Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Ultrasound in the Glove Compartment

Before trading my car in a few months ago I cleaned out the glove compartment, and there was my first ultrasound of the little bun. I figured it was as safe a place as any, and it’s not the kind of photo I wanted in my baby book, even if I were planning to create one. I did enjoy taking a fond glance whenever I happened to lookin there, but ultrasounds were not exactly a joyous occasion for me after the first. I'm not talking about the fact that, to  be honest, I found some a tad creepy, is that wrong?  When you do IVF, you get very early ultrasounds, weekly for a while so first it stops being exciting, then it becomes a bit scary when you no longer get that comfort of having them. 

Ultrasounds brought too much bad news as well.  With our first baby we lost a twin, called a "vanishing twin" as it was very early on, and probably would not even have known except for the early ultrasounds.  As it was we'd already a few people we were having twins.  When my doctor told me that the fact that one fetus had stopped growing had no impact on the other, I thought he was lying.  I was convinced I would lose the other and he was just making me feel better, but I did get over that.  Then at 15 weeks an ultrasound showed an enlarged kidney, and they recommended a amnio.  Once again I was thrown into a panic, worried I'd lose my baby due to miscarriage.  It had been such a long road, was it worth the risk? I had about 30 minutes to decide.  I decided them to find out the sex, even though I'd have to keep it from my husband as he didn't want to know. I just felt like it would bring me closer, easier to talk to and bond with in case he didn't make it. I lost two others before I'd hardly felt pregnant and I wanted to know this little guy.

Everything came out fine (badum bum), but my coping mechinisms might seem a bit pessimistic or dark to some. After years of infertility the fact that I could get pregnant gave me hope I'd have a baby.  I loved being pregnant, loved the attention to be honest, but until I held that little miracle in my hands I didn't exactly worry I'd lose the baby, more prepared myself for the loss. The ultrasound photo in the car, the preparation for bad news, even the desire to work in my pregnancy in conversations, I was reminded of all this when I read our most recent From Left to Write book club pick, "Exploiting My Baby," a hilarous recount of Teresa Stasser's pregnancy.

I'm sorry to say I missed the last two book club postings.  I would recommend those books, Young Mandela and The Swan Thieves, but could not get inspired to write after them.  After thoroughly enjoying and totally relating to this book I was determined to get a post into my poor neglected blog.  I am not a fan of parenting books, mommy guides, even humorous ones all seem to want to give you advice, bring you into some club where I rarely fit. Most of my friends decided to have babies, then had them.  The sleepless nights, the difficult decisions about whether or not to go back to work...I had none of that (thank goodness, or my our finances would have taken a beating).  I was ready for sex well before my husband and never even fretted over whether sleep with my baby or felt guilty about the occasional formula suppliment.  Not to say that everthing was perfect, I just read to escape, not to solve my problems.

Teresa gave us her issues, her troubles, her happy moments with a gigantic dose of humor.  She never tried to give advice and, best of all, totally embraces exploiting her baby. Go mommy!

I received a complimentary copy of this book as part of the From Left to Write book club and was under no obligation to write about it.


  1. Without the doc there to explain it to me, I could never quite appreciate those ultrasound pics anyway!

  2. I didn't have any appreciation for the ultrasound pics with my first and now that I'm pregnant with the second, nothing has changed. They are tucked in books, stuffed in drawers, and in other places I can't remember.

    I thought that it made me a little crazy, but I also had a really strong reaction to that part of the book. Felt a little better to not be the only mom-to-be framing her ultrasound pic.

  3. Funny, I found my baby's ultrasound pic in the center console of my car the other day. Since this is my 3rd, I actually forget I'm pregnant a lot and coming across it in that unexpected spot always makes me smile. I'm so glad that tiny little dot came to be something so special in your life.

  4. Our last ultrasound of our child was in 3-D, or whatever they call it. It is in the book Jon Stewart's "America", which is...somewhere. I think that once the baby is here, those pictures don't matter as much.

    Although I did post my first ultrasound picture where my baby kind of resembled a shrimp.

    So glad everything worked out for you!