American in Spain

Third Sonogram

February 1, 2013

Feburary 2013 SonogramThis morning we went to our appointment for the third sonogram of this pregnancy. While I was waiting on the curb for my wife to drive up and pick me up, one ambulance and four police cars sped by going towards where she was supposed to be coming from. She was five minutes late, and I started to get worried. Soon, though, she drove up and told me that she'd just driven by an accident and the motorcyclist was still lying on the ground with his helmet on. Yikes. I'm not sure if it's good or bad that we beat him to the hospital. The obstetrician and her nurse that do the sonograms at our local hospital are seriously antisocial. It reminds me a bit of the nonchalance of consulate paper pushers or paramedics, where their work means everything to you, but to them, you're just one more task in a day's work. We got no salutations, only a request for our little pregnancy booklet and a command to go behind the examination curtain.

During the exam, the doctor said almost nothing, but I was at least comforted to notice that she took all the measurements (cranium, femur, etc…) about four times to make sure they were correct. My wife mentioned that in the previous sonogram, it had been mentioned that there had a been a little too much "fluid on the brain" and asked if that had gotten better. The doctor examined the brain for a good minute and explained that it all looked fine. She then started to explain that, although "fluid on the brain" sounds bad, there should be some fluid. My wife cut her off with an, "Oh sure, I know all about lí­quido cefalorraquí­deo." I love it when she does that. In day to day life, her formal veterinary training is hardly noticeable, and sometimes I can forget that she's more or less a doctor.

This was pretty much the least interesting sonogram I've ever attended, but I recorded some video over the doctor's shoulder, so I thought I'd share it, you know, for posterity (I'm talking to you, son!). One sensation I get from watching sonograms is just how cramped it is inside a womb, having your arms and legs all bunched together all the time. Just thinking about it makes me want to stretch.

When we came out from behind the examining curtain, the nurse was seated at her desk, scrolling through a text file. After a few covert glances, I determined that she was reading a novel in PDF form. I don't blame her, as she has lapses of ten minutes to kill between dealing with appointments and things. In fact, I know a thing or two about sitting at a computer and giving the appearance of working, and she was doing an excellent job of it.

If only they could learn to be a little less robotic and actually pretend to give a damn about the humanity of the specimens they examine…

The important news is that, as we enter the third trimester, everything looks good. The little bugger weighs 1.1 kilos, or 2.43 lbs.