Wednesday, February 20, 2008

My Darling, My Hot Dog

Mike and I had our first ultrasound on Monday, during which we saw the baby dancing around like someone had hung a disco ball from my uterine wall. At one point the technician pressed the wand more firmly on my stomach and the baby threw his arms up in the air (fluid?) as if to say, DUDE. Mike took the wild gesticulating as a sign that the baby is definitely half Italian.

They told me to come with a full bladder. Three times they told me. Well, never fear! If there is one thing I'm excellent at, it's filling my bladder. However, I did such an excellent job that the situation was already rather desperate by the time we got to the clinic.

“Do you think we’ll be called in on time?” I ask the receptionist, shifting from foot to foot.

“Absolutely,” she promises.

We head to the (rather posh) waiting room to fill out the requisite paperwork. I painfully lower myself onto the couch and lean way back into the cushions, stretching my legs out in front so as to reduce the amount of pressure on my bladder. A glance across the room reveals an extremely pregnant woman sitting in the exact same position.

“Hi,” I want to call to her. “I’m not mocking you! I’m pregnant, too, just not visibly so.”

Soon after returning the paperwork, my name is called. Yes! Except that we discover we are simply being ushered to a second waiting area.

“Is it okay to go just a little bit?” I ask the receptionist. “I am really in pain.” I grimace and cross my eyes a bit to demonstrate the level of my discomfort.

She eyes me. “If you really have to, but only a little bit. They really do need a full bladder to do the ultrasound.”

“Yeah, they told me three times,” I say. “I’ll try to wait.”

We wait one minute, then two. By this time I imagine the urine expanding beyond my bladder and filling my entire body, all the way up to my eyeballs. No, I don’t have jaundice! These are my handy-dandy urine gauges!

I can’t even sit down. I pace the floor, back and forth, back and forth. The top button of my pants is wrested free of the buttonhole and my fly hangs open beneath my long shirt. I try desperately to think about anything other than the fact that there is a bathroom just 10 feet away.

“This cannot be healthy." Pace, pace, pace.

Three minutes, four minutes.

Oh. My. God.”

Five minutes. Five minutes and thirty seconds.

“I’m going to the bathroom!” I finally explode. “This is a matter of life and death!”

“Just a little!” Mike calls after me. I read alarm in his voice, but am too flooded to care.

A woman whom I presume to be the ultrasound tech catches me exiting the ladies room. She stops short in horror.

“You didn’t empty your bladder, did you?”

“Don’t worry," I assure her. "There is plenty left in there.”

I return to the waiting area.

Going “just a little” actually made the situation worse, because then my bladder knew there was a bathroom nearby and that for some incomprehensible reason, I JUST WASN’T USING IT.

Pace, pace, pace. Grimace, grimace, grimace.

Finally! We are called into the cool, dark ultrasound room. I am relieved to see that there is an absorbent pad on the reclining chair, because for the first time since young childhood, I am actually afraid that I will wet my pants.

The ultraound technician is a serious, no-nonsense woman. This makes me nervous. I prefer friendly, jokey types.

"Okay," she says. "Let's take a look at your baby."

She presses the wand into my belly and I wonder if I will pee all over her, but suddenly our baby is on the screen and I am breathless.

"There it is!" I manage, grabbing Mike's hand. "It looks just like me!"

Mike laughs, but ultrasound lady does not. She shifts the wand and suddenly a huge sac fills the screen.
"What is that?" Mike asks.

"This is your bladder," Ultrasound Ice Queen says.

We stare in amazement. It is gargantuan.

"Your bladder is too full," the tech tells me. She flips off the machine and hands me some paper towel. Mike looks as though he's ready to leap over the chair and grab the wand from her. "But we hardly got to see the baby!" he protests.

"Go to the bathroom," Ice Queen tells me. "There are some cups in there. Fill a cup two times, flush, and then come back."

I follow orders and return to the room, only to find that my bladder is still too full. "I told you there was plenty in there," I say.

We catch another quick glimpse of the baby, but then I'm sent back to the bathroom to fill another three cups. At last, she is satisfied.

And the baby, it is beautiful.

At first he/she was upside down, sucking on a thumb.

Then it flipped over. Future gymnast?

One of my many pet names for Alex is My Darling, My Hamburger, shamelessly stolen from the oft-banned Paul Zindel novel. He’s also Boo, Booh-bah, Buddy, and, when he’s feeling especially Russian, Alex Alexsovitch! I am practically incapable of not nick-naming people and pets.

