A creative essay by Emma Dean
Ok. So I have to admit, in the weeks leading up to our 7-week scan I had been googling images of what our Blob would look like. I’d read articles about what to expect – that it might be too early to detect a heartbeat; that you might see the heartbeat but not hear it; that you might hear it like a freakin’ steam train ploughing through the doctor’s office. The answers were so diverse and at the end of every single article it was stressed: NOT TO WORRY.
Whoever wrote this shit clearly had not struggled with infertility.
You see, for those of us who know the rollercoaster of In Vitro Fertilization, it is not as easy as having pleasurable sex to make another baby should, Goddess forbid, this one not survive. The process of even getting to this point was over two years in the making…and that’s nothing compared to the many IVF warriors who endure ‘pin cushion’ status for several years at a time.
So there I was. 38 years old. 7 weeks pregnant. For the first time in my life.
The ritual began. A ritual I knew SO well after over a year of IVF as well as investigatory appointments for years before that!
Dr Kroon drew the curtain. I took off my sandals, dropped my undies and scrunched them in a ball placing them unhygienically under my shoes out of sight (to this day I still don’t know where I was expected to put them!) I sat on the examination table, leaned back and boldly spread my legs.
That morning I had neatened my pubic hair, as always, so Dr Kroon would more easily be able to navigate my usually unkept bush as he inserted ‘Wanda’ the ultrasound condomed lubed-up dildo inside me.
As Wanda entered, somewhat romantically (you’re a sweetheart Wanda), I suddenly saw an image on the screen of what looked like blobs. Then there was a moment when the world seemed to stop where we could distinctly hear a heart.
Could this actually be it? Could I have a real, living, baby inside me?
“Here’s the heartbeat! It’s perfect”, Dr Kroon exclaimed.
There were so many moments during our journey when I wondered if we would ever experience this miracle. But today, somehow, this miracle was ours to cherish. No matter what happened next, no one would EVER be able to take this experience away from us.
“Oh my god” was the only thing I could say. Twenty-seven times according to the video (Lucas' Dad counted!). Over and over like a broken record. The relief. The joy. And still…a tinge of disbelief and skepticism. How could something so small create something so big? A steam train. We got the steam train experience!!!
Just as we calmed down, Dr Kroon dropped a bombshell.
“And now… here’s the SECOND heartbeat.”
In the video we watched back later, you can hear me mumble under my breath, ”Oh shit”. Then tears welled and spilled and we realised…we were having twins.
It is amazing what hope can do. It is often the one thing that keeps you going, moving towards the thing you want, no matter how painful it can be to try and fail and try and fail and try and fail again. But hope. Simple hope. When held gently by you and those around you has an unquantifiable power. It is the one thing, apart from sheer stubbornness and a bucket load of love, that led us to this moment.
In Dr Kroon’s office.
Leg’s spread wide.
Realising, quite literally, we got two for the price of one.
Emma Dean is a Brisbane/Meanjin-based creative coach, musician, writer, composer, arranger, dreamer and choir mama.