I drop JC off at school and make my way to where Jay is having her ultrasound. It takes me 45 minutes to get there. Appropriately, it is raining. I call them to let them know that I am on my way and to please wait before going in because I want to be there.
When I arrive, I see Amy at the entrance to the building. Damn, what is she doing here? I like her, but today I could really do without her sickly sweetness. She is 16 and living with her boyfriend. Tough upbringing. I wonder about the influence she has had over my daughter.
“Hey Amy.” She looks at me with eyes that say something terrible is about to happen. I am mildly irritated. What the hell is she doing here? I feel like we are waiting for the axe to fall.
Jay and Em eventually arrive. There has been a misunderstanding. Jay was meant to make an appointment, but she was told she didn’t have to make one. They agree to fit her in where they can, but it could be a while. “But I need to pee!” Jay wails.
Em has been very quiet. We sit down in the waiting room. “Mum, I can’t wait any longer. I really need to pee. I’m in pain.” I encourage her to hang on a little while. I feel like I am talking to three year old Jay. Amy says that because we have to wait, she can pee and then gulp down some more water. I advise against it, but Jay agrees and heads off to the loo, with Amy in tow.
Em has his head down. I do not know what to say. He is clearly uncomfortable. I am uncomfortable.
“Jay X!” The ultrasounds woman shouts. Dammit, I knew Jay should have waited. I yell for Jay. She appears with a big bottle of water. “Drink, drink, drink!” I snap.
I rush into the room with Jay, and notice Em has not followed us. “Okay, so you are about 5 weeks pregnant?” Jay nods. “And you had some pain.” She nods again. “Right, I am going to take a look, but what you will see is not really a baby. Jay looks at me, confused. I shake my head and mouth later. “Remove your jeans please.” Again, Jay looks at me with fear in her eyes. God, this is hard.
The sonographer places the gel on Jay’s belly and slides the wand over her tummy to have a good look. “Well, it is not ectocpic. There is an embryo, but there is no heart beat, so you will need to come back in two weeks to confirm the pregnancy.” I’m staring at what closely resemble a jelly bean on the screen. My grandchild is a jelly bean. I feel warm, confused, teary. There is life inside my daughter – an extension of me.
“What does she mean I have to come back in two weeks to confirm the pregnancy?” I snap back to reality. The sonographer has left to let Jay get dressed.
“Well, a lot of times woman have eggs that become fertilised but then the body reabsorbs them, so I think that until they can see a heart beat, they don’t consider it an actual pregancy.” I don’t know if this is true or not, but it sounds plausible.
“But my blood tests at the hospital said my HCG level were over 5,000. He said that was high and that I was definitely pregnant.” There was desperation in her voice. I wonder if she has any clue what this means, how her life is going to change forever.
“It’s okay, Jay. We’ll just make an appointment for two weeks and confirm everything is okay.” She looked deflated. This wasn’t what she was hoping for. Her maternal instinct was clearly strong.
We walked back into the waiting room. Em was there, looking very pale. “Why didn’t you come in with us, Em?” I said. “It is your baby too you know.” I tried to sound light hearted.
“I just thought it best if Jay was with you.” I note a tone of denial.
“The baby is there, but no heartbeat, so I have to come back in two weeks for a follow up to confirm the pregnancy.” Jay is petulant. Patience was never her thing. I’m wondering if Em is praying for it not to be a pregnancy at all.
Em heads back to work and I agree to take Jay home. We stop off for a coffee at the shopping centre nearby. Why are there so many pregnant women around, and so many babies? Have these people never heard of contraception?
“Can we look at baby stuff?” Jay asks. I feel like we are playing dolls. Does she truly get that we are bringing an actual human being into this world?
“Sure.” We wonder around the baby sections of K-mart and Target. So much stuff will be needed. How on earth are we going to afford all of this? We have just forked out a fortune furnishing the new house.
“When will I start to show, Mum?” I sigh. So eager.
“Not for another few months, yet, love, not for another few months.”