Monday, July 25, 2011

A portent of things to come?

Last week, due to a scheduling snafu, we had an ultrasound. Of course it was amazing watching you kick and flail around, and I wouldn't trade a moment of seeing you - our little Batman - doing your in-utero thing, but it was a little annoying to lie there covered in goo for twenty minutes while a suspiciously dispassionate radiologist tried to figure out how many centimeters long you were...only to discover that you were exactly one millimeter too short to get accurate results on that particular test.

Now, I have some strong opinions about the ethical soundness of any prenatal screening that is not explicitly necessary, but knowing if you would have a substantial disability seemed like a pretty smart bit of information to have. Your father and I know that having a child with a disability would be a major challenge for both of us, and if it was even possible to know what we might be up against (if there was anything more than a completely dependent, teensy human being to be up against), it would definitely make us feel more...something. Prepared? Not completely lost? Capable of doing tons of anal-retentive research in advance? In any case, we knew it was worth coming back a week later to give the doctors the proper images to accurately complete the screening.

Of course, the only appointment during the next week was at 8:00AM. If your tiny developing nubbin of a brain hasn't somehow figured it out yet, you will quickly once you're out here: your parents are NOT morning people. I can fake it when I need to, like during the school year when I need to be awake at 5:00AM to be in the car by 6:00AM and at work an hour away before 7:15AM. I am not exactly pleasant to be around, but I am awake and at least passably safe to drive. (Ironically, there is substantial scientific evidence supporting my claim that this is just unfairly early to make kids - or anyone - do anything meaningful, but school departments seem to have deaf ears.)

Suffice to say, we stumbled in to the appointment bleary-eyed with me almost as nauseous as I was in the weeks before I had to go on anti-nausea medication. I had to choke down an ungodly amount of water before the appointment, because the sadists who developed fetal ultrasound technology decided that nothing went better with being prodded in the gut with a dull piece of plastic like needing to piss like a racehorse. Your father was wonderful, as usual, holding doors and hands, keeping the mood light, and refraining from the copious amounts of belly-tickling I could tell he really wanted to impose on me. I sat down in the fancy ultrasound chair, and after the (this time suspiciously overenthusiastic) technician started prodding away, things took a turn.

No, literally. I had to be flipped practically upside-down in order to get a clear image of you in the right pose, and even then, it was just barely "close enough" to what the doctors wanted. Batman, this had better not be the first occurrence of a pattern, because you oh-so-adorably refused to take the position they needed to see your friggin' spine. There you were, bouncing away happily, alternately curled up into a little shrimp and semi-straightened out...but facing my back. I flipped on my left side, and you...did nothing different. The radiologist repeatedly jiggled my guts violently with the ultrasound wand, and you...waved your arm a little bit, possibly giving us the finger, then did nothing different. The fancy chair got tilted backwards far enough for me to truly understand the meaning of the phrase "floating teeth" while all the jiggling and flipping was still underway and yet...there you sat, squinched adorably into a little ball, chin tucked to chest and arms still lingering suspiciously close to a flipped bird.

The radiologist (and seriously, this woman was like a goddamn cheerleader) kept calling you a "snuggler," which I certainly hope turns out to be true, but geez, dude: are you going to be this stubborn? Both your parents were stubborn little jerks often throughout childhood (your father more than me), and if a half hour of just not doing anything close to what we needed you to do is any indicator, we may have a long road ahead. Thankfully, we both know how to handle stubborn; one truly cannot, as the homies say, play a player. In any case, the ultrasound looked great, and (after I had the greatest pee in the history of humankind) I can look back on the experience as your first adorable attempt at defiance. Aww...memories!

1 comment:

  1. It's not just pregnant women - anyone that gets a pelvic ultrasound has to have a very full bladder so that they can see better. I had one a few years ago and it was torturous. It's like the techs purposely push as hard as they can into your bladder to make you even more uncomfortable than you already are.