imageby Sarah Cleveland

Shortly after graduating from college and obtaining my board certification to become a Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer nearly 10 years ago, I was asked to fill in for a tech at a nearby OB/GYN office. I was honored by the request and accepted the offer.

When I arrived to work, I noticed there was an amniocentesis scheduled that afternoon. (In short, an amnio is a quick procedure that samples the fluid surrounding a baby in utero for further testing on the pregnancy.) And although I had assisted in dozens of procedures during clinical rotations in college, I had never before assisted with a live amniocentesis. And I was nervous about doing it. I knew the risks to the baby and momma (increased risk of miscarriage and uterine infection, albeit still low).

But what I didn’t anticipate was what I was actually going to see on the screen.