Thursday, June 3, 2010

Stirrups and Sonograms

Today Pete saw more of me than I have ever seen of myself. Today Pete watched me get a Pap Smear. I knew he would. I knew there was no way he was going to stand by my head or blur his eyes and make nervous conversation. I told him exactly what was going to happen while we were waiting for the midwife.

"Guess where this metal beak looking thing goes," I challenged him, raising one eyebrow. Pete rolled his eyes. "It's pretty obvious where that goes."

"Well, I bet you don't know what that does," I said, pointing to a large machine-type object. "What does that do?" Pete asked solemnly. I readjusted myself on the butcher paper and smoothed out my gown. "Oh, oh you just wait." I had no idea what that did.

Amy came in and introduced herself; we chatted for about twenty minutes before she put the gloves on. I told her that Pete has a curious nature, and she offered to give him a front row show.

"See that?" I heard her say to Pete after the metal thing went where it obviously goes. "That's the cervix. That's what's going to dilate to ten centimeters." She made a wide gesture and I said, "Really? That big?" She looked at her hands and said, "Well, no, more like this," and shortened her hands to indicate a space that looked wide enough for a Grade A jumbo egg to fit through.
Pete's head disappeared for a moment. "That's it, right there?" He had no idea what he was looking at, I'm sure. As soon as the exam was over Amy said, "Now I'm just going to feel around a little..." and suddenly her gloved hand was up there. Up, up, up there. "Yeah, I'd say that's about a ten week uterus," she said. Pete swallowed. It echoed.

Amy finished and left the room and I got dressed. "What did you think?" I asked Pete. He nodded a few times. "Fascinating," he said. "It was something." His eyes were a little wider than normal and he didn't seem to be blinking.

A few minutes later we followed Amy to a larger room with dim lighting and impressive machinery. Amy hadn't been able to find the heartbeat with the Doppler, so she wanted to get a quick peek with the sonogram. She put some jelly on my tummy, pressed something cold against my skin; my heart flickered with the screen. There was my baby's head resting in a cradle of shadows; there were my baby's arms and legs flailing in liquid, computerized motion. "I see it!" Pete said, marveling at its head and appendages. I tried to hold still, but every time the little bean on the screen waved, I giggled. "It's a beautiful baby," Amy said, satisfied with the heartbeat and the measurements.

I forgot all of my reservations about high frequency waves--I wished that I could just sit there with my beautiful baby all evening, waving and giggling. I see you, I told the baby through telepathic powers that I've developed over the last ten weeks. You don't know it, but I see you, and even before I saw you, I loved you.

"Okay, I'm convinced," Pete said proudly, and the screen went dark.

(This is just a stock picture--I haven't scanned mine yet. Picture something like this, only 100x cuter.)


Anonymous said...

this is such precious time. you will remember these moments (and all the moments to come) for the rest of your life. so very happy for you!


Laura_Ashley said...

Oh Joy.. I LOVE this! Your happiness just eminates through your writing... thanks for taking us all along for one of the most wonderous rides in a woman's life.. you will be a wonderful mommy!