August 13, 2007

I had an ultrasound scheduled for this morning, for which I had been previously given a helpful sheet of instructions commanding me to drink four (!) 8 oz. glasses of water one hour before the appointment. Now, I remember doing this specific ultrasound last time, and I also remember sitting in the waiting room far past the scheduled time, until I had to pee so badly I actually heaved a little sob of anguish when I went up to the receptionist and begged to be allowed to go to the bathroom. They did let me go pee “just a little bit” (you ought to try that sometime, by the way, peeing just a wee tinkle or two when you’ve got Lake Superior sloshing around in your bladder — it’s like the Olympic event of Kegels), then forced more water in me; I couldn’t even begin to enjoy the ultrasound because I was so preoccupied with using the Force to keep from spraying down the entire room each time the tech pressed on my abdomen.

This time I just chugged most of a Dasani as I drove to the hospital, and the entire experience was far less traumatic. I definitely had to pee by the time they were done, but it was more of a “Whew, there’s a bathroom” and less of a “TAKE COVER! MY GOD, DON YOUR SELF-CONTAINED UNDERWATER BREATHING APPARATUS!” situation.

This ultrasound was primarily done for the nuchal screening, which I hadn’t realized was an optional test—it was just scheduled for me last time. I’m with a different OB this time, who presented it to me as an option. I chose to do it partially because if there was a problem that could be revealed at this point, I guess I’d like us to know sooner than later in order to prepare and educate ourselves, and also because HOORAY ULTRASOUND. Other than the whole bladder-exploding thing, I love ultrasounds and would get one every day if it were possible.

Everything seemed normal according to the technician, so that’s a relief. And because the technician was learning how to use a new machine she took a nice long time to review everything, which she kept apologizing for and I kept saying “It’s okay! No really, it’s fine!” because I got many, many tantalizing glimpses of my grainy black-and-white innards (although . . . listen, I know ultrasounds are not for the patient’s amusement, but would it kill them to provide a second screen, maybe one projected from the ceiling? I’m just saying, my neck hurts).

There was Smalltopus (Secondtopus sounds a little too secondary, so I’m going with Small for now), wriggling, waving her/his arms and legs. Wah! So awesome. It was wonderful to feel that joyous excitement and to be reminded that I am in fact gestating a human being and not just suffering from a spectacular case of gas.

This pregnancy is different for me in so many ways—I often feel a little bad that I’m not nearly as consumed as I was before. When I saw the baby’s heartbeat today, I remembered that when I was pregnant with Riley I rented one of those heartbeat doppler things and used it constantly to make sure he was, you know, not DEAD or anything (after, of course, immediately scaring the bejesus out of myself when I picked up my own heartbeat and became convinced the baby was experiencing some sort of horrible cardiac malfunction). This time, I guess I just have this blind faith that Smalltopus’s heart is beating, that he/she is growing and thriving and doing the things a fetus does (playing solitaire, whistling idly, using umbilical cord as double-dutch rope, etc).

Either I am far more distracted, or I’ve learned that it’s pointless to obsess over things I can’t control. It’s probably a good trade-off, I might not be giving this pregnancy as much mental air time but I’m also not quite as focused on the various Unspeakable Tragedies that could be happening to the baby right this minute.

As a final note, during one of the ultrasounds in my last pregnancy, three (apparently harmless) gallstones were revealed. This time, no mention of such a thing. Have I somehow absorbed them? Did they migrate somewhere disturbing, like maybe the part of my brain dedicated to remembering every single lyric from “Paul Revere”? It is a mystery.


41 Responses to “Revealing vibrations”

  1. angela on August 13th, 2007 4:29 pm

    I was a twin so my mom got shirts that said #1 and #2 to be doled out based on birth order. My sister passed away shortly after birth, so the shirt was saved and given to my sister 2 1/2 years later when she was born. Talk about secondary. But she loved her #2 shirt because it told everyone that she was my Little Sister and she always comments on how she wishes she still had the shirt every time we see a pic of us in them.

  2. Junni on August 13th, 2007 4:29 pm

    I somehow do that to myself whenever I donate blood. I drink too much water and then I feel like I’m going to explode all over to donor center wreaking havoc and ruining pints of LIFE SAVING liquid.

    Also, I love you a little bit.

  3. hello insomnia on August 13th, 2007 4:35 pm

    We didn’t pick up anything with our heartbeat doppler. But we got it at Target, not exactly the depot for low-grade medical equipment.

