After the first test
I have no idea how far along I could be. Aware that, as an older woman, I need to address certain risks, I call my GP the morning I find out I’m knocked up, to give him the good news and ask for a referral to my lovely obstetrician. Now three of us know. It’s Saturday. It’s a weird Saturday. We go to a dinner full of hard-drinking dentists and I skull mineral water. I drive drunk people out to other bars.
First thing Monday morning, I make the calls. I’m worried now that I might be more pregnant than I think, and that I need to think about tests, etc. My doctor’s rooms suggest a dating scan, my GP refers me, and I find a clinic only 25 minutes away that can fit me in today. I drink water for that fetching ultrasound bloat.
The clinic is full of women at various life points: half-pregnant girls and older ladies courting mysterious later-life ailments. I am seen quickly, and the radiographer asks “Surprise?”
I haven’t practiced my witty responses yet; I’ll need to work on some.
I ask her how old the oldest woman she’d done this scan on was, hoping to hear “50” at least.
“44 or 45, I guess” she responds.
Shit. “Were they IVF?” I ask.
“Oh yes” she replies, “You’re quite the exception.”
She spreads her goo, waves her wand, and hey presto, there’s a little… something. With a flutter.
“Oh, that’s a good heartbeat,” she says.
I remember something. Twins are more common in late-life pregnancies. Something to do with your body having a last tilt at reproduction, I guess. The radiographer concurs, telling me it’s true, often both ovaries will “fire at once” in the peri-menopausal. Guns blazing! Fortunately, this is not the case with my otherwise rampant ovaries.
I am 6 weeks and 3 days along (amazing how they can pinpoint this); she can tell me which ovary the egg came from! She shows me the “ring of fire” around a bit of the ovary. The smoking gun.