Last Thursday afternoon found me in the emergency room with Rachel, who had been having severe abdominal pain all morning, and was suspected to be suffering from appendicitis (it all turned out fine). She had a series of tests including blood work, a CT scan, an x-ray and an ultrasound.
The latter proved to be a little bewildering to me. I watched, mesmerized, as dark gray blobs swayed and circled on the screen, trying to pick out anything familiar by the position of the scanner on Rachel’s belly. After a few minutes, it became rather obvious that there was no way I was going to recognize anything, just as baby parts all looked like lumps when I had my first ultrasound. Still, I couldn’t help but be transfixed.
That is, until the ultrasound technician said, “Look, here’s Rachel’s right ovary.”
“And here’s her uterus,” she continued.
I stared at the screen, still unable to identify any internal body parts among the bubbling, surging mass I saw, though the technician pointed them out.
I looked at Rachel, not even ten, lying obediently on the bed, and I couldn’t reconcile the two images — the little girl and the visible proof in front of me of the woman she will become.
I felt a strange mixture of discomfort, awe, wonder, incredulity and horror. Discomfort because I felt disturbingly like I was invading her privacy, looking at something I shouldn’t see; awe at the knowledge that one day she will probably carry a baby in there, a baby who will be my grandchild; wonder as it struck me full-force that she is a part of me; incredulity that I was looking at my little girl’s reproductive organs; and horror by the thought of my baby engaging in any activity which would have to do with said organs.
Needless to say, I stumbled back out of the room, feeling disoriented and befuddled. I had, in some weird sense, just seen the future, hadn’t I?
Have you ever experienced a flash or premonition of the man or woman your child will become?