly. Your baby is so small that this way, we can see it up close and personal.”
Up close and personal is right. That thing is supposed to go inside me? Where’s the flirting and the foreplay?! The neck kisses and the heavy breathing?! How did I not remember this? This is important! And more importantly, why don’t they teach you this in school!?! oh…right…I was homeschooled.
“Would you like to insert it? Or your husband? Or I can do it if you prefer.” That dirty blonde was a fast mover, that I knew.
“No. you go ahead.” I said half-heartedly.
And that is when the molestation occured. I may have blacked out. I don’t really remember. I just remember Jeremy grabbing my arm and leaning over me as I got violated by the ultrasound tech and that giant peepee stick. I know at one point my sweet boyfriend said something like ‘oh wow’ as he looked at the screen beside me but the only thing on my mind was this stranger and her weapon of choice. All of a sudden it was very clear. I knew what to do. I knew my course of action. I needed to know this woman’s name. Then I could focus.
“What is your name?” I asked frantically. DANG IT WOMAN GIVE ME YOUR NAME.
“Ann.” She pointed to her name badge.
“WHAT IS YOUR NAME AGAIN?” DID SHE ANSWER BEFORE? HOW DID I FORGET SO SOON?
“Ann.” Her eyes smiled. “It’s Ann”.
“Oh, ok. Ann. Got it.”
Somehow knowing this person’s name made me feel more at ease. Like I could handle what was about to happen. Like I knew somehow that whatever earth-shattering event would happen next…it would be ok. And then I looked at the monitor.
oh. my. gosh.
There is something there. THERE IS SOMETHING IN MY UTERUS.
Ann labeled it as a baby but I wasn’t so sure. It looked like a caterpillar. And that is when she said something about the heart.
OH MY GOSH. THE CATERPILLAR HAS A HEART?
AND WHY AM I STILL GETTING MOLESTED BY THIS WOMAN?!?
The entire experience was surreal. And over in a blink of an eye. The dusty blonde was wrapping up…cleaning her erection-wand and jotting notes down on an electronic tablet. Jeremy was there, sitting back in the chair with his arms folded across his chest and a perma-grin fixed on his face. Me? I still was in a state of shock. I heard her say something about not worrying about the cyst and that it would be ok. But I couldn’t worry about a cyst. A cyst didn’t have a heart. I have bigger fish to fry. Like that caterpillar in my uterus. And that little beating sound.
“Sorry. What’s your name again?” I had to ask one last time…just to be sure.
“Ann, honey. It’s Ann.” And then Ann smiled. And that’s when I knew. I just knew. This sweet woman wasn’t lying to us. She didn’t slip a video into a machine and she didn’t show us someone else’s baby. This was ours. And I was, indeed, pregnant.
Almost instantaneously, I started the rollercoaster of emotion…it’s like my wall of denial and confusion came crashing down. Joy. Fear. Panic. I was pregnant. Literally. Not just pregnant with an emotion. Pregnant with a baby. Pregnant with a baby that had a beating heart. A tiny living beating heart. and it’s alive. 100% alive.