An Emergency Scan with Baby Winter

Six weeks.  I find myself on an unfamiliar table; my legs are shaking in metal stirrups.  I can hear the blood whooshing in my head; it reminds me of seaside holidays when I was small, of licking rum and raisin cones whilst the waves crashed over my feet.  My adult life often feels so much simpler than my childhood but today I would give anything to be back at Brighton beach with my grandparents again.  I would give anything to be anywhere but here.

The sonographer is a trainee; she looks at me as though she wants to immortalise my face, as though my story matters.  She asks me if I mind if she consults with her colleague during my scan, and laughs nervously when I tell her that I don’t mind at all, that I look forward to eavesdropping.  My voice sounds like somebody else’s; I am having trouble keeping myself grounded in this room, keeping my mind on the table.  My heart is pounding like I am being chased.  I thought that I had already reconciled myself to the loss of you.

The ultrasound machine is turned away from me.  I’m afraid to watch her face, but when I close my eyes I feel trapped within the darkness of myself, so I stare at the fluorescent lighting overhead until my vision blurs.  I feel as though I’m melting; the blood is collecting underneath me, puddling on the paper sheet.  I feel as though I am trapped in a horrible dream; I am disconnected, disoriented by the sudden turn of events.  This time yesterday everything was fine. My head feels like a balloon, swollen and full of nothing.  I am trying to pull thoughts out of myself, to use them as anchors to keep myself calm whilst around me, my body shakes.  I feel like a war zone.  I feel precisely as uninhabitable, as toxic, as I always feared that I would.

And oh, I thought that I had already said goodbye to you, when I opened my eyes to a world of white.  But laying here, I feel as though I am fighting to peel myself off of you, the reality of you, our little Baby Winter, our November baby.  And I don’t want to.  I’m not ready to have this news confirmed.  I’m not ready.

But then the sonographer turns to me and she says –

she says –

“The pregnancy is in the right place, and there’s a heartbeat.”


1 Comment

  1. March 17, 2018 / 10:33 pm

    Oh, I remember the terror of having to have an emergency scan at 16 weeks with Zoë. As I was walking into the room, I remember thinking that this was going to be the dividing line in my life, that everything coming after that moment would be forever changed. I was right, but not in the way I thought I’d be! She’s now sleeping peacefully next to me, clinging to my hand even in her sleep. I hope this time next year baby Winter is doing the same for you.

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