Seeing my child for the first time

Alex had to go in for another ultrasound today to complete the nuchal translucency test. Despite all the fires going on at the office from my time away, I simply couldn’t stay away.

The ultrasound tech took us into a room in one of the new buildings at Foothills Medical Centre, gooped up Alex’s abdomen, and started moving the probe around. While the tech looked at her terminal, Alex and I were staring at a screen on the far wall, which showed exactly what the tech was seeing.

First, not much other than a black space, which was Alex’s bladder. A few moves, and there it was — a glimpse of something head-like. A few twists and a push in … suddenly, there were ribs, limbs, a backbone, and a skull. We could see the umbilical cord.

I was amazed. It was pretty neat, after all. Alex isn’t really showing — we’re not even out of the first trimester. Yet there was our child.

And then it moved.

Arms were flailing. It twisted around, defying the tech to capture its image. It “sat upright”, hunched over. It almost looked like it was trying to play an invisible bongo drum.

You could have told me anything at that point. I wasn’t paying attention to anything but the image of our moving baby. It’s alive and well.

I wished I could have sat there all afternoon, just staring at the mobile fetus growing in Alex. There was something so beautiful and mesmerizing about it — sort of like looking at a black and white human aquarium. The test was over far too soon, images captured and delivered to the radiologist.

Six months, little one. We will be meeting soon enough.

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