One day, twelve hours, thirty-eight minutes. That's how much longer I have to wait for the first ultrasound of my fifth pregnancy.
I remember the first ultrasound I had 15 years ago with J. I was 7 weeks pregnant and still in denial. At that point, I had no idea how far along I was, so we were able to find out based on that. Thirteen weeks later I had my second ultrasound and found out she was a girl. Definitely among the top 20 happiest days of my life.
I don't remember the scans as vividly with K. I remember they were much clearer. We were living in Boston by that time and the hospital and OB we were dealing with were world class. I remember seeing her suck her thumb during one of them and I remember she had the hiccups at one point. I also remember how much her profile looked like my husband's side of the family and I started imagining another blue eyed baby girl... and she has the most beautiful ice-blue eyes I've ever seen.
By the time G rolled around, he had two little sisters attending the majority of his scans. I had full blown gestational diabetes with him, so I had ultrasounds frequently. At one point, we were measuring his little noggin (and I say "we" like I had an active roll in the process...) and he very clearly stuck his tongue out. K, who was 4 at the time, said, "Stop dat, brudder!" and stuck her tongue right back out at him! The tech laughed herself silly. To this day, those two have a rather unique relationship.
And then there was Andrew. My first ultrasound with him was at 11 weeks at Maternal-Fetal medicine. It was scheduled as an emergency scan due to the amount of time I had been dealing with bleeding. (By the time I was seen, it was 2 weeks. It started while we were on vacation.) I was, as you can imagine, terrified. But there he was, squirming and bouncing, little arms buds waving as if to say, "Ha! Ma! Made 'cha look!" His heartbeat was strong, ranging between 140 - 150 beats per minute. It turned out I had a small blood clot that was slowly taking care of itself. At that point, there was no indication that we were going to have anything other than a successful pregnancy.
The last ultrasound I had was the worst moment of my life. It was the moment we knew we'd lost Andrew. He wasn't waving anymore. He wasn't squirming. There was no heartbeat. Two days later I delivered him. Several hours after delivering and a subsequent emergency surgery, I held my baby. So tiny. So frail. I remember thinking if I just hadn't had that ultrasound, it wouldn't have happened. In my confused and denial-ridden state, it seemed to all boil down to that ultrasound.
And Wednesday morning I have to face another one.