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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Ultrasounds are spooky

So yesterday, it was off to the ol' hospital again for another appointment in the ultrasound clinic -- this time for some Down Syndrome screening test. This was my second time visiting the clinic with the real, super duper awesome, ultra expensive and powerful ultrasound machines -- the first visit was for a "dating ultrasound" to find out exactly how far along I was, and at that point I was only 8 weeks pregnant so the baby just looked like a little blob with a flutter of a heartbeat in the middle. This time around, at over 12 weeks, the baby looked like a baby.

Sort of.

It looked like ...


Allow me to first paint a picture with words. (then I will paint a picture with Paint):

The baby has a giant head and weird, spindly little arms and legs. When she first put the ultrasound transducer thing on my belly, the baby was apparently lying on its side facing away from us. I couldn't really tell, but the sonographer was like "oh dammit, he needs to lie on his back for this test!" So she jiggled my belly a little to wake him up, and little Gizmo started to move.

I don't know how they move later on when they've got less space, but 12-week fetuses move like spastic fish gasping their last dying breaths on land. The only movement Gizmo was capable of was these seizure-like jolts where the whole body would bounce and the little arms and legs would flail.

It would happen suddenly and unexpectedly and was really, really discomfiting. I mean yeah, it's really really awesome to be able to actually SEE the baby that's growing inside you, and it's reassuring to know that it's doing okay, and yadda yadda yadda. But dude ... THAT THING IS FREAKY! Once Gizmo rolled over, I could see all the little facial features and somehow, seeing the face made me even more certain that it would be tearing its way through my chest at any moment. (I was going to put a gif of that scene here, but I decided against it because it was too graphic. YOU'RE WELCOME.)

Things got worse when the sonographer switched to a different transducer thinger. She needed one that was more X-rayish to see whatever she needed to measure for the test. And with this transducer, Gizmo looked MORE HORRIFYING STILL. You could see the whole skeleton with this thing. The baby became a giant skull and a spine, still doing those weird flailing movements. 

Can't believe they wouldn't give me one for the fridge.

At one point the Giz turned to face us and put a hand up in front of its face. A skeleton hand with five little skeleton fingers.


Once she was done, the sonographer left the room to go show the doctor what she'd found, and at that time I looked around and noticed that the room was decorated with pictures of people's 3D ultrasounds. And as I looked at these pictures, I couldn't help thinking that perhaps it would be better to decorate the room with pictures of clowns ripping the heads off of kittens or aging rock stars biting children's fingers clean off. They're all going to give me nightmares, so why not add a little variety?

Having the same nightmare all night is just dull.

So, in conclusion, ultrasounds are both awesome and awkwardly terrifying. It's still better than the time I left a picture of a five-week fetus up on my mom's kindle. Haha, she didn't really like turning it on to find that.


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