When finding out you are going to have a baby there are a few milestones that you count down to before reaching the big day. After the initial confirmation that you are in fact having a baby the first thing you find yourself counting down to is the ultrasound scan. To me this was an incredibly exciting event, after all this would not only confirm that there was actually a baby inside my Wife but it would give us our first glimpse of our son or daughter.
When the scan day finally arrived the feelings that I was experiencing started to transform from excitement to anxiety. I had spent all these weeks impatiently counting down to this day yet it was only on the day that I had started to consider the possibility of something being wrong with our baby. Worrying is something I do effortlessly and to extreme levels often without reason.
For weeks leading up to the scan we had joked about the idea of having Twins and despite laughing it off it was a real possibility, especially with Twins being in the family. We weren’t against the idea of Twins but we were realistic about how hard it must be to cope both financially and physically. This topic of conversation had raised itself again only minutes before entering the ultrasound ward.
After signing in for our appointment we were asked to take a seat whilst we wait for our turn. To our amazement there was a poster above the two chairs that we were about to accommodate, which simply said… TWINS? I know this sounds far-fetched and obviously a jovial coincidence but it felt like a sign at the time. After nervously laughing it off my Wife picked up a magazine from the table and upon opening the magazine we were confronted by a two page article about the ‘Octomum’, that had given birth to eight babies. It suddenly felt very hot in that waiting room!
The image that I had in my head of how the scan would be was completely different to the clinical reality. When we were finally called for our turn, we excitedly entered a darkened room that could have easily been mistaken for a broom cupboard. There were no balloons or banners saying ‘Congratulations your Pregnant’ just a bed, a plastic chair and a very small monitor.
The nurse who was conducting the scan was a spitting image of the nurse from ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’ which as you can imagine meant there was no small talk! As my Wife and I prepared for one of the most anticipated moments or our lives the room was filled with a nervous silence that was broken only by the slap of clear jelly being applied to my Wife’s tummy.
As the nurse started scanning, my eyes were fixated on the monitor yet it felt like an age before anything even appeared. Then a ghost like blob appeared which was followed with a stern toned voice ‘there’s your baby’. I was overwhelmed I was sure I was going to burst with emotion but I was distracted by the fact it didn’t look like a baby at all! I was expecting a defined image of a baby sucking its thumb but instead there was image of something that more resembled E.T. I nervously asked if everything looked OK and that’s when I realised we were looking at the top view of our baby’s head. The nurse continued to scan and measure various limbs but provided us with no commentary and with every question asked the answers became more abrupt. I examined every pixel on the screen with fascination. For a second I thought I had identified our baby’s sex as it looked as though we had been blessed with a very well-endowed son but I was swiftly informed it was the umbilical cord.
It was an incredible couple of minutes and I would have paid good money to continue watching as I didn’t want it to end. Just as the nurse was finishing up I asked about the photo and to my astonishment she snapped back with ‘You should have stated that at the beginning’ and pointed to a sign on the wall that read ‘If you would like a photo of the scan please mention at the start of the scan – photos £2 each.” Luckily we managed to convince her with an apologetic plea to provide us with a photo. Although the nurse had a very frosty attitude it didn’t ruin our amazing experience but it certainly wasn’t what I was expecting. I appreciate they scan hundreds to thousands of babies a year but this was our first.
Anyway we got the photos that we wanted and despite it looking like my Wife was growing an alien it is one of my most prized possessions. You may be pleased to know that when he finally arrived he was very healthy and normal looking… well normalish!