One Life-Changing Sonogram


I reclined in the dim sonogram room, with Jason sitting in a chair next to me.

We both watched our baby on the screen in excitement, as the sonographer pointed out the different —

no wait, this tech didn’t point out anything.

She was silent the. entire. sonogram.

It was awkward, but I figured, maybe they aren’t allowed to say anything.

We had asked her to write down the gender on paper, so that we could find out the gender together later.  We couldn’t wait to know whether it was a boy or a girl.

As we waited and watched, Jason leaned in close to me, and said, “Hey, we haven’t agreed on any boy names yet. What will we name him if it’s a boy?”

I smiled at him and said, “Benjamin?”  Jason had thought of the name earlier in the week.   He smiled.  “Oh yeah, Benjamin.  I like that name.”

I tried not to be nervous by the tech’s silence.  She finished the sonogram, then said, “I have to go get the doctor.”

I didn’t remember a doctor being called after our firstborn’s 20-week sonogram.

When The Doctor Came

A young female doctor walked in, smiled awkwardly, then said, in a kind but distant (professional) manner,

“There are two things we’re seeing.  The first is that your baby’s feet are clubbed.”  (She gestured with her hands.)   “The second is that the stomach bubble didn’t show up on the sonogram.  We’re not completely sure what this means yet…”

She explained that normally, when the baby swallows amniotic fluid, a bubble will show up on the sonogram.  That’s how they find the stomach on the sonogram.

“We’re hoping it’s nothing.  Maybe the baby was asleep or didn’t feel like swallowing.  Just to make sure, we’d like to schedule another sonogram for next week… We’d also like to do an echocardiogram next week […] Do you have any questions?” 

Questions. Hmm. Where do we start?

“What are clubbed feet?”

“Will he be able to walk?”

“How severe is it?”

“What do they do to correct it?”

We’d never even heard of clubbed feet before.  My first visual image was that the feet were 2x the normal size and possibly had no toes…

It means they are turned in.  We won’t know the severity until he’s born.  Sometimes sonograms are wrong… That’s what we’re hoping for with the stomach bubble.”