Ultrasound Nightmare

I walked into the little ultrasound room and sat up on the bed. The screen was facing me, which was immediately odd to me because they usually never let you see the images as they take them. The technician started scanning my abdomen and I watched the screen diligently. I didn’t see a nice, large, well defined gestational sac. Instead I saw grapes.  Grapes – small, copious numbers of little round focuses on the screen  inside my uterus. 

The technician left the room without saying anything. Quickly, she returned with the radiologist who them confirmed what I saw on the screen: a molar pregnancy. No baby – gestational trophoblast can disease – could become malignant if I don’t get rid of it right away. 

No baby.  

I got off the table and cried as I changed. 

And then I woke up. I looked at the clock on my night table as my confusion subsided: 4:06. I couldn’t help but worry about my nighare for the rest of the morning. 

When I went for my real scan, I was extra nervous. This time the screen was facing away from me and the technician clicked away, pushing unimaginably hard on my full bladder. Quiet, save for the sound of the machine snapping screen shots. Then she broke the silence: “have you ever had any surgery in your pelvis?” The probe was over my right lower quadrant. What did she see… Or not see? An ectopic pregnancy, or maybe just an elusive appendix.  I told her that I had my appendix taken out. She was satisfied. 

Eventually we changed over to the endovaginal scan. As I got up to use the washroom and take off my underwear, I sneaked a look at the monitor: a gestational sac – no grapes. But nothing else. 

More scanning in silence. I saw her scrawl the little ball backwards, which is what I do when I’m checking for a heart rate: Thats’s a good sign, right?  Eventually she was done and she went to talk to the radiologist. I sat on the corner of the bed watching the same shift loop play on the screen: an intrauterine gestational sac with a tiny fetal pole and an even smaller yolk sac. I resisted the urge to scroll through the other images on the screen – no control. 

The technician returned to the room alone. She told me that everything looked good and she offered to show me some pictures. She showed me the yolk sac and the fetal pole inside the gestational sac inside my uterus. 

No bad dreams. 

“Did you find a fetal heart rate,” I asked? 

“Yes. About 119.”

Relinquish Control

It hit me like a tonne of bricks this morning: Everything about my Freak out yesterday stems from my pathological desire to have control over everything.

I am imagining the conversation I will have with my psychologist later this afternoon: “I wanted to control something that I can’t control… it’s not my job to control this and really, it can’t be controlled.”

This control problem that I have is something that I’ve suffered with for a long time.  It has been an ongoing theme with my anxiety issues and something that my psychologist and I have been trying to work through for many many months.  Learning to recognize what I can and can’t control, and then accept those limitations is something that I am not very good at doing.  But then again, I suspect that many people have this problem as well; isn’t there a prayer for this exact problem?
Perhaps the reason I am feeling so bad about what happened yesterday is because subconsciously I know that I was trying to take control of a situation that I cannot control.  Not only can I not control this situation, I can’t change what happens.  What if that number had really been zero?  Or what if it was dropping – there would be absolutely nothing I could do to prevent the inevitable.  Yesterday, I clearly lacked the Wisdom to make such a differentiation.  I also lacked the serenity to accept the fact that this is something out of my realm of control.

It is a hard thing to accept – a lack of control.  In my life I struggle with the knowledge that I have control over very little.  I know this adds undue stress and anxiety.  I know I need to accept this truth and find peace with it.

God, grant me the Serenity…