Courtesy Kamboom Pics
The day had come, the day when you go and have your first ultrasound. The tension had been building up for weeks. My husband and I had just about broken the internet looking at images of what to expect to see (not much) in our first scan. The pregnant mother’s bible of the time,
What to Expect When You’re Expecting, had a series of foggy images trying to show specific body parts like the foetus’s hands or feet but they were unrecognisable to us. All we could see was wiggly lines and what seemed to be smoke. Not a baby. I suppose they were hard pressed trying to get a good picture. It would be difficult to give the foetus instructions to ensure great photos. I’m pretty certain that it wouldn’t have responded with an artistic turn and bored expressions like a runway model, or any expression at all really. “Come on baby, turn this way and smile for the camera.” Huh!
We had read all of the instructions once, twice, even three times just to make sure we got it right. Empty your bladder, then drink 500mls of water an hour beforehand. Yep. Did that. Problem was, even though the baby was small I’m sure it was deliberately doing pogo jumps on my bladder giving me the sensation of having to pee or maybe it was my fault and that herbal tea I drank earlier decided that now was the right time for it to sit like a lead balloon. Oh well!
Pulling into the hospital parking lot I was bursting. It felt like I had just attended a watermelon picnic and ate all of the melons. Oh no! I was going to explode. I quickly climbed out of the car and with a quick dash made it to the bathroom in time. I peed to the count of ten. As most women know, once you start it is really, really hard to stop. Thank goodness for kegels. My bladder still felt like that it was going to split in two. Never had it felt so full. Now, I know that I have drunk more water than 500mls in one sitting before so why did I feel like that I could have risen the world’s water table? Blame it on my husband? Maybe. He’s the culprit who helped cause this. Of course, it wasn’t my fault… let’s blame the baby.
Finally, we were admitted. I’m sure that we waited for a month. When you have a very full bladder each second that you have to hold on seems like an hour. I didn’t know that my bladder could ache. The ultrasound Physician Assistant started the scan. That made it even worse. Not only is your bladder full to bursting and your baby kicking the bejesus out of it, but then you have the ultrasound wand pressing down even more. She was lucky that I didn’t pee in her face.
The Physician Assistant was very thorough. She pressed and poked and swished around the wand trying to find a good spot. It was a failure. I was just too full. “Go and do a pee,” she said. “To the count of 15.” Fifteen sounded great to me. I admit that I did count very slowly. Ah, much better.
No. Still too full. This time I had to go and fully empty my bladder. I swear that I had only drunk 500mls, not the three litres that I’m sure coming out. I must have been psychologically retaining water just for this event. It could have been building up in my system for days just sitting there, waiting, poised in my cells, ready to leak into my bladder at the correct time. Finally, relief.
Now the baby wouldn’t cooperate. “Have a small cough,” said the Physician Assistant. Nup! “Have a bigger cough.” Still no action. “Cough a few times and shake her up.”
Sure, but every time I cough I felt my bladder filling up again.
That worked. The baby finally moved. Probably the baby was moving all the time but we couldn’t see it or she deliberately froze mannequin style, punishing me for keeping hundreds of litres of water pushed into her spine.
The images of our baby were so amazing that my husband and I started to giggle. When I giggled the baby moved even more. Eventually, we were laughing so hard that the baby did a slow rolling motion in my stomach and we saw it all on the screen.
It was all worth it. The discomfort, the ache, the feeling of peeing my body weight in water, just to see that Mexican wave.