Friday, February 11, 2011

Modern World

Someone I know just posted (on FB) what looks to my Shakespearean-trained eyes like an ultra-sound, the sort that shows a fetus in the uterus, the sort that pregnant women are given as a "first picture."

I think this is supposed to announce a pregnancy. People who know the poster better may have heard elsewhere, but I didn't, so it works like an announcement to me, except that I'm not quite sure what I'm seeing. For all I know, she has a kidney stone or something. (I dare any untrained person to look at a dozen photos of different ultra-sound thingies and tell what they are. I know they're used to show other things, though I've never actually seen anyone wave around a picture from those other things. But it's the sort of picture we've grown used to seeing to indicate pregnancy.) But there's no other explanation posted, just the poster's name and the date on the ultra-sound-looking picture.

I really AM 400 years behind, thinking this is a weird way to announce one's apparent reproductive success, aren't I?


  1. Anonymous7:45 AM

    I enjoyed having the photos and shared them with family under duress but I always feel a little weird waving around a picture of the inside of my body. It'

    Plus I've had an ultrasound for another reason and I have to say, it looks pretty similar to the early pregnancy ultrasound. They didn't give me a picture to take home, though, which suggests that if someone has the picture, it's probably because they have a fetus.

    Anyway. I've seen people do this and maybe I'm 400 years behind, too, but it always strikes me as a little weird.

  2. I don't think it is odd to have posted the U/S picture, but I do think it is weird not to have commented with the picture.

    Kind of goes along with "vaguebooking" comments that annoy me...

  3. Anonymous7:45 AM

    I immediately had to go check FB to see if it was someone on my friends list too...

  4. I would be surprised if you knew this person, but it's certainly possible, Meg. There's probably only one or two degrees of separation.

  5. I never want to see pictures of other people's innards. Baby pictures can wait till it's out. And yet, you've made me think . . . maybe I should post a picture of my normal gall bladder scan, just for kicks. Who knows what hijinks might ensue? ;-)

  6. Anonymous12:23 PM

    Guilty as charged. After over a year and a half of trying and medical intervention, I showed that first real u/s pic to everyone under the sun.

  7. I like the idea of being 400 years behind the times. If you are going to do something, don't do it by halves!

    I remember as an undergrad meeting with the Dean once, who was a medievalist, and when I tried to make small talk about some current events, she waved her hand derisively and said, "Oh, I don't bother keeping up with anything since the Reformation."


  8. My immediate response to your post, Bardiac, is to offer a small correction: "reproductive success," as far as I see, applies not to pregnancy but live birth. Don't count no chickens before they've hatched.

    And this is why people think I'm a cold-hearted bastard.

  9. Good point, Dr. K. I was trying not to romanticize reproduction, and couldn't think of a term that fit.

    I also don't know when they start doing ultrasound stuff for pregnancy. Is it before or after whatever the traditional "don't tell before then because miscarriages are really common" time?

  10. I think they do one before and one after. But the early one really doesn't show anything much at all - a dot if you are lucky. So that's probably not the one your friends are waving around.

  11. Anonymous11:08 AM

    With my first, I was seeing a fancy doctor serving mostly upper middle class white women and they did one U/S per trimester and gave you lots of pictures. With my second, I was seeing a not so fancy doctor serving mostly poor brown women and they did one U/S, mid-2nd trimester, when it's considered medically diagnostic for certain kinds of birth defects.