Thursday, February 10, 2011

Patience Has Its Rewards

The ultrasound appointment on Monday was excruciating. I had to drink 32 oz of water an hour before the appointment, and I was not allowed to let it out until after the ultrasound. My appointment was at 12:45, I didn't get into the lab room until nearly 1:30.

I could not sit while I waited. Tallu's dad kept her occupied while I filled out paperwork and willed myself to resist the urge to run to the bathroom. I told the intake lady I was in for a pregnancy ultrasound and really had to use the bathroom. When we finished our exchange she told me to tell the lab people that I was "very full," and they'd know what to do. She also asked me to tell her the results of the ultrasound.

"Very full" is like "abracadabra!" I still had to wait for those who had appointments before me, but the lab receptionist relayed my message, and a tech hustled me into the room. This lady was cordial, but cut right to business. She explained that she had to get lots of measurements, and my bladder had to be full to get the best images of the baby. She also wasn't going to do a lot of talking, and she'd let me see the screen when she got every image she needed. The tech was swift and sympathetic. We bonded over the cruelty of making a pregnant woman drink so much water and hold it in while a stranger puts warm liquid on the belly and presses right on the bladder. She also turned the screen so I could see what was happening inside, and shared the sex of the baby as soon as she saw it, after asking if I wanted to know.

I told her my husband and daughter were in the waiting room, and they'd be excited when I told them the news. She asked for Tallu's age, which is much younger than what the hospital allows into the exam room. The tech asked about my daughter's temperament, and I said she was a calm child who's been to all my prenatal appointments. I was allowed a bathroom break; the rest of my family was waiting in the exam room when I returned. They were able to see the baby in real time on the screen, moving around. Big Sis was excited, and said the baby was cute. The tech talked us through the pictures she was taking now, how far along I am, and that my due date is two days earlier than estimated. She also, very casually, pointed out the baby's legs and sex organs. Once Tallu's dad realized what she was saying he explained who we were looking at on the screen to Tallu.

The tech printed three pictures for us: two profile pictures, and the baby's hand grabbing at his penis. We, the parents, requested that last print-out.

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