Later, at home, I'm looking at the picture of the baby and it just pops out of my mouth: "My darling, my hamburger!"

Alex runs into the room, collar jingling. He stops a few feet short, as though suddenly sensing that I'd been talking to someone else.

"Come here, Boo," I say, patting the couch.

He doesn't move.

I hold up the ultrasound picture so he can see it. "My darling, my hot dog!"

Alex comes over and puts his chin on my knee, wagging his little stump. He politely sniffs the picture when I hold it out to him, but he's more interested in having his ears scratched.

This hamburger knows he's not going anywhere.

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Blogger Bearette24 said... Alex will be hamburger, the baby will be hot dog :)

I like the baby's flip!

My mom got one ultrasound with me, and they told her to have a full bladder. My first technician (serious, non-jokey) told me in a Russian accent, "Empty bladder is better!" So I peed with gratitude. The other technicians never mentioned it, so I just took the liberty of peeing.

Maybe you can pee on the sounds like the full bladder just obscured things :)

10:36 AM  
Blogger Bearette24 said...

Oh, duh. It's probably the other way around, right?

I truly have pregnancy brain.

12:25 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

Alex is the original my darling, my hamburger, so that he will remain (although it would make more sense for a dog to be called hot dog, right?)

1:11 PM  
Blogger Bearette24 said...

I'm glad he gets to stay as the hamburger :)

4:05 PM  
Anonymous Betsy said...

I am sitting here in shock and wonder.

You could actually STOP peeing?!?!?!? Good lord, once I start, I can't stop to save my life.

Liz, you must have muscles that could squeeze the life out of small animals.

I am truly impressed. And a little jealous.

4:11 PM  
Blogger R U Serious?? said...

My God!!!! How can you turn off peeing????? And you're right!! The baby DOES look like you! 'Ice Tech' sounds like a very pleasent person to deal with. During this very joyous time in your lives, she really needs to lighten up a little.

7:31 PM  
Blogger His suzy said...

I'm so glad i'm not the only one who wondered how you could stop peeing. lol

What a cute baby!! :)

9:03 PM  
Blogger Sweet Irene said...

Congratulations on getting your first ultra sound! And what a good job you did holding up going to the toilet. That must have been awful! When I have to go, I have to go. There's no holding me back. I have been known to pee my pants without being pregnant!

Isn't it fun, this being pregnant? There is more fun to come, you will enjoy it so much. No, I am not being sarcastic. I liked being pregnant.

10:22 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

Betsy- that cracked me up! Let's hope those muscles still as strong when D-Day comes.

They put the fear of God in me with the repeated warnings to come with a full bladder. The hour leading up to the appointment was like a scene out of Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret.

"I must, I must, I must increase my bladder!"

Serious- thank you, I agree! These people need to realize that seeing a baby in my uterus is not an everyday occurrence for us.

Suzy- it is obviously a very cute baby. :)

Sweet Irene- I actually am enjoying it, now that I've seen the baby and I can picture it dancing around down there. Check back with me in a few months when I'm huge.

6:33 AM  
Anonymous Betsy said...

Not D-Day, Liz. B-Day!!!!

And I forgot to tell you that your baby is clearly gifted. I wouldn't be surprised if s/he is already speaking.

8:23 AM  
Blogger Caro said...

LMAO. I remember my last ultrasound when the doctor was running a good hour late!

Just to make sure my bladder was full I had drank 32 ounces of water instead of 8.

Stupid, stupid, stupid.

I'm sure Alex will take to big brotherhood quite well.

6:40 PM  
Blogger kj said...

my god, liz, what a hilarious story. definitely keep a journal of all this because, girl, you'll have a best seller.

you must have a special bladder, like, you would win the international bladder contest. first place for sure. 5 cups of urine and you're still full? i can only imagine, and then only for a milisecond before my mind turns to more inviting images.


12:47 AM  
Blogger R U Serious?? said...

Hey!! I made my wife a Space

She's a HOOT!!! Give her a visit if you get a chance.

5:42 PM  
Blogger Frema said...

For my ultrasound with Kara, I didn't need a full bladder. I'm not sure why, but GOD am I grateful.

8:39 PM  
Blogger nejyerf said...

i know i'm waaaay late on commenting on this post but ever since you mentioned the disco ball, i keep picturing your uterus as a mini studio 54 and the baby waving his/her wee arms and blowing on a whistle dancing to do the shuffle.

and now you know exactly how disturbed i really am

9:28 PM  

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