We had the ultrasound done.
Like prisoners being tortured at Guantanamo, we blasted them with loud music at point blank range. While it was happening I kept saying in my head, “Ignore the noise….keep your cells together. Don’t explode. Wait…do you even have ears?”
After discussing our distrust of all things ultrasound with our doctor she highly recommended that we have this first one done just to make sure there wasn’t a life threatening ectopic pregnancy in the works. An ectopic pregnancy is when the fertilized egg implants itself in the fallopian tube rather than in the lining of the uterus. The baby grows and grows and grows and, unlike a goldfish in a little bowl, does not stop. Cletus the Fetus will quickly smash through his fleshy, pink cage, leaving you upset and bleeding to death, wondering, “Where did I go wrong?”
Our doctor let us know that, after this sneak peek, we wouldn’t have to take a gander again if we didn’t want to. We nodded and said, “Stop stallin’! Lube up that magic wand and show us the hearts!”
It was pretty amazing, sitting there, staring at a black and white television set that looked broken, playing back static. I tried to make out shapes – maybe a fist, perhaps a smile or a fetal back flip. I felt ten years old again, trying to catch shapes on my scrambled HBO and achieving nearly the same results.
I saw nothing.
The doctor points and says, “You see that?” Her finger lands on an inkblot, an irregular mole, a booger in a kleenex and says, “That’s your baby”.
It’s a formless monster.
She tells us it’s the size of a lentil bean. I say, “Delicious” and then, “We don’t want to know the sex…just in case you were thinking about telling us, we don’t want to know”. She says she doesn’t know at this point and she says it like I should know this already. “Stupid boy doesn’t know six week old lentil beans don’t have penises. Laymen”.
She shifts the magic wand and a small white blob appears. It pulsates, grows and shrinks, grows and shrinks. Thumb-bump-thumb-bump-thumb-bump. She shifts the wand and shows us another pulsating ball of light. She says, “Those…..are the hearts”. The first thing I think is, “My wife has three hearts in her body. That’s pretty messed up.”
And then I went about my day.
And then, eight hours later, after work, walking to my car, it suddenly hit me. There were two HUMANS living inside my wife. There were TWO of them….and they were coming OUT HERE very, very soon. I sat down in the driver’s seat and thought about it.
My brain exploded.
Sitting here now, I hope we made the right decision about the ultrasound; I hope we didn’t screw up their lives already, as I know there’ll be plenty of time to do that in the years to come through practiced neglect, repeated discouragement and general verbal dissatisfaction
I wonder if this is what parenthood is all about………..a million simple decisions that leave you lying awake at night, wondering if you’ve just monumentally messed up your offspring…
So, that all said, let me show you two pictures of the broken TV in the doctor’s office. Maybe if you put on your 3D glasses, you’ll see a crying lentil bean.
If you happen to see a penis, you’d better not say jack.