Today it was my turn to be the second staff person in the ultrasound room. And it was my first time.
The young couple watched with their eyes fixed on the ultrasound screen. Their faces looked like “deer in the headlights.” But unlike many of our patients, this couple seemed happy to be expecting a child. Not without obstacles, but willing to face them and move ahead with becoming parents.
Tanis, RN and nurse sonographer, explained what they were seeing. “This is the baby’s head and this is the baby’s bottom.”
This baby is 8 weeks along, which is common for the pregnant women we see. He or she is about the size and shape of a kidney bean with tiny arms and legs. But this was no kidney bean.
He/she is less than an inch long and weighs less than one-eighth of an ounce. He has tiny arm and leg buds and fingers and toes and knees have begun to form – although we can’t see them. His tiny legs were tucked up underneath him to be barely visible.
What was plainly visible was his heartbeat. His little heart was beating over twice as fast as his mother’s heartbeat, which is completely normal.
At 8 weeks, reflex activities begin and the baby is moving, but this early, a mother cannot feel the baby’s movements.
At this stage, a baby’s taste buds are forming, getting ready for his or her first meals. He/she also has eyelids. They’re translucent and almost cover his/her eyes, which are starting to get their color.
Of course, we could not see his taste buds or eyelids. But God is knitting every aspect of this tiny child together in the womb of his mother.
We are privileged to walk alongside his mother and father. We’ll support them as needed as they share the news with family and make plans to live life with a child.
I left the ultrasound room grateful for this window into our heavenly Father’s handiwork. It was truly amazing to witness this tiny human being on the screen. I wanted to keep my eyes fixed there as well. What a privilege we have to glimpse what He is doing as he forms this beautiful child.