This one’s a little late, I haven’t been busy or anything I just keep forgetting. Probably mostly pregnancy brain, and also being tired all the time doesn’t make remembering easier.
A couple of weeks ago, September 9th to be exact, we had our first ultrasound appointment. For an ultrasound at 20 weeks you have to drink an obscene amount of liquid before you go. They need your bladder full in order to get a good image of your cervix, your bladder swells as it fills and since it’s behind your cervix it pushes it closer to the surface. At this point in pregnancy a bladder that had anything in it is typically uncomfortable, let alone a full one. My baby, of course, was also offended by my bursting balloon of a bladder and decided to kick and punch it in an effort to pop it. It made for a very uncomfortable wait. Lucky for me though I was allowed to go pee since I would “fill right back up” as they put it, sweet relief.
When you get into the exam room they tuck a towel over your pants and shirt so they don’t get any of the gel on it. Lucky for me they had a gel warmer, so it was weirdly hot goo that they squirted on me. Then begins the actual exam, they take the wand and press it right were the buttons for (normal) pants sits. This is to take a couple snapshots of your cervix, pushed forward by your full-to-bursting bladder. The pressure they exert on this part of your abdomen does not help the need to pee. Luckily though after they’re done with that picture you don’t need a full bladder anymore, so they let you go to the bathroom.
Once back on the table the fun stuff begins. They zip that wand around your stomach like crazy and measure a million little things about your baby; head size, length from wrist to elbow, knee to foot, knee to hip. They check the heart, take pictures of the kidneys, look at the umbilical cord. It’s all very important and used by your doctor to analyze the health and size of your baby at this point in gestation.
Meanwhile you won’t be able to get over the fact that it looks like an actual human. This little thing, which if you’re me you’ve been suspicious as to whether it’s actually there or not, is most definitely there. It’s a person and it’s tiny and it’s growing inside you. Seeing my baby move its little arms and legs was so crazy I can’t describe it to you. It’s overwhelming in a good way, and a feeling of happy contentment that you really have to experience in order to understand.
For my husband it was also surreal. Baby was big enough I could feel movement, but still small enough that he really couldn’t yet. So for him seeing this little baby wiggle all around on the screen really mesmerized him. My favorite quotes are: “Wow, it moves like that inside you? Like, all the time?” “Wow, it has actual little fingers and everything” and”That’s so crazy”
He was truly at awe with what he was seeing. I caught him later that night looking at the ultrasound photos I had laid on the table. He was just standing there in his bathrobe smiling and looking. My husband has changed, is changing, ever so much with each passing week and month. Sitting in that room though and watching him watch our baby wiggle around it’s almost as if I could see the glittery power of dadhood drift down on him. Like when the fairy godmother makes Cinderella’s dress. Bippity-boppity fatherhood. Seeing that change in him, and our little human partying on that ultrasound… there’s nothing better.