Last week I told you about how I had a sappy mama-moment while staring at the grainy image of our future son or daughter flickering around the ultrasound screen.
I forgot to mention that if I had asked Adam to share his version of events, the story would have been approximately eleventy-seven times less sappy and 100% times more ragey.
Ragey? RAGEY you say? Who gets rage at an ultrasound appointment? The answer, of course, is my darling husband. Obviously.
It began as we left for the hospital, when he asked me to grab the camera. “Why?” I asked. He replied that he intended to record the ultrasound for posterity. I remarked that they probably wouldn’t let him, and he huffs, affronted “Why wouldn’t they? It’s MY baby!”
This was a “Yes, dear” moment so I simply grabbed the camera and off we went.
I found out later, after telling this story to a few friends, that apparently our local hospital has a reputation for having a nice ultrasound tech, and a not-so-nice one. We had the nice one at our 8 week scan. Guess which one we had last week?
We get there, and Adam begins to get the camera ready as I settle down on the examination table. As soon as she sees the camera she immediately snaps at him, “What are you doing? You can’t take pictures in here.”
Adam explains that he was going to take a video, and is visibly disappointed when she still says no, and he then asks why. She replies snappily that this is a diagnostic test, (unsaid but implied: IDIOT) and he reluctantly stows the camera in his lap.
Then we sat in a deeply uncomfortable silence for what seemed like HOURS as she squirted warm goo on my stomach and set about taking measurements. I am so horribly bad with confrontations of any sort, I was desperate to smooth over what I imagined was a horrendous rift between my husband and this ultrasound technician whom we would probably never see again - how could I let them continue on like this?! It was terrible. I was starting to sweat. Every fibre of my being was screaming at me to fix it, FIX IT!
So I began to make awkward small talk, commenting about how incredible it was that she could make out anything at all in the murk of the screen, how many patients she sees in a day etc. It was painful. It was the most excruciating small talk you can have with a person while she nudges a lubricated wand around your midsection.
Finally I decide to make a joke and I say with a forced laugh, “It’s probably just as well that we can’t make anything out, my husband has been studying ultrasound pictures for weeks, trying to see if he would be able to guess the gender of the baby.” (It’s our hospital’s policy not to reveal the sex)
And shockingly, it worked! This lame, forced, not-even-funny joke WORKED! The she-bitch actually let out a small chuckle, I felt like WINNING! but if this was Adam’s blog and not mine, he would take this opportunity to insist that her chuckle was not, in fact, a reluctant reward for all of my hustling, but PROOF of the fuckery she was planning to unleash upon him as some sort of inexplicable punishment.
The rest of the scan, for me, was incredible. She began pointing things out on the screen, and visible body parts floated in and out of view. I was gratified to see that our baby was not a legless, armless trunk as I had had nightmares about for weeks; amazed to see a butt, feet, arms that seemed to be flexing for our enjoyment.
I walked out of the hospital on cloud nine, printed images in hand, with a grin plastered ear to ear. I turned towards Adam as we walked to the car to share the printouts with him and that’s when I saw him glowering at me from a few feet back.
Like, evil-death glare, if-looks-could-kill type glowering.
It was like seeing a child leave the biggest candy shop in the world with a belly fully of sugar but still in a bad mood - unpossible!
"What?" I asked, stopping in the middle of the sidewalk.
"What?!" he exclaimed, "WHAT?! Why did you TELL HER I had been studying ultrasounds?"
"What?" I said again, utterly baffled.
He began to flap his arms with agitation as he went into some tirade about how he was certain that she was skipping over the baby’s genitals quickly on purpose to fuck with him, because HE knew that SHE knew that HE knew what to look for.
"Every time she got close to the legs or the feet - WHOOSH!- she would speed past them so I couldn’t see anything!"
(He’s 32. I like to just throw that in there for context occasionally in stories like this.)
(For the record, I did not notice any change in speed or detail when it came to our baby’s genital area. I was also not obsessed with the genital area, so that may have impacted my perception.)
Anyway, Adam nursed this grudge for the greater part of the afternoon (which is huge for a guy who forgives and forgets as easily as he breathes) and every time I showed someone the pictures, or called anyone or told anyone anything having even the slightest bit of relevance to our child, he would release a deep sigh and without prompting, recount the whole sordid tale of how I maliciously and purposefully conspired with the Evil Ultrasound Tech to cock-block him from determining his baby’s sex.
Oh guys. I can’t even.
At one point as he was telling someone “…and then Madeleine warned the tech that I had been studying pictures online-” I shouted in exasperation “OH MY GOD Adam, our baby has arms and legs and a beating heart and a freaky little Voldemort face, and all you can focus on is the fact that you didn’t get to see its junk?”
And if you think he was even the slightest bit chastened, well Internets you do not know him at all because he turned to me indignantly and exclaimed:
"YES! Of COURSE I’m focusing on that! Why did you have to say something?!”
So there you have it. Our baby’s first ultrasound, he said/she said.
God help us all.