Joney's appointment was set for 8:30 in the morning. We would see Doctor Ting and go through all the necessary hoops required with your first appointment. This however did pose a few problems. Our son doesn't usually go to school till around 8:45, so we had to beg his principal to allow us to drop him off before school. She was okay with it and decided to allow him to pass out the paychecks, something he seemed very thrilled to do. We hadn't told him why or where we were going. We were still in that circle of doubt and fear. The last thing we wanted to do was get the hopes up of a six year old. I kissed him goodbye and hugged him for longer than he wanted. I just needed to remind myself that no matter what the results were, we still had an utterly fantastic son who we both loved with all our heart and soul.
On the ride up to the city, we barely talked. This was a familiar road and neither of us seemed to know what to say to the other. After you have had the same discussion a half a million times, you kind of run out of new things to say on the subject. The only thing you really can do is try to mutter the words “It will be alright,” but they get stuck in your mouth and eventually die there as the minutes pass. There's simply nothing you can say to help alleviate the situation. So you remain quiet and just try not to let the tension show. You try to give off the illusion of strength so she doesn't see you visibly scared or concerned. It may come off as distasteful, but it's necessary.
Going through the paces.
We arrived a little ahead of schedule. We knew this could end up being a long day and we wanted to cut as many corners as we could. We still had to make it back to our son's school before 3:45. I know this gives us a ton of time, but if you have ever been to a doctor, then you know that a simple visit can easily turn into a whole damn day event. We went to the OB GYN section of the hospital and signed in. Joney filled out the necessary paperwork and in a few minutes we were in the examination room going through the paces. Weighing in. Peeing in a cup. Blood pressure test. Just the typical routine. Then of course they ask you a ton of questions. If you have a history of mental disease. Heart disease. Blah blah blah. Then they crack a simple stupid joke and leave you in the room to change into your gown until the real doctor decides it's time to see you.
Usually this is the time you spend looking at out dated magazines, or screwing around on your mobile device flinging pissed off birds into bricks and shit. I flung 3 birds before Doctor Ting stepped into the room. Joney wasn't even officially dressed in her gown yet. I had to give it to them. They were quickly becoming the fastest hospital operation I have ever visited. On the downside, their speediness does hinder your ability to follow everything they're throwing at you. It's kinda like trying your damnedest to understand the coked up kid at the drive thru. You just lean in a little further and hope to God that your ears can digest the information it's trying to cram into your head. It took her a few minutes before she remembered Joney and her previous ectopic pregnancy and the surgery she performed to remove her tube. She said a few words about that and left us rather abruptly to retrieve her mobile ultrasound.
In that moment, you are sort of frozen. It's do or die time. There's no holding back the truth any longer. All that time you just wanted and wished to know that your baby is okay is now stripped down to utter fear. The chances are basically 50/50. She could perform the ultrasound and not see anything. She could see something. She might find that the sack has implanted itself into the fallopian tube. There's a lot she can find that you're not hoping for. You try to poke fun at the situation. Luckily, the nurse wheeled in the mobile ultrasound and we were able to laugh a little.
I see sex toys...
Joney has had a vaginal ultrasound before. This was of course before we got into the world of sex toys. So when we first saw the vaginal ultrasound apparatus, we couldn't help but see it as a dildo. Joney joked and said she wasn't going to let that in her. I joked and said it was a shame that it didn't vibrate. We shared a laugh or two, forced that it may have been. We lightened the mood a little and it allowed us to breathe before the doctor returned to do her examination. She did a pap smear first and checked Joney's cervix. It was rather quick and I made sure to turn my head as to not embarrass Joney any further. It's hard to maintain your dignity when a doctor is probing your insides with a cotton swab and has your lady parts spread open like a stuffed turkey. She moved on to the ultrasound and asked me to stand against the wall so I could see the screen better. I didn't breathe.
I stood there quietly as she tried to find Joney's uterus. She swiped back and forth and had no luck. This had me worried. Where the hell was Joney's uterus? Was it hiding? Was that our problem, that Joney's uterus was MIA? No...no, it's just tilted. She finally found it and probed deeper to get a better picture. For a passing moment, I though I saw the baby, then it went black again. She moved the device around a little bit more and still couldn't zoom in on anything that gave her a clear sign that a baby was present. I was feeling my heart break more every passing second. I looked at Joney's face and she seemed like she was about to burst into tears. She finally gave up and removed the device and commenced to washing her hands.
She turned to us and said that she thought she saw a yolk in there. She also thought she saw a heartbeat as well. To be 100% sure, she needed to send us down to the 1st floor and have a real ultrasound done. We breathed a little sigh of relief, but the doubt was still there. We just wanted to know. It was driving us crazy. She left us to go check on a time we could have the next ultrasound done. When she left, Joney started to cry. It was happening just like before. Almost every step of the way was the same. When she had her ectopic pregnancy, Doctor Ting said the same thing. We went to the second ultrasound and that’s when they discovered the egg was trapped in the tube. I tried to comfort her, but she was just falling apart. I hugged her and told her I loved her. She calmed down a bit before the doctor returned. She informed us that there was an opening at 1:30 later that day. Joney was pissed but she didn't say anything. We now had 4 hours to kill. None of us were in the mood to wait. We wanted this over with, regardless of the outcome.
We went through Barnes and Noble and looked at their books. That didn't help. We walked around the mall but only seemed to run into baby clothes and the lot. That didn't help. We went for coffee and while in line ran into two women who were between 6 and 8 months pregnant and a young woman with her 2 month old daughter. The baby kept staring at Joney while we stood in line. Joney started to cry and we had to leave. We sat in our car for the next couple of hours. We didn't say a word to each other.
1:20 rolled around and we decided to jump the gun again. We went ahead and walked into the ultrasound office and signed in. We were sitting for no more than a minute before they called Joney back. I thanked God for the speediness. We were ushered to the back and the nurse or technician, whatever they are called, went straight to work. Joney didn't have to change into a gown or anything. She simply asked Joney to lower her pants down a little and went for the abdominal wand on the ultrasound. Joney thanked her for that and said something along the lines that her “Woo-Hoo” had been through enough for the day. It was good to see her in high spirits, even if she was just trying to cover up her fear.
The technician applied her special jelly to Joney's stomach and went to work. She passed over her uterus a few times and we couldn't see anything. Joney grabbed my hand and squeezed it. I wanted to hit the floor and curl up into a ball. I couldn't take it. She continued to pass over and push harder to get a closer view. Out of the corner, I saw a black dot with a white ring around it. My hopes were up again. She zoomed in and out and snapped a picture. Then she was off again looking at more blackness. My head went straight towards another ectopic pregnancy. I was crushed. The technician mentioned something about Joney's uterus being tilted and how it was making it hard for her to lock in. She said something after that. I didn't hear it. My head went silent. My eyes welled up. Joney's grip on my hand loosened. My vision blurred over. I just sat there as she snapped a picture. Then another. Then another. I was frozen as she printed it off and handed it to Joney.
A picture says a thousand words...
You know they say a picture is worth a thousand words. Who ever said that...was a fucking genius.