During every ultrasound I’ve had, I have worried about Baby Boy’s health. Little did I know, I also had to worry about my own.
The anatomy ultrasound started out okay. My name was called and I was led into a room by a nurse/technician. She had me lie on my back and explained the importance of the ultrasound. She explained that this was the most important ultrasound because they needed clear pictures to show my doctor of Baby Boy’s heart, spine, brain, arms, and legs. From there, my doctor would look at the pictures to ensure that the baby was developing properly.
Within about ten minutes, the nurse said “you are going to have to come back.”
“Come back?” I asked. “He isn’t sitting still again?”
“He is doing flips right now” she said.
She was also concentrating on an area on the right of my body at my lower stomach.
I tried to think about other things – who was my favourite housewife in the Real Housewives franchise? What colour should I paint my nails next? What should I get to eat after this?
“Okay, we are done. As you can see by the picture, your baby was turned on his side and you will have to make another appointment to see the doctor. Please wait outside and they will call you.”
I looked at my watch and noticed that only thirty minutes had passed since I first walked in the door. Normally, these scans take at least an hour.
I grabbed a seat and started texting my family.
“I have to come again” I texted in our family chat. “He just kept doing flips.”
Then I moved onto Instagram where I posted the picture of Baby Boy and explained that I had to come back.
“Sarah?” asked another nurse.
“Yes?” I said. “I don’t think you have the right Sarah though. I am just supposed to be booking my next appointment.”
My sister and I always laughed when my name was called because every time we were at an appointment, there were always 2-3 “Sarah’s” and I was always last to see the doctor.
I told her my last name and she said “follow me.”
That was the first time I knew something was wrong.
“The doctor just wants to see if she can get a better look at baby” she said.
I was so thankful. Would this mean that I wouldn’t have to make another appointment?
“This is amazing” I said.
I made sure to lie down, lower my leggings and pull up my shirt so that I could expose my belly. I was ready for my ultrasound with the doctor.
“Hi, Sarah. I am doctor Eliza and you don’t need to show your belly just yet. I have a couple questions for you.”
That was the second time I knew something was wrong.
Why didn’t she just want to do another ultrasound? The other nurse said they just needed another ultrasound.
I could feel my anxiety rising and I just took a couple of breaths and tried to stay as present in the moment as possible.
“We found something on the scan and I just wanted to make sure that you are okay before we have you leave today. It may be your appendix, a cyst, or a fibroid. Your baby is totally okay but it is you we are worried about. We have found a 2 mm mass. It wasn’t on any other ultrasound so it is new.”
All I could think about was how happy I was that everything was okay with the baby. At that moment, I realized that the health of the baby was somehow number one for me and my health was number two. When did I start caring more about the health of my baby than my own health?
“I haven’t been feeling well” I admitted. “In fact, just yesterday I called into the Nurses Station because I haven’t been able to keep food down and it is getting worse. I am 21 weeks but I just feel nauseous and horrible all the time.”
“Have you had a fever?” she asked.
“Yes, one day last week but it went down with Tylenol. Last night I went out to buy a thermometer to keep an eye on everything.”
“I am so glad we didn’t have you leave then. I think it is your appendix.”
That was the third time I knew something was wrong.
I had absolutely no control.
“I love your dress” I said to the doctor.
When I am anxious, I won’t shut up. Words just started coming out of my mouth.
It was true – I loved her green dress and loved her sweet personality. We started chatting about how she was from Australia but came here because of the amazing facility at Mount Sinai. She hadn’t experienced her first winter here but so far she loved Canada.
I kept looking at the doctor and thinking she looked like Amy Schumer (the comedian). I was then worried about telling her that. What if she took offence to that and thought Amy Schumer wasn’t pretty. I thought she was pretty.
“I just need to go and get a second opinion” she said.
That was the fourth time I knew something was wrong.
It felt like forever. It was probably only two minutes but I was just staring at the ceiling in a dark room with my stomach exposed. The ultrasound machine was right beside me and I just needed a hug. Could I hug a machine that was radiating heat?
Why had I chosen to come to this appointment alone? Why was I trying to be so independent?
“Hello, Sarah my name is Doctor – “
I didn’t hear his name. I was just super scared.
“Don’t be worried” he said.
I just have to say something about this phrase. Every time someone says it I have to laugh. When someone tells you not to worry, what do you do? You worry even more. When a doctor can’t figure out what is wrong with you and tells you not to worry, you freakin worry.
“I can’t get her info back up” said Dr. Eliza.
They spent about five minutes trying to get my information up and it was killing me inside.
“I guess I have vanished” I laughed.
What in the actual hell? I cursed myself for being such an idiot and always having to say something.
“We got it up. We need to just do another ultrasound” said the Dr. This time he did the ultrasound and I sat there watching both of their faces.
“You see the cvnsfjdfnnsfmsdfnjsdfndf” said the male doctor to Dr. Eliza.
“Sorry, what did you say?” I asked.
“I am sorry. We are just using some medical terms. I said the word ‘ovary’” said the doctor.
“Is it my appendix?” I asked.
“We don’t think so. We need to go look at the pictures. Just wait in the waiting room and we will call you in if it is something serious.”
What in the what?
I sat down and started looking all around me.
There was a cute boy around age two being fed by his Dad.
There was a couple coming out of the Fetal Medicine area crying.
There was a man who went running by me to Ultrasound yelling “do you know which room my wife is in?”
It was chaotic and I was doing my best not to have a panic attack.
I started reading my Oprah Magazine but couldn’t read a word. I started listening to a podcast but became too stressed out. I then texted my family and told them what was happening.
“Is anyone there with you?” texted my Dad.
“No but I am okay” I texted back. “If things become crazy, I will text a friend to come here” I replied.
I waited and waited and waited.
“Sarah?” asked a voice at the front counter at the ultrasound desk.
“Yes?” I asked. “Are you sure it is me?”
She confirmed it was me and I was ready to hear my fate.
“We need to book you in again” she said.
“So the doctors have said that I can go home? They found a mass near my ovary that wasn’t there before. They needed to figure out if there was something wrong. Does this mean there is nothing wrong?”
At that point, I realized that people were watching me. I think I may have sounded a little dramatic or frantic. The poor admin assistant didn’t know what to say.
“It says here that there is a mass. You will need an another ultrasound for the baby and they will look at the mass again at that time” she said.
“How is October 24th?” she said.
“Perfect” I said.
So now I get a 2-for-1 ultrasound (not really named that but I am going to call it that). On October 24th I am hoping to have clear pictures of a healthy baby and clear pictures of a mass that nobody needs to worry about.
“I can come to your appointment so that you have someone to go with” texted my brother in law.
I smiled thinking that he was being the absolute sweetest.
“As long as I can wear a shirt that says ‘I AM NOT THE FATHER.’”
My sister then sent a text.
“I can come to your appointment so that you have someone to go with. As long as I can wear a shirt that says ‘I AM NOT THE MOTHER.’”
Keeping a sense of humour through this gong show is so needed.
Let’s hope next week’s blog is boring because it means nothing stressful happened. Have I just jinxed myself?
Wishing everyone an amazing Thanksgiving weekend!