Wednesday, May 18, 2005

First ultrasound

I had my first ultrasound today. An hour before my scheduled appointment, I had to drink 1 litre of liquids. This is much harder than it sounds. For starters, you stop wanting to drink at about 350ml. But you have no choice. Unless your bladder is full, they can't see your reproductive system easily. Anyhow, I thought I would take the first 1/2 litre as milk. After that, I wanted to be sick (of course, being nauseous every morning already, this was not a big shocker). Therefore, I decided to take my second 1/2 litre as gingerale. That seemed to help, and since it is far more interesting and tasty to drink, it wasn't too hard to consume. Still, by the time I was done (and it took a while), I just wanted to die. Dad took me to the clinic, and we sat in a room filled with women in various stages of pregnancy. Most were in the third trimester (from all appearances). Of course, it being a medical clinic, taking me on time was out of the question. All I wanted to do was pee. But I couldn't. I was trying so hard to keep my mind on other things. Finally, it was my turn. The technician squirted the ultrasound gel on my belly and started pressing hard with the ultrasound handheld device. It was like she was trying to force the pee out of my bladder. However, it was still far more comfortable than my ultrasound experiences for my breast tumors (which hurt a lot). This was just a little awkward. I was able to see everything on a screen across from the chair I was lying on. It was all black and white and very difficult to interpret. She measured all my important reproductive bits and pieces with lightening speed, as I tried my best to discern textbook shapes on the monitor. It was amazing to me that she could figure out what everything was (let alone take measurements), but then again, I had learned through my experiences in microscopy, that you do develop an eye for these things. Then she focussed on the baby itself - which was apparently in the right location (seemed like dead centre). Mostly, it looked like a big black circle with some flickery grey and white stuff in a corner. The flickery stuff was the baby, and she measured the length multiple times. This is used to obtain precision on the dating. She also was able to measure the heartbeat - 132 beats per minute. I was told that the size of the baby and the heart rate were both normal. She also referred to the baby repeatedly as a "peanut". She gave me a freebie photo (the ultrasound clinic actually charge 3$/photo print, 5$ for 2!), but I think she was willing to give me the freebie because right now the baby is a flickery spot and the best defined object on the photo is the yolk sac/amniotic sac, which looks like a black, fan-shaped hole. Then, thank God, she told me where the washroom was. As a result of the ultrasound, the projected due date has not changed. It is still January 2nd, 2006. It seems like a long way away.

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