The stereotypical thing that pregnant women say when asked about their ultrasounds is something about how amazing it was to see their baby, followed by a big BUT and something about how hard it was because they had to pee soooooo badly.
You know? I always thought they were a bunch of whiners. My bladder is incredibly co-operative, and I hardly ever get any grief from it. But pregnancy - well, as we know, pregnancy changes everything! And yes, it is important to have a full bladder during the ultrasound scan, and yes, it is pretty damn difficult! Actually, during the scan wasn't so hard, but the half an hour before hand, while I was at work waiting for Chris to pick me up? I couldn't even summon any concentration to get any work done, because my bladder was yelling at me so loud. I was totally doing the pee-pee dance with my legs under the desk.
Anyway, enough about my bladder, on to the good stuff. We arrived at the clinic and handed in my requisition. I was concerned to see that the place was packed, but having an appointment, I was the second person called after we arrived. Of course, I didn't hear the tech the first time she called me, because she called some lady named "Laura Ellis". The hell? That hasn't been my name for over a year. And yes, it has been changed on my Care Card. But anyway. I followed her into the ultrasound room, which was decorated with several posters of fetal development during pregnancy. Kind of cool. I lay down on the table and rearranged my shirt and pants as needed. She squirted warmish goo all over my belly and began to scan.
During this time, the screen was turned towards the tech, not towards me - I couldn't see anything. Nevertheless, it was not boring, because the tech and I got quite chatty. She'd recognized Lillian's(midwife) name on the requisition and told me that she'd had Lillian for her daughter's birth about 9 months earlier, which was exciting to hear. She also told me about the policies regarding Disclosure of the Sex - in some places, the tech will just tell you, but here in Nanaimo, the tech *may* be able to get a look; then takes some pictures to show the radiologist; the radiologist chooses whether to include the information in his report to my caregiver; and then my caregiver tells me. Round and round we go. Anyway, it turns out that Baby Buechler (not Ellis!) had its little legs crossed right in front of the crotch, so nothing was visible anyway. Coy little baby.
The tech told me that everything looked fine and healthy, and that the heart rate was 151, and that the dating was correct for about 20 weeks. After about 15-20 minutes, she left to go get Chris. When Chris came in, she turned the screen around so that we could see, and showed us our baby for the first time.
It was incredibly amazing.
The best part, by far, was watching Chris. He was quite misty-eyed by the end of it. I could tell that he was slightly frustrated by the physical logistics of the room - instead of tenderly holding my hand as he does when we hear the baby's heartbeat at Lillian's, he was stuck holding my ankle as my entire upper body was blocked by an ultrasound screen. He kept saying, "Wow, that is SO COOL," and other pronouncements of amazement. I think he was more emotional than I was - probably because I have looked at lots of ultrasound pictures online, so I don't think I was quite emotionally tuned in to the fact that what I was looking at wasn't just another baby - it was OUR baby!
The tech scanned the baby's head and body, showing us the limbs, the spine, the crossed legs, the face, etc. Then she took a few pictures for us and we were on our way - me back to work with goo on my belly, Chris back to work with a goofy grin on his face.
That afternoon, Chris scanned in the photos and decided to get a little creative. His mom, Karen, is a rabid hockey fan, and follows the Montreal Canadiens. Somehow, Chris managed to use Paint to edit the picture and dress the baby in a Habs jersey and helmet. The payoff for this was when he called his mom after work, put her on speaker phone, and had her check her email while we listened. She laughed uproariously - it was a total hit! He promised to send the "real" pictures afterwards, but I could tell he was so proud of making her laugh like that. He is such a great guy.
So, that is the story of our ultrasound. It isn't twins (though more than one person has asked - am I really that big?), and it's in good health, and the bummer part is that we have to keep referring to it as "it" for a while longer thanks to those crossed legs. But the important stuff - limbs, heart, spine, brain - are all in place, and we are thrilled.