Tiny Little Dancer

Static. Commercials. News reports. Bad classical music. Driving through the cornfields of central Illinois there wasn't much to listen to on the radio. I kept hitting seek as the numbers on the screen quickly shuffled. The numbers stopped and for once an actual song started playing. I heard a familiar tune of a piano and as I turned the music up, I discovered it was Elton John's "Tiny Dancer". I cranked the volume all the way up and started bopping around the sound of the piano. For that brief moment, I felt a little happiness inside of me. No one was around me, talking about me, passing judgement on me. I felt free. And so did the baby. The baby became an acrobat inside of me while the song continued to play. I felt the tiny hands and feet jab my stomach to the beat of the song. This was the most movement I had felt thus far being pregnant. I took this as a sign as this baby was meant to be here on this Earth. This was a bonding time for me and my baby. I will never forget those three and half minutes of complete freedom with me and my tiny little dancer. It was just the two of us and the open road home. I was on the way home to see a doctor and figure out how far along I really was and to make sure the baby was healthy. I was not getting the proper care down at school so going home was the smartest choice for me. I ultimately decided to see my gynecologist. It was difficult walking into the appointment that day. He had been treating me since I was in high school. I had always been a clean and healthy person and never had any sort of issue. I was ashamed of walking in there and telling him that I got pregnant by mistake. It made me feel dirty. It made my skin crawl. What was he going to think of me? What names were going to run through his head as I explained everything to him? I already had one guy think I was a slut and a whore (the BD). I didn't need another one. I walked into the doctors office and checked in. Flashbacks of checking in for the abortion. The receptionist gave me a stack of papers to fill out on a clipboard. I waddled my way over the to a chair and sat down. I rested the clipboard on my belly and started looking over the paperwork. I answered all the questions to the best of my ability. I turned the papers back in and anxiously waited to get called back. This appointment was crucial. I was going to find out how far along I was and the gender of the baby. I was dreading finding out the gender, however. The BD told me that if it was a boy then he was going to everything in his power to fight for his son and take his son from me. That was not a promise. That was a threat. He made it very clear to me that I could not go through the adoption if it was boy. I prayed and prayed and prayed that I was going to have a girl. I never prayed for anything so hard in my life before. The nurse came out and called me back. I went into a room where she made me strip down. She asked me several more questions and ran some tests on me before she brought me back to the ultrasound room where my doctor met me. I once again waddled my way over to the exam table and scooted my way on to it. My doctor gently moved the gown off of my belly and squeezed warm goo all over my nit. He then started gliding the wand over my bump. I looked at the ultrasound screen. Not only did I see the tiny little bean shaped fetus but I saw its tiny little heart beat beating. In that moment it felt real. I looked back at my doctor and his face still glued to the screen while moving the wand. This went on for only a few minutes and until he put it down. "Well Abigail," he said, "you are roughly 27 weeks pregnant." "Fuck", I thought to myself. That was way further along than I had thought. I did not know how to respond to that. I remember just saying "ok" in a scratchy voice while tears began to swell in my eyes and stream down my face. He then went on to ask me if I wanted to know the gender and I eagerly shook my head. He squeezed more warm ultrasound gel on me and picked up the wand again. A few minutes went by and he still had not told me whether it was a boy or a girl and I was growing impatient. He had already spent five minutes measuring the fetus, he should have seen the genitals at some point during that. I looked over at him and he had a look of confusion. Why the look? He is not supposed to have the kind of look. He put the wand down. He took a huge breathe before telling me the news. He went on to explain to me that there was something that was blocking his view of the genitals. He described it to me as a piece of cauliflower blocking it. He quickly got out my file, wrote up some paperwork, and told me go to another section of the hospital to get another ultrasound done immediately. I quickly changed and managed to make my through the hospital and checked in at the new doctor's office. The glass door leading into the office read "High Risk Pregnancies". Something was up and no body was telling me what was going on with me or my baby. The nurses were standing at the desk. They greeted me and brought me back to the exam room and made me change into another gown. A young doctor walked in, introduced herself briefly, and began the ultrasound. I could hear nothing but my heart beating while she ran the wand over my wet belly. Her face looked puzzled as well. I just wanted answers. She finally stopped, put the wand down, ripped of her blue latex gloves, turned and looked at me. She informed that the baby had gastroschisis. I had no earthly idea what that meant or what she even said. She went on to explain that my baby had a hole in its stomach and that its intestines were growing on the outside of its stomach. The piece of "cauliflower" that my doctor saw were the intestines, which made it impossible for him to see the genitals. However, the high risk doctor was fairly certain that it was a girl. Then a team of doctors came in and surrounded me as lay on the exam table. They wanted to make sure that I understood fully what was happening with my baby. They also informed that most woman either lost their baby due to this or they deliver early. There was so much information given to me at a single time that I was unable to process it right then and there. I walked out of that hospital that day just stone cold with no emotion. I don't even remember the rest of that day. I didn't know whether to smile or cry. To be happy or sad. To be joyous or angry. I was overwhelmed with so many emotions at that point. I wanted to escape reality. I wanted to go back to dancing with my tiny little dancer in the car, when it was just the two of us.


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