Today, for the letter U, I have the scene where Kian and Megan see their baby on the ultrasound scan for the first time.
“Well, that was a lot simpler than I expected,” I said, sitting down on the same bench as earlier, and letting out a deep breath.
“Yeah, that was the easy part. Hopefully the ultrasound won’t show up any problems.”
Megan’s knee jerked up and down, and she chewed on her bottom lip.
“I’m sure it’ll be just fine,” I said. The back of my throat ached at the thought of bad news.
We both feel into tense silence, and Megan’s foot drummed on the floor as we waited for our ultrasound appointment. The sound of her shoe tapping the glossy linoleum tiles made me restless, and I rubbed the back of my neck.
Until Megan had mentioned it, I hadn’t even considered there could be anything wrong with the baby, but now the thought had taken root, I couldn’t stop myself imagining all the horrible scenarios we could be faced with when we had the ultrasound. What if the baby wasn’t growing properly, or had a deformity? What would happen if it was something so bad Megan had to end the pregnancy? My mouth became unnaturally dry, and the room seemed to get smaller, as my gaze flittered around, jumping from one person to the next.
After ten agonizingly long minutes, a door along the corridor opposite Doctor Stone’s office opened, and a portly woman with graying hair stepped out.
“Megan Green,” she said.
A jolt of adrenaline shot through my body, and me and Megan jumped to our feet in unison.
We exchanged nervous glances, and then started along the hallway to examination room. As we reached the doorway, the portly woman stepped back and offered us both a reassuring smile.
“You've got a full bladder, I take it?” she asked.
“Yeah, and if we're here any longer, I might pee on your floor,” Megan said with a nervous laugh.
“I'll try to be quick then,” the ultrasound technician said with a chuckle. “I'm Allison Fellows, and I'll be preforming your scan today.”
“Nice to meet you,” Megan said, as she shuffled into the room.
“Yeah, good to meet you.” I followed behind Megan and entered the room, before the nurse turned and closed the door.
“Okay, if you'd like to hop up onto the examination table, and roll up your shirt please,”
Allison said, before turning to me. “And Dad, you can take a seat just left of the table, okay?”
Both Megan and I nodded, and I sat down in the seat I'd been directed to. Megan took off her jacket and handed it to me, along with her handbag.
“Will you look after these, please?”
“Sure,” I said, tucking the items beside me.
“Thanks.” She climbed up onto the examination table and rolled her shirt up to expose her stomach.
The nurse washed her hands and put on a pair of Latex gloves, before making her way over to the station where the ultrasound equipment was set up. There was a monitor which showed the baby, a little machine that kind of looked like a checkout scanner, and a keyboard, which I assumed was for the nurse to enter information. After all the equipment was set up, and the nurse had checked it was working properly, she covered the scanner and Megan's exposed stomach in some gel to, and then placed the checkout scanner on Megan’s lower abdomen; moving it around in small circles.
I stared up at the monitor, waiting to see anything that resembled a baby. When I couldn’t see anything, my heartrate hitched. Was it normal to take this long? Why hadn’t the nurse said anything yet? Then after another minute, when the nurse had keyed in some information, a distinct image of a head became clear on the screen.
“There we go,” she said. “A nice strong heartbeat, and little one seems to be growing well. From its size, you’re thirteen weeks along, which is what your notes say.”
Megan turned her head to stare at the screen and a lump formed in my throat. There it was, in black and white, physical proof that she was carrying a baby.
I looked again, and could clearly make out the head now, with a definable nose, and a little arm and leg sticking out from the body.
Gazing across at Megan, I saw she had tears in her eyes, and realized that my own were welling up too. I never thought I'd feel so strongly about another person in all my life; let alone something that hadn't even been born yet. But, as I stared at the image on the monitor, it looked perfect. Better than perfect. It was the most wonderful thing I'd ever seen.
Better than winning the Welterweight Championship.
I knew that no matter what happened I loved the baby and wanted to protect it with every power I had.
Thanks for reading. If you're interested in reading All It Takes, it can be found at claredugmore.com
And for anyone interested in an A-Z Challenge based on the literary world, with writing, marketing and publishing tips etc. head on over to Curiosity Quills Press. Today CQ author and acquisitions editor Vicki Keire is blogging about "What I Learned Teaching Freshman Comp."