    Did you get the same rush as you did with Riley? I was so floored by the awesomeness, I wonder if I can capture that again if we have a second child.

  4. Beth on August 13th, 2007 5:09 pm

    I had that about two weeks ago, and lo! For there was a second screen suspended from the ceiling directly in my line of sight.

  5. Eilis on August 13th, 2007 5:09 pm


    Totally could have passed those gallstones… Congrats!

  6. sundry on August 13th, 2007 5:13 pm

    Beth: no shit? Man, so much for fancy Seattle hospitals.

  7. Cara on August 13th, 2007 5:58 pm

    Ha! “Small” is what we called Payton before we knew he was a boy! I loved getting ultrasounds too. Luckily my OB indulged me and let me get a second one at about 36 weeks. So excited for you!

  8. kendra! on August 13th, 2007 6:10 pm

    Oh, I’m so glad you said that you have been able to rise above the distractions and above the Cannot Help What I Cannot Helps of pregnancy. I had my second ultrasound this a.m. (this is for my Firstopus) and the whole evening before, I had nightmares about underdeveloped spinal cords. When the time came for the ultrasound techs to show us the baby’s spinal cord, I yelped, “LOOK AT THAT SPINAL CORD! WHAT A BEAUTIFUL SPINAL CORD!”

    Also, Amen to the ceiling screen for mama.

  9. victoria on August 13th, 2007 6:11 pm

    Only a maestro of Simpsons-esque humor could have produced this image: “doing the things a fetus does (playing solitaire, whistling idly, using umbilical cord as double-dutch rope).” I can see Matt Groening’s cartoon images of same right now!

  10. Mel on August 13th, 2007 6:21 pm

    Congrats on the ultrasound. I’m glad everything looks normal. Yes, I liked the coment yu made about the baby playing double dutch with the umbilical cord. Made me smile.

  11. andrea on August 13th, 2007 6:36 pm

    By my fifth ultrasound I realized that it didn’t matter if I drank one or five glasses of water, I still felt like I was going to empty my bladder all over the table.

    So glad everything seems normal. I am looking forward to a much more relaxed second pregnancy, not that I am anxious to have another just yet.

  12. Chiara on August 13th, 2007 7:25 pm

    Now here’s a little story I’ve got to tell…

  13. Liz in Australia on August 13th, 2007 7:35 pm

    I chose not to have ultrasound this time around (or with #2), so it was a great relief to me when I got to the point where I could feel the baby wriggling. It was the first point I actually felt pregnant (I had no morning sickness, and for a while there, instead of waking up every morning to give thanks for not puking I was actually wishing I did because it would have felt like my body was gestating after all).

    Now of course I’m wishing my internal organs didn’t make such an attractive trampoline, and I’ve still got three months to go. The phrase “Just can’t win” springs to mind here…

  14. manda on August 13th, 2007 7:38 pm

    During one of my ultrasounds when I was pregnant with my daughter, I got a trainee who practiced on me for an hour. It was awesome because I got to see a lot of Allie and a lot of my random body parts. However, I almost soaked the ultrasound thingy with urine toward the end.

  15. Elissa on August 13th, 2007 8:53 pm

    The gallbladder contains bile and then squirts it into the small intestines (basically) after you eat something fatty to emulsify the fat. So they probably just squirted out at some point and passed through your GI tract. :) The problem is when the stones get stuck – that hurts!

  16. Victoria on August 13th, 2007 10:36 pm

    Maybe your new baby is playing craps with the stones. Or…reading runic fortunes?

  17. Swistle on August 14th, 2007 4:19 am

    At my first ultrasound with my first pregnancy, I said nervously to the technician, “Probably everyone feels like they’re going to accidentally pee all over the table but no one one actually DOES!” (tone of voice adding: “Right? RIGHT???”) And she said, “Oh, no, actually it happens a lot.” TIME FOR AN ADVANCE IN MEDICAL TECHNOLOGY.

