Recently I completed training in limited obstetrical ultrasound at a local crisis pregnancy center. I volunteer on Monday mornings when my kids are in school. Scanning pregnant bellies is awesome! There aren't many things more amazing to see than the first flicker of a heartbeat or tiny hands and feet.
I find it hilarious that almost every client comments on how big the baby's head is. Then, they blame the the baby's father, "He's got a big head, just like his daddy." Ha!
However, things aren't always cheerful in the ultrasound room.
I know from personal experience that it really sucks to be the woman on the table when the person performing an ultrasound says, "That's an empty uterus." It really, really sucks!
Now I also know that it really, really sucks to be the person performing an ultrasound when an unborn baby's heartbeat can't be found. I realize long before the mother that the baby is not alive, but I have to keep silent until I have finished all of my pictures and measurements. Then, I have to utter those heart wrenching words, "I'm not finding a heartbeat. I'm so sorry. You need to see your doctor as soon as possible..."
I encounter crying women every day that I volunteer. Frequently they cry tears of joy and wonder. Sometimes the weeping is in response to the hopelessness of an unplanned pregnancy. Rarely (I hope), they are due to the rotten news I deliver. In that case, I just cry with them and then we pray.