WEDNESDAY, MARCH 6TH
Having to drink 1L of water before the ultrasound and not pee for the next hour was brutal. It's not that I pee that often, but the mental challenge of telling yourself, in your already stressed out mood, to ignore the urge to go the bathroom just made the ultrasound experience that much more worse.
Our appointment was early in the morning and luckily there wasn't too much of a wait once we got to the lab. David was asked to sit outside in the hallway while I got changed into the appropriate robe and entered the hot and cramped room. The tech was nice enough and remained rather neutral the entire time in her tone and expressions. She asked a few basic questions like when my last period was, how did I find out I was pregnant and what the purpose of the test was. I proceeded to lay down and she began her work. I'm not sure what I expected but I certainly wished in that moment that David was there beside me (though there would have absolutely been no room). Click click click was all I could hear. I looked straight up at the ceiling as the screen only faced her, focusing all my energy into not peeing myself as she applied pressure all around my stomach.
Then she said something peculiar. She began to tap my stomach in various areas with the instrument and said "Sorry dear, I'm trying to wake the baby up." Huh? What baby? What is she talking about?! Maybe I'm not hearing her right or her choice of words is a miscommunication. But she continued probing around and tapping. She then said "Baby seems to be sleeping, I'm trying to wake it up." Again, what is she talking about? I can only be about 2 months along, how big could a baby really be at this point?
She asked, to my absolute relief, that I go pee in the hopes that it might wake the baby up. I eagerly went to the washroom, passing David in the hallway. Looks were exchanged and I'm sure he was trying to read mine as carefully as possible, but I had no more information for him than earlier. I quickly went back to the room and laid down so she could continue. I remember entering back into the room and seeing the screen and the previous images she had captured - it all looked pretty empty. New worries began to set in - was the baby too small? Was it not healthy like the doctor had warned us yesterday? Could her inability to locate the baby signify something terrible? I wasn't even sure I wanted this baby yet and here I was already worried that I didn't do my part to give it a fighting chance. More probing, a few more calculated questions like "how did I not know I was pregnant?" or "how far along do you think you are", more strange comments about a sleeping baby until she finally decided that she would need to check me internally as the current set up wasn't working. Thank goodness I had already gone to the bathroom because if she inserted that with my full bladder, there was no way I could hold it back any more.
A few more clicks and then she blurted out "Dear, you're 22 weeks along. See, look here, that's the baby. Let's call in daddy." She immediately got up to open the door to the hallway to call David in. I IMMEDIATELY started to panic. Serious shock took over my body, otherwise a panic attack would have set in for sure. The tech called out in to the hallway 'Daddy, daddy, daddy...' with no luck in getting David's attention. She finally resorted to asking me what his name was and calling him in to the room. Can't blame the guy for not responding to that call. Come to think of it, its the first time anyone addressed him with that title. David walked in to the room and gave me a comforting smile, touched my leg as he stood at the end of the table near the door.
The tech lady, then faced the monitor to us (mainly to me). She reiterated that we were 22 weeks along, 6 months already. She quickly showed us the baby, the spine, arms, legs, head, and briefly played the heartbeat for us to show that it was strong. I could sense David's aura change in that moment. She then told us she didn't have a clear photo but here was at least one picture and told me I could get dressed and we were done. I was left shaking, completely emotionally overwhelmed. I gathered my things and David and I walked back to the car in silence. Tears were already strolling down my face as we walked the hallway before reaching the car.
Within the quiet space, I began to sob...hard. What just happened? How could a full baby have developed without me even knowing? We both wept, faced by the biggest responsibility our lives ever brought our way. What did this mean for us and for our relationship? Were we really going to have a baby? What are our next steps? We sat forever in the parking lot - alternating between tears, silence and concerned conversation. We were paralyzed by the news to know what to do next. We were not prepared for this, especially for it to be so soon. 6 months meant that a baby would be here before we knew it. Words cannot fully capture everything that we felt and said. Seeing the baby in the monitor really profoundly affected us. The baby became very real and it's size could not be denied. Not keeping the baby seemed to push further into the distance as our attachment became more present.
We called various hotlines to get all the information we could about every possibility; again abortion and adoption. I knew that my family doctor worked that day but no one was available to answer until the afternoon so we decided to go home. We called the lab and asked how soon results would come in so we could find out more about the IUD and health of the baby. We laid in bed, looking intensely at the ultrasound and cried some more. For better or for worse, this was our baby.
The day flew past us and David did all he could to be the supportive partner I needed in that moment. He held me and comforted me when my sobs took over my body. I felt like a failure - as a girlfriend and as a prospective mother, like I was so foolish for not knowing all along. I beat myself up over and over again, running through my mind all the basic pregnancy information I knew such as foods that I should have been avoiding but didn't (I literally ate sushi that past Sunday) or my state of health (had my stress the last few months negatively affected the baby?). It was beyond what I could handle. Later that evening, I managed to call the doctor and set up an appointment for the next day and felt better knowing that perhaps some answers were on the horizon.