I met Dr. Freedman today.
I really had no pre-conceptions of what she looked like, however I found myself surprised that she was young. Mid-40s, tops. Tall. Brunette. Plain – but pretty. She has a straightforward manner that I like. I can tell she’s not a candy-coater, and delivers the news you need to hear, as you need to hear it.
I learned this as she had me lie back on the examination table so she could feel my uterus. Starting with my left side, she immediately stopped and made a face. “That doesn’t feel right,” she said. “Do you have time today to go for an ultrasound?”
“Sure,” I replied. She waved her hand, indicating that I could sit up. “What’s wrong?”
“Well, I wouldn’t say anything is ‘wrong’ until I get more evidence, but have you noticed the firm lump on the left side of your abdomen?”
“Yes.” I put my hand over the spot as I answered. “I just thought it was the baby.“
She chuckled. “No, that most certainly isn’t your baby. Have you ever had any issues with fibroids?”
I told her I had not, although they run in my family. She explained that she was pretty sure that the hard little lump I’ve been loving up for the past few weeks is actually a uterine fibroid, and not my little one. And if her assumptions were correct, the baby was happily and safely ensconced in my womb – just underneath the bump.
About ten minutes later I was at ultrasound clinic adjacent to Dr. Freedman’s office. Once there, I was asked to remove my dress and wrap myself in a paper gown for the appointment. Up on another table, the technician squirted the cold ultrasound gel onto my belly, and started rolling her wand up and down my stomach as she clicked a keyboard and studied the monitor. After many minutes of silence, she asked me if I knew why my doctor had sent me over.
“Uh, because she thinks I may have fibroids,” I replied. “She wants to make sure they’re not affecting the pregnancy.”
The tech nodded and smiled. She turned the monitor toward me. “This is your baby,” she said. There was no need to point it out. There s/he was, on the screen: a surprisingly active, jellybean-shaped mass with visible arm and leg buds. I watched in amazement as this little thing wriggled (!) – much like an insect on its back – and even turned over on its side. “Ohhhhh,” is all I could say. I immediately wished the boy was with me to see it. My eyes started watering, but it wasn’t from emotion; I realized I’d been staring unblinkingly at the monitor for so long that my eyes were drying out.
The tech pointed out a large, round mass confirming Dr. Freedman’s suspicions. “There it is,” she said, and went back to clicking and rolling.
At the end of the appointment, I was given ultrasound snapshot printouts of the baby. I took them, and back in the change room, I carefully put them in my purse to look at for later.
Back in my car, I was about to start’er up when I remembered the pictures. I pulled them out and stared at them. With the contours of the little body, I decided that baby looked more like a peanut than a jellybean. I took a picture with my phone and sent it to the boy.
– What do you think? I wrote. Is your baby a peanut or a jellybean?
– Oh, wow! Peanut 🙂, he replied. Definitely a peanut. Is it a boy or a girl?
– Too soon to tell. Shall we just stick with peanut for now?
– Peanut, he wrote. I like it.
Peanut it is.