We had our 20-week ultrasound yesterday. I expected to feel awe or happiness, or perhaps to cry. But I didn’t anticipate the flood of emotions that washed over me, as a subconscious nagging worry faded to intense relief at seeing fully formed limbs and a beating heart. Worry transitioned to overwhelming reverence for the incredible miracle of life, and wonderment at this very real and fully-formed being Elie and I created together. And perhaps a little bit of fear—fear of all of the unknown lying in front of us.
Adding to the emotion, I almost passed out in the middle of the ultrasound. I add this part in, just in case anyone else starts to experience the same thing, you’ll have a warning. As I was lying on my back watching the images of Bubbles on the screen, I started to feel waves of hot and cold, and then nauseous. I felt a familiar dread roll over me as I started seeing black spots in my peripheral vision. I turned to Elie and said, “I feel like I’m going to pass out.
The ultrasound tech quickly had me turn on my left side, saying that my uterus was probably pressing on my vena cava, a major blood vessel, causing me to feel faint. I felt better after a few minutes, and we were able to get all of the pictures we needed, including one of Bubbles relaxing, arm above his or her sweet head, with his or her little turned up nose and pursed lips, chin tucked into chest.
After the ultrasound, I was exhausted, overcome with emotion. I couldn’t figure out why, except I guess all of the adrenaline of worry had drained away. It’s an indescribable feeling to see your baby’s face for the first time, even in a grainy black and white and blurry picture. I already feel like I’m getting to know this little person who kicks during trips in the car and plane rides; who likes to press his or her body under my belly button during yoga, pushing out so my tummy looks lopsided; who seems to respond to touch, poking head or back or butt against my belly to remind me that he or she is on on the way.
February will be here soon enough, and in the meantime, Elie and I are enjoying our last few months alone and preparing (as much as we can) for how life will change with Bubbles. We know our life will not be the same, but we expect it to be infinitely richer in ways we don’t fully comprehend now.
P.S. My nausea went away this week! Elie remembered that our midwife suggested taking 50 mg of B6, three times a day. Either that worked, there was a placebo effect, or the nausea finally went away on its own. But, Hallelujah!
These photos were taken by Matt Land, of Matthew Land Studios, at a dinner we hosted a few weeks ago (week 18 of pregnancy). I’ll be sharing some of the recipes from that night on my nutrition blog, Nourish RDs.