I have never been 15 minutes early to a doctor’s appointment in my life. That’s how excited we were.
Today is the day known in some social circles as First Ultrasound Day. The day we would find out if our little tot has a heartbeat or not. The day I would see it on the screen and they would measure it and tell me how big it was and they would print out a copy and I would show it to all of my friends and family and I would have proof that for one day, a healthy baby was growing inside my uterus. See! Look everyone! Look at this baby!
But that was not to be.
As I arrived at my appointment, the upstanding scheduling staff at Columbus OBGYN responded by saying, “You have an appointment with Dr. Charles? Today? No, you don’t.”
Apparently Dr. Charles does not work on Mondays, so they told me I would have to reschedule. I showed them the little card THEY THEMSELVES had written only a few weeks prior that read, and I’m paraphrasing here, “You have an appointment with Dr. Charles for your first ultrasound on May 4 at 10:30 a.m.”
But the great thing about being pregnant is that you can be a total customer service nightmare without thinking twice about it. Normally, the part of your brain that suppresses your selfish side, the side that knows that some other woman had made an honest mistake and that she wasn’t trying to ruin your life, and that it wasn’t her fault and that you should have grace and patience and – that part? Yeah, that button is no longer operational. And you don’t care!
So I basically told the staff, in so many words, that I’d had a miscarriage a few months ago at 10 weeks, and that I had made up my mind that I would have some sort of answer as whether or not I was in for the same fate TODAY, and that I don’t care if the janitor gave me an ultrasound, but I WOULD BE HEARING A HEARTBEAT OR NOT BEFORE I LEFT.
The ladies told me I could be seen by another doctor today, but that since this was my first OB appointment, I’d have to switch to that doctor and wouldn’t be able to be seen by Dr. Charles EVER AGAIN.
So finally, seeing that I was both emotionally distraught and stubborn as a mule, one of the attendees said, “Let’s let her in to see Dr. So-and-so today and before we change her over in the system completely we’ll check with Dr. Charles …”
Finally. Someone started making sense.
So the poor Dr. Whoevertheheckthatwas agreed to meet me for a one night stand. Except she doesn’t do ultrasounds on the first appointment like Dr. Charles does. Sigh.
So all those films I played over and over in my head – the hour-long appointments spent watching the bean flip around in my uterus while Dr. Charles, Seth and I laughed and laughed, just like Dr. Charles had promised it would go down … that was not to be. At least today.
I was thankful that Dr. Whosit agreed to see me, though.
The appointment lasted about 30 seconds. She quickly found a heartbeat with a Doppler, about 155, she said. Seth heard it loud and clear for sure, and obnoxiously began tapping on the chair along with this imaginary sound. The doctor heard it several times, so we were all waiting on me.
It was all sounding like whishy static. I was starting to feel the pressure.
But then, for a few seconds, I think maybe I might have heard the tiny little tank engine that was my baby’s heartbeat. I think!!
Walking out of the doctor’s office, I was not happy, as you might expect, but rather, mad.
I had wanted to see the baby.
Plus, I have had my entire body slathered with ultrasound jelly in the last week, and all I want to do is have someone look inside my uterus for one quick second. WHAT DOES A GIRL HAVE TO DO>!!>!?!?!?! Is there a black market that offers that service around here? Is this ACTUALLY EVER GOING TO HAPPEN>?!
And I’m sorry, but the current ultrasound image implanted in my brain is the grainy picture of a wide-open cervix with a rather heartbeat-less baby, or “product of conception,” on its way out the door. And I would like to replace that tired file with a new image.
And I am a natural doubter, and I wanted to see it. See it. See it. See it. See. It. I cannot emphasize this point enough.
But God, up to his usual trickery, kept that from happening, and I was mad as a rattlesnake. And as usual, he put my husband up to the task of slapping my ungrateful ass back into shape.
“Do you remember how mad you used to get at pregnant women who would complain about their symptoms?” Seth said.
“Yes,” or rather, “Hrmph,” I said, very much not liking where this was going.
“You just heard your child’s heartbeat for the first time,” he said. “Imagine all the women who never get to hear a heartbeat, and what they would think about your attitude right now.”
And that is about when I completely lost it totally forever.
He’s right. I hate him.
In four weeks, I’ll have my first ultrasound. But today? Today I think I just heard my baby’s heartbeat for the first time. But more importantly, I know it’s there. And I have that.
Thank you, Jesus. I’m sorry I’m so crazy.
And special thanks to Tot Two for doing your part and being alive.
Life lessons are happening all over the place. Will it ever end?
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