  18. Emblita on August 14th, 2007 5:36 am

    Lol… wow I never knew you had to drink water before an ultrasound- I had 3 of them (one because my moms bf is a radiologist and I was allowed a sneak peak, one for standard medical reasons and a third to see the sex of the baby) and I don’t think I ever drank any water beforehand- no one said. Hey maybe its like a ploy to make pregnant mothers distracted from the actual stress of the ultrasound?
    EEeevil medical type people

  19. Belle on August 14th, 2007 5:56 am

    Back in the -ahem- old days of 1980 and at the time of my second pregnancy, an ultrasound was only done for suspected medical problems, or in my case, because they thought my huge weight gain meant twins (not). That picture they took? You had to know that you were looking for an actual BABY and even then you really couldn’t tell much other than hopin that alien-looking blob was a head or maybe the butt. I am amazed at the clarity of ultrasounds now at 3 months!

    Based on my baby’s size at the time, 6 pounds, they determined the due date was within 3 weeks instead of 3 months. Being it was the second pregnancy (I was experienced now, y’know!) and it was running along exactly like my first, I knew they were wrong. The second 9 pound child came, just as I expected, 3 months later.

    Glad your results were good!

  20. nonsoccermom on August 14th, 2007 6:05 am

    Ha, yes, I remember that feeling from my ultrasound with my first. They also told me to pee “just a little”, which was indeed one of the most miserable feelings ever. I have my ultrasound with my second today, and let me tell you I will be drinking NO MORE than my usual amount of water before I go. Lesson learned.

  21. Eric's Mommy on August 14th, 2007 6:08 am

    I only got one ultrasound at 19 weeks when I found out I was having a boy. I had to request a second, I wanted to make sure he was still okay. It was a few days before he was born so all I saw was cheek and eyeball. Still cute though and totally worht it!

  22. Penny on August 14th, 2007 6:22 am

    Knowing that it took about 5 minutes for a liquid to go from my throat to my bladder, I never bothered with filling up before the ultrasound. I just drank a big glass of water while in the waiting room. I remember the tech commenting that I had a nice big bladder.

  23. omuchacha on August 14th, 2007 7:25 am

    I a bajillion ultrasounds with our kiddo starting at 5 weeks, as we were high-risk. I think I only ever remember them asking me to drink water at the first one. That’s because they were doing an internal ultrasound or whatever it’s called. (Talk about hoping you don’t pee…) It was pretty fun that if they got an abnormal heartbeat or something at a normal visit they’d whisk me off to look at the babe on u/s. Kudos for the ultrasound rooms at the high risk clinic at Fairview. I had my own large tv screen on the ceiling and a chair that was actually comfortable, not to mention some pretty cool and understanding techs!

    I never saw him jumping rope, but I did get to see him playing jumping bean. Little stinker wouldn’t move for the nuchal translucency test. We were in there for an hour or more.

  24. Marie Green on August 14th, 2007 8:18 am

    Refuse to drink that much water. Every time, flatly refuse. According to my very reliable sources (an OB dr. friend) that is GROSS overestimation of how much you need in order to have a full bladder. So now I just smile and say I did drink the required about, lying through my teeth. They never know.

    Also, about the gall stones. I just had my gall bladder out a few months ago- I had about 50 stones! But I did learn that sometimes gall stones are asymptomatic- which is probably your case. If you are not having back pain (upper right side), or other gall bladder attack symptoms, your body probably just sometimes makes and passes the stones- through your… um intestines… and umm… poo.

    So glad to hear baby is doing fine. So FUN!

  25. Josh on August 14th, 2007 9:33 am

    Dang lady. That was the coolest description of what a fetus does to pass the time that has ever been recorded in human history. (I know this, it’s sort of my passion) I’m sure that is exactly what I did in the womb. Although I’m sure my mother would guess more along the lines of lawn darts, shadow boxing and break dancing. Who knows.

    As for Spawn of Sundry II, I think you should call him sequelpus. Like the Sucupus Stikes Back or whatever. Or you could go the Star Trek direction and call him Number Two, although that may have negative connotations to some of your readers whose minds are in the gutters. (polishes halo)

  26. Anonymous on August 14th, 2007 9:38 am

    I think for sure there’s a greater level of blind faith with the next one. It’s sort of comforting in a way. Glad the kiddo’s doing well.

    And boy I loved me some high-risk, insurance covered ultrasounds. But I definitely don’t miss that bladder-taxing water consumption. Egads.

  27. Mom101 on August 14th, 2007 9:39 am

    Oops that was me above.

  28. g~ on August 14th, 2007 9:56 am

    I had approximately fifty-leven hundred Ultrasounds with my second baby. Early on, I scored by having a very close friend who is an ultrasound-certified RN, so I got to find out early what the baby was (girl) and she spent A LOT of time showing me everything. Then, at 25 weeks, I started having ultrasounds almost every week (insert incredibly long and boring story with a nice, happy ending, here). I never drank more water than usual and didn’t have any problems with either baby revealing his and her secrets.

