I had my second ultrasound on today. This one was to check for a fetal pole and heartbeat, which weren’t visible at last week’s ultrasound. This one was at a different facility and my husband wasn’t allowed to join. The technician, a tough Russian woman, warned me that she wouldn’t be able to tell me anything as she isn’t a doctor (the same spiel last week’s tech had relayed).
That said, the screen was right next to my face so I watched everything. The measurements. The snapshots. The words. Then I saw it in big letters: FETAL POLE.
“I guess I wasn’t supposed to see that,” I said.
“What do you mean?”
“I know why I’m here to do. The fetal pole… it’s one of the goals.”
“See! If you’re educated, I don’t have to say anything.”
“You can’t actually hear a heartbeat during an ultrasound this early. You see it. I didn’t show you this.”
She flipped the screen toward me.
“There’s the fetal pole. Do you see the flickering?”
Holy hell. That’s my kid. Well, the beginnings of my kid.
“You cannot tell anyone. I could get in big trouble. When your doctor gives you the results, act surprised.”
Once my husband and I left the facility, I told him everything. I cried.
“It’s so good to see you like this. You’re glowing,” he said.
It was one of the happiest moments of my life. I felt like a bride again.
Later that night, I received an email from my doctor. There were fetal parts, yes, but a heartbeat still had to be documented. I would need another, a third ultrasound.
What the hell?
I immediately started crying. This was supposed to be it. The heartbeat, the fetal pole, the now 5% chance of an unhealthy pregnancy, moving forward. ANOTHER test?
“There’s nothing to worry about yet. There isn’t any bad news,” my kind, caring, generous husband tried his best but I was inconsolable.
“It’s not this. Three blood tests, three ultrasounds in seven weeks. Every test has a cumulative effect. I’m not crying about this.”
“What can I do?”
“Make me 10 years younger.”
Even if there is a heartbeat next week and everything proceeds accordingly, there is still a one in ~83 chance that our child could have chromosomal abnormalities (birth defects), given my age. And that test isn’t (potentially) for about another 12 weeks, when everyone will know I’m pregnant.
I know stress doesn’t help and my sister gently reminds me to curb my obsessive tendencies and to focus on self-care but I just want to be able to be fully happy.
It would seem I have to wait a few more months for that.
While I watch my belly grow and my body change and prepare itself for something that simply may not happen.