Achieving Happiness

April 12, 2008

Second ultrasound and the kindness of strangers

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ina Alleco @ 4:04 pm

Last Wednesday was my second ultrasound session. It wasn’t really about finding out the baby’s sex, it was primarily about getting reassurance that the baby has all his/her limbs completely formed and that the placenta and umbilical cod were all in their proper places. At least this is what it all meant to me. To the ultrasound doctor, though, it meant the usual thing — finding out whether the baby was male or female.

She made me twist and turn on the low bed while she maneuvered the joystick (whatever the heck you call it) and glided it all over my tummy which was slathered with icky cold gel. On the monitor I saw my baby (okay, our baby – Kim’s too. naiinis na siya na I always refer to the baby as MY baby) and the outlines of his/her head and body. The doctor seemed preoccupied, for 5 minutes she essentially ignored me while she examined the screen and moved the stick around. and I was going to ask her the reason for the look of ultra-concentration on her face when she spoke up: “Di ko makita a…”

I blanched. I thought, holy heck, what the hell can’t she find?! The baby’s head? heart?! Spine?!!!

“Doc,” I asked her worriedly, “Andyan ba lahat ng limbs nya -arms, legs, torso?”

She nodded impatiently and pointed at the screen, jabbing at the monitor. “Oo, ayan ang arms, legs nya. Yan ang head, nakabaligtad ang posisyon nya…”

I breathed a sigh of relief. “So ano ho ang di ninyo makita?”

She turned to me. “Yung organ niya. ”

Omigod, she was determined to find a penis. Paano kung vagina?

“Okay naman doc, kung girl. Basta buo ang limbs niya…”

She just looked at me and shrugged as if to say “Suit yourself!”

Ano ba ang isyu kung walang penis at babae ang baby na inultrasound?! Is it always like that – the doctor searches for the penis?!

—-

I had a good work week. Meaning I managed to get a lot of work done. That’s a great thing because I’m starting to get physically exhausted again the way I felt during my first trimester. I have slight edema and my feet are like ginger tubers — splayed, with thick and stubby toes. By midday my eyes are drooping and it takes almost all of my will power to keep from dozing off in front of the computer and salivating on the keyboard.

I’m on the verge of my 7th month and so far so good. I’ve talked to my obi-gyne about pain relief during the birthing process and I suppose some of my fear is lessened. Jeez, childbirth is so scary — the pain, pain, O Africa! Like Stephen King character Paul Sheldon hallucinates in the novel ‘Misery’- and everyday I thank my mom for going through the entire process and having me kahit na nagdusa na siya with my sister and my brother.

I really want to write about the kindness of strangers and how it often makes up for the crap other people deal most of the time.

The other day I had to take the MRT, and while I did get to get on the coach for women and the elderly, there were no seats. I was prepared to stand up the rest of the way, holding on to one of the poles or the wrist holds, but this girl saw me, looked at my belly and immediately got up, offering me her seat. I thanked her twice (once in English, once in Filipino, how else?) and sat down, and it felt good to be the recipient of such kindness — why? because it’s much too often that i doubt the goodness of human nature and am too resigned to people being selfish and uncaring.

Then there was the bag boy.

Earlier tonight I went to buy milk, cereal and raisins at Shopwise, and the bag boy was so concerned that I wouldn’t be able to carry the plastic bag. He frowned when he saw that I was alone and he pointedly looked at my stomach. He asked me how far along I was, if it was my first or second or third baby, and whether I was commuting or if I had a car.

Of course I didn’t have a car, but to assure him that I was okay (“Hindi ito mabigat.” “Ma’m seven months ka na, baka matumba ka…” “Kaya ko ito.” “Ingat mam. Di ba pwedeng tawagan mister mo?”) I said I was driving and doing so very slowly. Mistake no.2 – he got all the more worried: “Ma’am, baka di na ninyo abot ang steering wheel…”

Sheesh. I smiled and waddled off with the bag.

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