I stared up at the ceiling and counted the tiles, trying to distract myself. My attention, however, kept returning to the one directly above my head. It was covered with an old water stain. The rust colored blotch spread out over the tile like dried blood. It seemed so out of place in this building of high tech gadgets and the best trained doctors in the world. "Now try not to move," I heard the lab tech say. I lay on the table, my pregnant belly a souffle about to be poked before it was finished baking. I imagined it collapsing beneath the amniocentesis needle with a "poof!" ending my questionable pregnancy before it even had a chance. I didn't dare look at the ultrasound machine. Instead, I watched the minute hand sweep a slow circle on the wall clock. It was supposed to be over in a minute, and it was. Afterward, I was glad my husband was there to drive me home. I wasn't in pain. Pain would have been welcome. I was numb, with intermittent stabs of terror. I existed in that state for the next 3 weeks.
submitted for RememberRED-Just Before You Start