  29. Susan on August 14th, 2007 10:26 am

    Keep an eye out for those gallstones! My little guy Daniel is about the same age as Riley. I spent a year and a half after his birth with various bouts of abdominal pain and intestinal troubles… the docs tested this, and watched that. It was only after I vomited with one bout of abdominal pain that someone thought: Hmm. We’d better check you for gallstones… Poof! There they were!

  30. gimmy on August 14th, 2007 11:21 am

    I’m so glad I found your blog. I just had my nuchal screening today too. I’m 12w 4d in. Reading about your symptoms and reactions reassures me that what I’m going through is normal. Thanks and keep it up!

  31. Brooke on August 14th, 2007 11:30 am

    Such awesome info. I’m not due for my ultrasound for another 11 weeks or so, but with my daughter, I so had to pee, and the tech would NOT stop pressing on my bladder, and then she had the gall to tell me that determining the sex of the baby was not was ultrasounds are for. What EVER!

    Anyway, I’ll be skipping the super consumption of water! My HMO gives only one US, but last time we got three because the doctors miscalculated my due date.

  32. Josh on August 14th, 2007 1:42 pm

    Dude, I forgot about the peeing after drinking too much water issue. I did the same thing as you when I went in for my second probation meeting. I knew I was going to have to take a test and I wanted to be ready because the first time I went I had to drink water for two hours, to the point of being sick, before I could squeeze a little out. But anyway, my officer was late (like a fucking hour) and saw a bunch of people before me, and finally got around to me. Then she busted out her two trees worth of paperwork that I needed to fill out. By the time I got to take my test I was holding back tears. The pain was immense. But you can be sure I filled that little cup all the way to the brim, and put about two inces extra in the toilette bowl. After that it was a one bottle limit for me.

  33. Jennifer on August 14th, 2007 5:08 pm

    Hey, do you suppose that when people are pregnant with twins, that the twin fetuses are playing Crazy 8’s or Rummy rather than Solitaire? Or are they each ignoring the other and playing separate Solitaire games?

  34. Katie on August 15th, 2007 4:38 am

    That is good news that the second pregnancy isn’t quite the Obsession that the first is. I thought about being pregnant ALL the time. Like, seriously, ALLLLLLL the time. And if anyone else wasn’t thinking about it they were irritating to me (see also: husband who does not wake up when told the pregnancy test is positive.)

  35. Sarah on August 15th, 2007 9:12 am

    I did the same thing, drank tons of water for mine…and then they were a little late with the appointment. When I told them I was in a lot of pain, they had me to pee ‘a little’ – seemed like a lot, and then they still told me it looked like I was really full (affirmative). I probably did some kind of damage with that much water in me. Shall know better for next time! Next time?
    Do you have any feelings on whether it’s a boy or a girl?

  36. Elyse on August 15th, 2007 10:35 am

    I had a non-pregnancy related ultrasound for my ovaries where they stick the turkey baster-like scanner up there…I managed to hold it all back. :-)

  37. Cari on August 15th, 2007 11:01 am

    There is a school in our area that trains ultrasound technicians and they are always looking for volunteers for their students to practice on. We went and got a good hour of baby time and it was by far the best experience of our three ultrasounds. It was in a classroom, so all 20 students were there and watching; that could be a little strange for some. But it is something to think about because it’s free! I recommend it to everyone. It was recommended to me, I’m not sure how you would go about finding a school in your area.

  38. Mamacita Caliente on August 15th, 2007 11:21 pm

    oh, THANKS for bringing that particular memory up, crud (trying to cure the cursing habit for my kids sake), I need to pee right now!

  39. jen on August 16th, 2007 4:23 pm

    I have never drank any extra water. I’m on my 3rd kid and just had something like my 20th ultrasound. And yet they still ask me, worriedly, if I’d like to go pee. I guess I just have a huge bladder because I rarely do. And they look scared.

  40. Bank CardUSA on March 23rd, 2012 1:56 am

    10. A calendars days are numbered.

  41. Przykładowa strona on November 6th, 2015 6:08 pm

    PrzykÅ‚adowa strona…

    Revealing vibrations : All & Sundry…

Leave a Reply