August 11, 2011

Scan Day

It was a warm and clear night, and we passed the time watching a movie and getting in a 10-minute swim before the pool closed for the evening. Soon it was bedtime, and we felt a sort of peace that didn't make any sense. We had worked at letting go, at trying not to predict the joy or agony of a future we could not see. We had resigned ourselves to the fact that we have no control over the next day's news, and so we slept. Que sera, sera.

Morning came, too early for me, but I rose anyway. I ate half a bagel shortly after 6 a.m. since I was already starving, then hit the shower and began the routine of the day. Of course, this routine was interrupted by a morning visit to the doctor. This was the day of the big, fat ultrasound scan. The one that would tell me my future or at least the next year of it. I refused to project reactions and just prayed a little.

We drove to the doc's office, listening to music or talk radio or whatever, and still felt that peace. We walked through an adjoining hospital corridor and I remarked on how I hate the smell of hospitals. It scares me and makes me wonder if that is what death smells like.

We waited for several minutes in the lobby. DH went for a glass of water, and I was called back. Once inside the scanning room, DH showed up just after the technician who came in quickly and announced that she would do a belly scan. No wand necessary. I held my breath, reluctant to look at the screen. She was silent for a moment, getting the scanner into position.

Time stood still for just a moment.

The tech exclaimed "Oh, there's your baby!" And then... there it was. A baby squirming around in a sac of fluid, practically showing off to us to say "I'm still here!" Perfect shape, perfect heartbeat, perfectly measuring at 13 weeks, perfectly normal. I just laid there with my mouth open, incredulous at the fact that this was actually inside my body (except for swallowing the lump in my throat). Due date is somewhere near Valentine's Day. Nothing ironic about that, I'm sure.

The front view of the face, with the baby's still-translucent skin and visible skeleton, was kinda creepy. The tech gave us several photos. The doc answered what few questions we had. The assistant took blood (for the initial chromosome screening). And that was that.

Since I was hungry again, we stopped for a breakfast sandwich. Somewhere in that next half hour I decided - I am just going to embrace hope. I know, anything's still possible. But I do take comfort in those measurements, those movements, that heartbeat, and the fact that I'm officially in the second trimester. The facts are winning the argument over my fears.

Late this afternoon, DH opened a bottle of Cava (Spanish sparkling white wine) and I enjoyed a few sips. We toasted the (near) future, and I let him finish my glass. It was a good day.