For a person who makes a living conducting and analyzing research, I do shockingly very little of it in my day-to-day life. So when the little sticks from CVS kept telling me I really was pregnant, I did what any uninformed woman does: I called the doctor to make sure.
Once on the phone, I proudly announced to the receptionist that I had peed on a stick and it told me I was pregnant, but I wanted to make sure. How soon can they cancel all their other appointments to make room for my urgent need to know if the sticks were lying?
Imagine my shock when she told me, "Yep, you're pregnant. Those sticks are rarely wrong. Particularly when they tell you it's positive. We'll see you in six weeks."
I'm sorry. Maybe you can speak into my good ear. I'm pregnant. Don't you need to see if I look pregnant and give me a long list of stuff I can no longer enjoy? Maybe I should just go to Labor & Delivery now to wait the whole thing out?
Despite my initial shock of how long I had to wait, do you think in those six weeks I scoured the internet and the bookstores to get myself acquainted with the concept of being pregnant and what I might expect? Exactly. I went to a number of Halloween parties, catered a wedding, participated in a Chili cook-off and forgot to do any research before my first doctor's visit.
Turns out the doctor does the same test I did to see if I was pregnant. I peed in a cup and she stuck a test in. Yep. Pregnant.
We're sitting in her office and she's calculating my due date when she's suddenly called away for an emergency delivery. "No problem" she says, "I'll send you for your ultrasound while you wait for me to get back."
"Excellent!" I say...then think to myself, "What the hell is she talking about?"
Off I go to ultrasound. No problem. I've seen this on those TLC shows and in movies. They get the wand. They get the jelly. They rub said wand over your belly and everyone gets excited looking at the TV screen.
Um...the wand...yeah...turns out it doesn't go ON your belly. Oh sure, it does eventually, but that's only after it's shoved halfway up INside you for a tour. Wish I had looked that one up.
But I act cool and don't act as though I've just been violated. "At least the nurse will let me see the TV screen soon and I'll see a baby, well just a zygote, but I'll see it. THEN this will all feel real. Why is she making that face? You know. That face you make when you drop a pin in the shag carpet and need to find it before someone steps on it. That face. I knew it! The sticks lied and I've just been gassy this whole time. I'm not even pregnant!"
The nurse then said a whole bunch of medical words like "elongated uterus," but I think I must've passed out from embarrassment because I'm quite sure my uterus has never been a topic of conversation before. She then tried the wand ON the belly technique and her eyes lit up.
I got excited, "Here it comes. I'm going to be able to go home and tell Michael how I saw a little tadpole or a fish or something!"
She turned the TV to me and this is what I saw:
Nurse: See right here (pointing at static) that's the egg sac.
Me: Sorry I blinked. Can you point it out again?
Nurse: Right here (pointing at static nothingness). See?
Me: (wanting at all costs to avoid looking like I don't see it) Oh....wow...
Nurse: And right here (more static and fuzz), this is the embryo.
Me: (squinting because maybe it's like those 3-D pictures that pop out at you) That's amazing...
Nurse: And here (101 Dalmatians in a blender) you can see the flicker of the heartbeat already.
Me: (totally giving up) Yep. Wow. So it all looks good?
Nurse: Excellent. We'll see you in another four weeks.
Me: Great! What will be doing at that visit?
Nurse: Just a pap smear.