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Add Water & Shake


We went into the 12-week appointment with great news—our insurance will cover all of the prenatal tests, even the ones that are completely unecessary for a healthy 25 year old woman in her first pregnancy. First on the list for today is an ultrasound in which the technician measures a fluid tube in Gus’ neck to check for birth defects or down syndrome. Neither one of us have a history of that and it’s a near impossibility, but we do get to see the ultrasound as the tech is searching for measurements.

We knew Stephanie had to have a full bladder to help push Gus up and make it a little easier on the tech, so she drank a bottle of water on the way to northwestern. After a short wait, we found ourselves in a dimly-lit room with a rather snippy young woman who promptly asked, “Did they not tell you to drink water, or could you just not hold it anymore?”

Excuse me? Did our happiness piss you off or are you just generally this delightful with everyone? Yes, she drank a bottle of water on the way here, just as she was asked.

The tech said she’d be back in a few minutes and hopefully Stephanie could fill her bladder a little bit by then. I had packed a liter of Smartwater for my afternoon at work, but handed it over to Stephanie. She chugged the entire liter down like a champ, and with 54 ounces of water down the hatch by 9:30am, the tech came back. This time she was much nicer.

There Gus was, sucking its thumb, all curled up on the screen. Its little heartbeat a pixelated flutter of constant motion. It looked so different than what we had seen just four weeks ago. Tiny little legs, hands with fingers. Gus actually looked like a tiny little person. Sure its head was enormous and it had little stick limbs, but it has fingers. Fingers. While Stephanie’s bladder was quickly filling up and Gus was much more illuminated, the little bugger wasn’t in the right position for the test and just didn’t want to move.

“Let’s have you roll on to your side.”

Not budging.

“Ok, the other side now.”

Still sucking its thumb.

“Ok, on to your back again.”

Snoozing away.

“Can you get up and walk around a little bit?”

“Ok, let’s try again.”

This time Gus was awake, and maybe not so happy. The ultrasound screen lit up with a tiny little Gus thrashing and kicking around. Gus quickly calmed and re-entered dream land. Until the tech started bouncing and shaking the ultrasound thingy on Stephanie’s belly. The thrashing resumed and was very entertaining. she was finally able to make her measurements and even gave us a terrific profile, fingers and all.

After a few trips to the bathroom, we went in to meet with sara who was just as great as we had remembered. She answered a question or two about Stephanie’s exposure to diseases at children’s, then we got to hear Gus’ heartbeat. It was pumping away at 165 beats per minute; amazing.