When I was pregnant for the first time, I looked forward to every single ultrasound appointment. I was so excited for this pivotal event in my life, constantly counting the days until I could see the growing baby inside my body. But after multiple pregnancies, two miscarriages, and a few too many complications, I started to see ultrasound appointments for what they really are: complex. In fact, I know there are things every pregnant woman wishes she could tell her ultrasound technician but, instead, she keeps it all to herself. After all, they're just doing their job.
I love my doctor and the medical practice I've been going to for over a decade. They're wonderful, receptive, thorough, and compassionate. But, I think, with any formal medical evaluation there's bound to be a time or two when things don't go quiet as expected. For me, things deviated from the "plan" during my ultrasound appointments, which eventually made me more anxious than excited. When there's an in-between person that legally isn't allowed to tell you much of anything, but responds like a human being to whatever is going on in the screen, the entire appointment can be, well, daunting.
Even the best of the best make mistakes or unintentionally make worrisome faces that can make for a pretty terrible appointment. Regardless, there's a lot I wished I could've said during those ultrasounds, that I'm sure other pregnant woman can relate to. Things like, well, the following:
"Easy On The Jelly"
I know I'm not alone in wondering, um, why so much jelly? Like, I get that the technician needs a decent amount to do the job, but there have been times when I needed a long shower to clean myself up after one of those appointments. Sorry, but that paper gown situation isn't the best towel. It feels like the tech is getting some weird pleasure out of spitting half-a-tube onto my belly, then waiting to see if I'm even able to wipe it clean when all is said and done.
"The Vaginal Ultrasound Isn't A Toy"
I wish I could forget that vaginal ultrasounds even exist. But, when you're not too far along in your pregnancy, they're kind of necessary. It's easy to feel exposed when one of those things are required, though, and completely vulnerable to your technician's every move. It's already uncomfortable enough, so please, oh please, stop moving it places it doesn't need to go.
"What's With The Silence?"
A completely silent ultrasound technician is how I knew something was wrong with my second pregnancy. When the technician failed to answer my questions, or point out the heartbeat, or say anything at all, I knew: I'd lost the pregnancy.
I'm sure making random conversation with a stranger while you're taking a look at their insides isn't easy, but complete silence is scary. So, you know, say some stuff, please.
"Can't You Just Tell Me Whatever The Doctor Is Going To Eventually Tell Me?"
Again, with my second pregnancy, I already knew things weren't right. And while I know there's a rule that keeps ultrasound technicians from diagnosing potential issues, I never wanted to wait for the doctor to tell me what I already knew.
"It'd Be Cool If You'd Stop Making Those Faces"
Can someone please design a special class that teaches medical personnel what faces to make when conducting ultrasounds? Please? Because us pregnant women could do without those looks that terrify us, and send us spiraling toward an existential meltdown for no reason.
"You're Scaring Me"
Silence, weird faces, strange conversation, or particularly pointed questions all scare me. I wish I could've just said let the ultrasound technician know that she was terrifying me, instead of silently dying inside.
"Just Tell Me What You See Already"
I can't with the games. Every pregnant woman would love to tell her tech to spit it out. Let's not waste another moment pretending that whatever you see on the screen really isn't there. Women need information to make their health care decisions, people. Give me all the information all the time. I can handle it.
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