I had my ultrasound this morning. I haven't had one since after I had a cyst rupture in 2000, and this morning was actually a pleasant experience.
I took an hour-long T-ride this morning to the Longwood Medical Area; driving in would have taken just as long, if not longer, in morning rush hour, and parking would have cost a fortune. I haven't had to do the morning T-commute in a long time, so it was nice to spend the time reading Sarah Gruen's . (Sidebar: excellent read so far. Can't wait for my friend's upcoming Book Club about it.) If I wax a bit descriptive non-fiction in this post, it's b/c of the book.
I arrive at the office, to be greeted with poster reproductions of Chagall and Kandinsky, and vaguely tribal variations of Madonna women and children. There is a friendly receptionist, a little bit of paperwork, and plenty of hand sanitizer and signs instructing people how to cough into the crooks of their arms. I take a seat on the most comfortable waiting room chair ever, and I quickly realize why they're so comfy as a bulbous pregnant woman wrapped neck to calf in breathable stretch cotton comes waddling in with a pair of neon purple Croc clogs on her feet. She is perfectly proportionate save for her swollen belly, like a comic caricature of pregnancy. She is older, as is her husband. I peg them at just past 40, maybe a hard ridden 37 or 38. There is a younger Asian couple- much younger, early 20's by the looks of it. No belly, just lots of smiles and private exchanges. There's another woman, mid-30's easily, with a petite bump poking out just slightly from her blazer. If she hasn't announced to coworkers, she'll have to soon.
I wait my turn and am called up the stairs after waiting a short while. It's like some mystical medicine man at the top of a mountain, being hailed up the stairs as all the women of the waiting room crane their necks to see who will be next chosen. I felt like Moses at Mt. Sinai.
I am greeted by Kim, the u/s tech. I was prepared for the "scooch over," the unzipping and half-lowering of the pants, the slight tickling as the probe glides over my skin. What I was not prepared for, was her first question to me: "So, what brings you in here today?" The question literally left me flabbergasted for a second, like they'd found me out, like I was sneaking into a sacred coven of pregnant women of which I had no business being there.
I explained it simply. "I was just diagnosed with premature ovarian failure and we're going to try treatments in a few months, so my OB wants to get a good look at everything to make sure there's no uterine abnormalities." As soon as I said OB, I felt like an idiot. Until I've got a baby up in there, he's just my GYN. I explained my history of PCOS, and my ooverectomy. She said she was very sorry to hear of the diagnosis, and her words hung there, awkwardly, in the air as she fired up the machine. Thankfully, the tension was broken as warm jelly was squeezed onto me. "You warm it up for patients?" My abs were clenched in preparation for the sensation of cold, and I was pleasantly surprised by its lukewarm temp.
"Of course!" she chuckled, and began. Kidneys? Check. Got two of 'em. Left ovary gone? Check. Uterus? Check. Right ovary? Check. "I'd like to do a transvaginal ultrasound, if you don't mind. We can get a better picture." Ah yes, the dreaded "dildo cam." Once I had undressed, I totally understood why it got that acronym- it looks like a dildo. The most awkward part? Kim says, "I'm going to have you insert it; it's just easier and more comfortable for you that way."
Soon after the sonogram tech came in, Sonya? I believe was her name, as a second set of eyes. She had Kim switch on 3D mode, which was surreal. It was like an old-timey photo of my uterus, all sepia toned and grainy. All of it looked the same to me, save for the uterus, which was a clear, black void in the middle. Seeing the emptiness of my uterus left me with a short pang- of seeing friends' sonograms with their millimeter fingers and toes and noses and thinking, "I would love a little bean of my own in there." , I tell myself. .
Sonya goes, "That's a nice looking ovary you have there." To which I reply a confused, "Thank you?" I ask if they can see any follicles, and they explain that since I haven't had a period since December, there are none to be seen since they would only be visible during a certain time during a cycle, as they gear up for ovulation. Sonya says she'll send the report over to Dr. Gross this afternoon, and that everything appears normal and healthy. No cysts, growths, or anything out of the ordinary.
They hand me a wipe and wish me luck. For the first time in this whole process, this is the first normal diagnostic I've had. It felt good to know that there shouldn't be any problems keeping something inside there, it's just getting something to put in there that's that trick. And that, despite the moment of longing I felt at seeing my empty uterus, I kept a smile to myself as I rode the T home, excited and hopeful at the chance to see a little hand, a little face in there.