She signs in at radiology at St. Francis Hospital where Cat plans to deliver the baby and we wait for her to be called back. I text William telling him he was wrong about the ring. I look up and see Cat vibrating, her leg going a mile a minute, a trait she’s inherited from her mom I noticed when I stayed with them during Winter Break.
“Hey,” I say resting my hand on her knee. “You okay? What are you so nervous about?”
“I just don’t want them to find anything wrong, you know?”
“You’ve already done the 3 marker blood test in the first trimester and nadda right?”
“Right,” she agrees but is worrying the heck out of her bottom lip.
I grab her hand and give it a squeeze. “Everything is going to be fine. Okay?”
“Okay,” Cat takes a deep breath in and out like we’ve practiced in prenatal yoga together.
I can still see the tension in her face and body. I let go of her hand and stand up to move behind her to give her a gentle massage of her shoulders. I feel her slowly begin to relax.
She tilts her head back to look up at me smiling. “Thank you.”
“You’re welcome.” I come around to join her again. I no sooner sit down than we are called back.
They verify all of Cat’s personal information and take her blood for the 4 marker test. Once that’s over with they take us back to radiology for the ultrasound.
“Have a seat, Cat,” the technician tells her and Cat gets into position. She’s a pro at this by now. She lays down, lifts up her dress to show her belly and the tech tucks a small towel in the front of her panties. She places a blanket over Cat's legs so she isn’t cold and doesn’t get any of the gel on her. I take a seat nearby and can’t wait to see Peanut show up on the ultrasound screen.
“Now did they tell you we are doing a fetal nuchal translucency test today?”
Cat just nods yes.
“What that means is that we are going to check for an increase of fluid at the base of the baby’s neck at a spot called the nuchal fold and we will be taking our usual measurements as well. You’re at week 14 correct?”
“Yes,” Cat says and I can see the tension coming back again. I haven’t seen her this nervous since that very first ultrasound she had when she passed out after arguing with Liam.
“Okay, here we go.” The technician spreads the gel on her stomach and the ultrasound begins. It always amazes me how fast these women work. Half the time I’m not even certain which end is up until it’s pointed out to me but she takes all sorts of measurements, of what I’m not entirely sure.
As things progress I ask, “Will we get pictures again?” This ultrasound seems to be taking a lot longer than the others.
“Excuse me?” The technician asks obviously intent on something else that she didn’t hear my question.
“Pictures?” I say again.
“Oh, yes. I’ll have the printouts ready for you before you leave. I’m just going to step out a moment and I’ll be right back.”
Cat has a look of panic in her eyes as the technician leaves the room.
“They’ve never done that before. Why is she leaving? You don’t think?”
I move my chair closer to Cat. “Let’s not jump to any conclusions, okay? This isn’t a normal test remember, so it would make sense that it would take longer, and things aren’t necessarily going to go the same way.”
“Yeah, but she was spending an awfully long time in one spot I thought she was trying to burrow into my spleen. Alex, I’m scared something is wrong.”
“Shhh,” I sooth stroking her hair. “One step at a time, Cat. Let’s see what she has to say.”
The tech returns a few minutes later. “Okay Cat, you’re all done. Here are your pictures,” she adds handing them to me. “Once you’re all cleaned up, the doctor would like to see you before you leave in his office.”
Cat who was smiling in relief a second ago suddenly frowns with worry. “Is something wrong? Is the fluid level increased?”
“He’ll talk to you about everything. I’m not really allowed to say,” she adds apologetically.
“Oh, alright,” Cat quickly wipes the gel off her stomach with the towel and I was grateful she didn’t really have much to fuss with otherwise.
“Just have a seat in the waiting room and they’ll call you back to see him.”
“The waiting room?” I can see Cat’s anxiety starting to rise.
“It’s alright, Cat. He’s probably with another mom. We’ll check out the pictures of Peanut and by the time we’re done you’ll most likely be called back to be seen.”
Cat nods and takes my proffered hand as I lead her back to the waiting room. She’s smiling as we look over the pictures. Peanut is about the size of a lemon now and I half wonder if we should change the nickname but when I suggest it Cat vehemently disagrees.
“Don’t you dare! It’s been Peanut since the very beginning. I couldn’t imagine calling the baby anything else now.”
“You’re not going to call the baby Peanut after the baby is born are you?” I tease. “I know your parents weren’t very original but I was hoping that trait might skip a generation.”