First scan: meh

Now I was warned in advance about this, not by my mum (who must have forgotten, or maybe they did it differently back then) or some past sex ed teacher (LOL) or even by the five years I’d spent studying and working in childcare; but by my aforementioned heavily pregnant friend, who I’m going to arbitrarily name Peagreen because she’s a vegetarian and I dreamt about the Borrowers last night.

Peagreen told me (when we met for dinner the weekend before I went for my first gyno appointment / scan) that the first scan they do on you is vaginal.

Is this news to you? It was news to me. Suddenly all the cute fuzzy images I had of lying with my belly bared (and inexplicably massive even though it’s the first scan and in fact I have lost weight) with daddy-to-be holding my hand as we first see the tiny life we have (if somewhat prematurely) wrought inside of me, suddenly being filled with maternel / paternal sentiment and realising, finally, that yes, we are going to be parents…

That went out the window.

“Er, hon, Peagreen says the first scan is vaginal. Did you know about that?”

“What? Really?” Bf turns to Peagreen’s man for confirmation. “Haha!”


Fast forward to said gyno appointment. My gynocologist, who was recommended to me by my GP, is in fact English, which she might have done on purpose, as the joy-of-speaking-the-mother-tongue momentarily distracted me from the awkwardness of what was to come.

Now I haven’t been to the gynocologist’s in a looong time. The last one I saw, over five years ago, was not what you’d call gentle. This one was a lot nicer, which is good because my long absence meant that I needed ALL the routine exams done, including the breast-pokey one and the pap smear. I’ve pretty much learned to faze ou the embarassment of being mostly naked in a chair with my legs wide open and someone poking around inside my privates with very cold instruments that I’m always terrified will somehow pinch me…

…or so I thought, until I had an audience.

I stared at the ceiling, away from Bf (who was trying his very best not to snigger), and the gynocologist made small talk, which out of context sounds ridiculous, but at the time I was eternally grateful for the excuse to think of something else.

Bf has confirmed that this was both the funniest and the un-sexiest thing about pregnancy so far. I told him to wait till I was actually giving birth. Though at least by that time I’ll probably be in too much pain to care.

But, I hear you ask, what about the scan? What did Peagreen mean by it being vaginal? How do you do a vaginal scan anyway?

It’s quite simple, ladies and gentlemen: once the preliminary exams are done, she takes a long thin metal dildo (there is literally no other way to describe it) with what is probably a sort of non-latex condom on it, applies lube to the condom, and puts it in. Quite far. And then she starts moving it around, and according to where she moves it, you can see on the screen what’s going on inside your uterus.

It actually hurts a little bit – well, as much as you’d expect a cold blunt metal dildo to hurt if someone was poking it around inside you, albeit carefully – because in order to see the fallopian tubes etc. she has to go quite far to each side.

But surely, you say, it’s worth it to see the tiny life you have created inside you?

Well, yes, it is. When you can see it.

Unfortunately, we didn’t see much of anything. We saw that there was a “yoke sack” as she called it, pointing to a black blob in the middle of the greyness, and that it was well-placed, but it was still too early to see anything inside said sack. She took a look at the fallopian tubes as well, to see which one had ovulated recently. You can tell because one of them looks more or less like a grainy black and white photo of a fallopian tube, and the other one looks like a bombsite.

Since we couldn’t see anything conclusive, the gyno said we should come back two weeks later, and that she’d give me me yet another blood test to do a few days beforehand. I got down from the torture chair and wiped the blood off me and obediently did not panic at the sight of it, since she gyno said it was a normal consequence of the exams I’d just had done. I don’t think I’ve ever dressed so fast.

PS – the second scan was just as embarassing, but it went a lot better. For one, I’m not having twins.

Also, we got to see its wee heart beating. Basically the creature is mostly heart at the moment because you can see the entire thing pulsing quite fast. It was enough to make me forget I was embarassed for the rest of the session.

Finally, we got a due date. The gyno measures the baby from top to tail, and the machine tells you how far in you are, to the day. So baby is due on the 1st of November – but I’m betting on Hallowe’en. Because it’d be a fitting day to go through the goriest natural process I’m ever supposed to live through. Just a hunch.

It's the grey blob inside the black blob


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