It was the day before Thanksgiving, and my mind was swirling with plans for dinner with family and friends. I had been so busy and exhausted from substitute teaching that I hadn’t thought of a good way to announce the baby’s gender yet. My parents would be at our house on Wednesday, and our friends Toby and Amie would join us on Thursday.
“I can’t believe this day is finally here!” I squealed. Kenny chuckled as he steered our old car onto the highway. My heart fluttered as I thought about the little baby curled inside me. What was its gender? We pulled into the parking lot and skipped inside the office, brimming with joy.
“I’m excited to go this time. This pregnancy hasn’t seemed real to me yet since I missed the first ultrasound.” Kenny rubbed his clammy hands into mine. I had never seen him this nervous.
Finally, after the usual vitals and weight checks, the nurse ushered us into the ultrasound room. The tech didn’t say much; she just confirmed a few measurements and padded our pockets with several cute ultrasounds. She couldn’t tell the gender, though, because of baby’s position. Kenny and I were a little disappointed but still in good spirits.
We saw my midwife Jenny almost directly after. She bustled in and asked questions about how I felt and if anything seemed out of place. “I want you to go to the hospital for some high-risk ultrasounds.”
Kenny and I looked at each other.
“My technician thinks that the baby’s heart and liver are outside the baby’s body. I don’t want to say anything for certain right now, but I do want this confirmed.”
Silence. I stared at Kenny. We both nodded our heads.
“I know you must have some questions, but I’m not sure what to tell you. I’ve never seen this before.” Jenny furrowed her eyebrow, glancing back and forth between Kenny and me. “If I got an appointment set up today, could you get off from work?”
“I’ll just need to check with my supervisor at the academy, but I should be able to,” I said. We got an appointment for 1:30 pm. For a few hours, I went back to the academy where I supervised a college teaching assistant (TA) as she led the class.
“So how did your appointment go?” she asked.
“It was okay. They want another ultrasound done this afternoon. They think the heart is growing outside the body.” The TA gasped. I just waved my hand at her. “Technology has come a long way. I’m sure it’s nothing that they haven’t seen before.”
by Sarah George