Hello. My name is Sarah, I’m a right-handed Virgo with a weakness for sea salt caramels and depressing documentary films and I am in ultrasound withdrawal. <takes bow>.
At 16 weeks pregnant I have only had two ultrasounds. Two ultrasounds and one Doppler. One Doppler where I felt like I might as well have been holding a Playskool toy microphone to my belly, or maybe a seashell with a string attached. It was so… anticlimactic. There was the heartbeat – totaldreametc. – but then the rest was left to my imagination. No pictures to take home to
gaze at longingly
stuff in my top dresser drawer alongside old, partially used packs of birth
control and empty Clomid bottles which I’m obviously saving for… sentimental
reasons? Some disturbed sense of martyrdom? To share with my therapist years
in the future?
And now, here I am, 16 weeks pregnant, four weeks since I last saw this fetus – this baby – this living heartbeat with limbs and a not-fully-formed-face, smaller than a tomato, and apparently, growing, like, you know, inside of me.
It’s a strange feeling. This proceeding as though things are normal, this sense of the continued signs of what appears to be a viable pregnancy – some cravings, the-bad-taste-which-comes-every-night-like-clockwork, the early morning insomnia, the pants-tightening-shirt-tugging expansion of my mid-section, the uterine twinges and cramps and stretching. OHDEARTHESTRETCHING!
All this, alongside the palpable and ever present feeling of NO CONFIRMATION FOR OVER A MONTH OHMYGOODNESSIAMLOSINGIT.
And so, naturally, I thought of some options. Believe me, I almost went off the deep end. Attentive readers may recall that C is a
doctor. So, I thought completely
hypothetically, what’s to prevent me from sneaking into the hospital with
him, under cover of night, in a cat burglar costume, and scooting up to
an unoccupied ultrasound machine and just like, oh, I don’t know, “checking” on baby? Except, you know,
besides EVERYTHING, ETHICS, PROFESSIONALISM, I-SWEAR-I’M-NOT-CRAZY.
More reasonably but still with a distinct air of SHE’S COME UNHINGED! about it, I can, dear people of the interwebs, PURCHASE MY VERY OWN AT HOME DOPPLER!
For a cool 30 bucks, I can have the UTTER TERROR of desperately trying to find my baby’s heartbeat in the comfort of my own home. Now of course, as aforementioned, the Doppler leaves much to the imagination – will I know if my baby-tomato has developed 6 arms or turned into a fox? I will not. But it could be fun. Like a giant game of chicken. Or betcha-can’t-find-just-one-heartbeat! followed by hours of deep, unrelenting despair brought on by my novice understanding of biology and profound inability to locate my own uterus.
Despite the obvious plausibility of these two tremendously reasonable options, I have opted to do nothing
but bite my cuticles down to the quick, while nervously
imagining all that could go wrong while, and I really mean this, being
immeasurably grateful that I have largely avoided total calamity thus far.
In a week and a half, I’ll have my third ultrasound. Until then, I’m planning my cat burglar costume.
 Which is not to be confused with the measurement used by the National Weather Service. Or the Doppler Effect. Or Christian Johann Doppler. Or David Doppler, who apparently starred in The Three Musketeers at Iowa State University. I guess what I’m saying is… if you plan to image search “doppler” well, it’s a jungle out there. (I go down these rabbit holes so you don’t have to. You’re welcome.)