I had dinner with a close friend a few nights ago and we were swapping funny stories. Most of mine related to the IVF process thus far, which has surely put me in some of the strangest positions (literally). It occurred to me though, from my friend’s responses, that I truly haven’t made you all fully appreciate these ultrasounds I’ve had a billion of so far… So let me explain…
You know all the movies you’ve seen, where the happy husband and wife are so excited to find out the sex of their baby? The wife is comfortably relaxing on the ultrasound table, abdomen exposed as they wait for the pictures to appear on the screen of their adorable son or daughter. The tech smears cool jelly on the wife’s growing belly and gently rolls the paddle around to find the heartbeat. All is happy.
Yeah, now get that idea outta your head…
Ultrasounds for IUI and IVF monitoring do not involve such relaxation, there is no cool gel on your belly, and no paddle on your abdomen. HAHA, we wish!
So there is still a table, although it’s not all that comfortable. They lay it flat, and honestly, I’m not sure why they don’t just strap ya in. The last time I was fairly convinced I was gonna slide off the back, head first. Kind of like at the dentist! Only at the dentist all your clothing is on, well, hopefully. Here, not so much.
I assume the cool jelly is similar, but who knows, let’s assume.
Now, the paddle. Yeah, you know that thing called the rabbit that women sometimes receive as gifts at bachelorette parties? Yeah, it’s like that, but doesn’t do any fun vibrating, and really, thank God for that! As if the situation isn’t strange enough. I’m told most clinics cover the probe with a condom, but nope, not mine. They use one finger of a standard exam glove, which usually happens to be bright purple. Yeah, what could be more disturbing?
I wouldn’t necessarily consider these ultrasounds painful, although mild discomfort is sometimes accurate. Probably depends on your tech, as some don’t seem nearly as gentle as others!
So the next time you’re having a ‘traditional’ ultrasound to capture a glimpse of your little miracle, just be thankful one finger of a purple glove isn’t in there!