13 Things Every Mom Thinks When She's Having A Vaginal Ultrasound
After the excitement and shock wore off following my first positive pregnancy test, I quickly made a doctor's appointment to confirm my pregnancy. I'm already such a good mom, I thought, following the instructions from the pregnancy test box. Once I'd peed in their cup — superior to peeing on a stick, apparently — and received a positive there, too, they scheduled me for a dating ultrasound at around eight weeks. That's how I know that one of the things every mom thinks when she's having a vaginal ultrasound is, "Uh. This is not at all what I was expecting."
In my head, I always imagined that the first time I saw my baby-to-be, my partner and I would excitedly embrace and maybe cry as we gazed at the image of the ultrasound tech captured with a nice, totally not gooey wand placed on my cute, ever-so-pregnant belly. Like the couples in literally every TV show and movie I'd ever watched, I expected to have a non-invasive exam whereupon I'd get to see an actual baby, pretty much immediately after getting a positive pregnancy test. Lies, lies, and more lies.
Now, I was aware of the existence of this totally not TV-friendly kind of ultrasound. I'd had a transvaginal ultrasound before, as a teenager when I unexpectedly landed in the emergency room with the worst period cramps I'd ever had, while I wasn't having my period. I guess that's why, in my mind, I classified vaginal ultrasounds as a thing that happened to non-pregnant female folk who landed in the emergency room because of ruptured ovarian cysts (or, you know, a stupid modern punishment dreamed up by Republican lawmakers trying to dissuade women from exercising our right to choose). But actually, they are just the thing you do when you want images of a pregnancy in it's earliest stages, because those pregnancies are still hella tiny and can't always be easily spotted through our bellies.
So when the ultrasound tech whipped out that big ol' vaginal probe, during my dating ultrasound, my second thought (OK, and first words out loud) was, "Maybe buy a girl dinner first?" Unfortunately, few strangers appreciate my #MomJokes, which is a total shame. (I am a master of crappy well-timed puns and other corny jokes. If I were a dad, this skill would finally get the eye-rolling, grudging respect it deserves.) Long story short: don't feel bad if you think any or all of the following during the vaginal ultrasounds that do happen during pregnancy. We've all thought the same thing.
“That’s Going Where?”
But, uh, aren't we supposed to be having the cute over-the-belly ultrasound? Where my co-parent and I get to see a cute little baby that looks like both of us and we bond instantly over the reality that we are about to be parents? Man, the media stays lying to women!
“‘Relax Your Legs Open’ Is Much Easier Said Than Done”
"Sorry, it's just normally there's no probes entering my vagina when I'm trying to relax. At least, not ones that are attached to a giant computer in a doctor's office."
“I Feel Some Kinda Way About Some Random Person Putting A Probe In Me While My Partner’s Here”
If you're with a partner and they're able to make it to the appointment, that whole "somebody else putting something up in your private parts" bit can feel a little awkward. Not like, overwhelmingly so, but enough to notice. Yet another little chip in the wall that normally guards your dignity. Thanks, pregnancy.
“I Literally Feel Like I’m Aboard The, Wait For It, MOTHERship"
Oh, come on! Seriously: why aren’t Mom Jokes a thing? Why do dads get to have all the so-bad-it's-good joke fun?
“Ughhhhh, That Goo”
The only thing worse than that weird goo getting all slathered all over your belly, is that weird goo getting all slathered up in your insides. Ick. Ick. All the icks in Ickington.
“What Exactly Am I Looking At, Here?”
Ultrasound technicians are actual, literal sorcerers. That's the only plausible explanation for the fact that they can look at those early ultrasound pictures and see anything but weird clouds and shadows.
“How Can That Tiny Pulsing Bean Be Making My Entire Body Feel So Different?”
"My breasts are huge and tender, I'm bloated AF, I have to pee a lot, and I'm more exhausted than I've ever been in my entire life, all for this? A tiny blob who can barely be measured in centimeters? How is that possible?"
“But If The Baby Is Only The Size Of A Tiny Seahorse, Why Am I Already Getting Bigger?”
Whatever. Microscopic uterus dwellers crave ice cream, too. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
“So, Like...That *Thing* Is My Baby?”
"But it just looks like a blob attempting to be a seahorse. I was under the impression it would be cuter?"
“That *Thing* Is My Baby”
Once you decide that you want to keep your pregnancy, the realization that the blob on the screen will — luck/Darwin/God willing — become a baby who keeps you up at night, and a kid you worry about every time they approach a new life challenge, and a teenager who drives you up the wall, and just generally a real, live person of whom you couldn't be more proud, is wild AF.
“Sh*t’s Getting Really Real Right Now”
I'm actually making something that will eventually become a person. That is a thing that is literally happening in my body right now. Um, what?
“OK, We About Done Here?”
Ey yo! You, with the probe! The mystery and awe part of this experience is long done, and I'm mostly just annoyed at this point. Can we wrap this up? If that thing doesn't vibrate then I really need to move on with my life right now.
“This Is Nothing Like It Is In The Movies”
If we could go ahead and skip this whole alien probe nonsense and get to the part where I break my partner's hand in the process of rapidly birthing an adorable six-month old who totally doesn't look so spindly and frail that I'm worried I'm going to smother him during the act of breastfeeding, that would be great.