So after the last, not so encouraging ultrasound, Tom and I were ready for a do over. That chance came when we were given the option of doing a down syndrome test, which requires an ultrasound. I'll be honest, I just heard ultrasound and said I was in. Especially because it was at a different office where they had the new, high tech ultrasounds. I knew we'd be able to see a lot more, and have a much better chance at hearing a heartbeat. The results of the test meant very little to me compared to that.
Heading into the appointment, I was mostly excited and just a little bit nervous. I knew things were probably okay, but I still really wanted to hear that heartbeat as confirmation. Then I checked the website and looked at the pre-appointment instructions... and that's when I became very nervous.
Here's the instructions they give you:
Drink 32 ounces of fluid (water, juice or soda) within 15 minutes, one hour prior to your appointment time.
Do not empty your bladder prior to having this exam (bladder must be full).
THIRTY TWO OUNCES? Do you know how much water that is!? Also, do you realize how often pregnant people have to go to the bathroom!? I think I drank half of that, and by the time Tom met me at the office, I was already in pain. I have officially become one of those people who knows where the closest bathroom is at all times, and will not leave the house or work without going first. So someone telling me I couldn't go was about the meanest thing they could have done to me.
By the time we were led into the room to wait for the doctor, I was seriously dancing in my seat, ready to cry. When the doctor came in the room, I begged her to let me go to the bathroom. Unfortunately I was denied, and she started the ultrasound. I think she asked me if I was excited at one point and I said no, all I wanted was to go pee!
So as she starts the ultrasound, I realize we're getting a repeat from my last one. She hmmm's and "huhs" and pushes the wand around, and can't get the picture she wants. This baby is positioned so low, and in a weird place, that she can't really get to it, and my bladder is not helping, only hurting the process. Frustrated, she stops the ultrasound and tells me to go to the bathroom to see if it will help.
And this is when I realize, that I should have just listened to myself and gone to the bathroom before hand, because this baby is stubborn and out to give us all a hard time. Something about where baby has decided to grow is difficult. Not bad, but difficult. (Slash it's probably not baby's fault at all, and can probably be blamed on my uterus, but still).
After she was able to find the baby much easier. And wow. There it is! It looks baby-ish! It has a head and a profile, and HOLY COW IT'S MOVING! And I'm not talking swaying or small movements, I'm talking situps and spasms. This baby is MOVING. There is no denying that there is something in there, and it is alive. I'm not sure why I am still so surprised, but I am. It's so weird and amazing at the same time.
However, the doctor was a little less excited by this. She needed baby to stay still for her measurements, and I swear baby had the hiccups or something. We even got a different view at one point and you could see the arms flailing about. It actually was a little creepy because it looked like baby was trying to claw its way out from the inside. I kept saying "Be nice baby!"
After the doctor got all her measurements, she let us listen to the heartbeat. Again, it took a minute because baby did not enjoy all the poking and prodding, but finally it was there. A strong heartbeat. As icing on the cake, we were even given some print outs from the ultrasound.
We walked out of the appointment a little dumbstruck I think. If I'm honest, we've been very much holding back our excitement. We are painfully aware of all that can go wrong in a pregnancy, and have been bracing ourselves in case anything happens. And plenty of things can still happen, but this day felt like a milestone for us.