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.”