I’m not always lost in rapture. Sometimes I just play on my phone. I feel guilty as I do it, but I do it anyway. The guilt comes from the cult of appreciate every moment. You’re not supposed to let a single second slip through your fingers. It’s that whole awareness thing, the meditation bullshit that I every so often actually buy. In a few weeks, this period of my life will be at an end. I will be a mother. I will have a child, a son. Lose this moment and you forfeit the battle. Give up the battle and you’ve tossed away the war.
So I shouldn’t play on my phone. But Facebook is so addictive.
For most of the 20-minute testing period I’m alone in my curtained solitude. Every so often, though, a nurse will come in and ask me questions. They’re pretty much always the same. Are you still taking the same medications? Are you having contractions? Are you experiencing swelling-nausea-constipation? The glamour of pregnancy takes on new and radiant meaning every time I set foot in this place.
And yet in a way I like it. I like it the way that you sometimes like the dentist or a boring university lecture when you’re a sophomore or something. It’s routine. It’s logical. It makes sense, and how much does during this chaotic time of my already ridiculous life? I come in and they sit me down, offer me water and a parking-validation slip, and I feel – I don’t know, protected. I can’t think of a better way to put it.
Once a week they send me to get an ultrasound. That’s a pretty awesome part, actually. I walk in and arrange myself on the exam table, listening to the crunch of the roll-out paper underneath me. The ultrasound techs are nice. They joke with me while I half-wriggle out of my jeans, exposing my pregnant belly. They give me a cloth to tuck into my underwear and then squirt pre-warmed lubricant onto my skin. Then they touch the paddle to my stomach and he appears: a series of pixels on a grainy screen, the image of my child. I always say the same thing when he comes onto the screen: “Hi, baby.” Fortunately, I don’t expect an answer.