One of THE most amazing things I have done in vet school so far was ultrasounding a pregnant ewe. I’ve had the opportunity to participate in some pretty cool procedures and witness a lot of transformative therapies, so I was definitely not expecting this experience to impact me as strongly as it did.
We were instructed to place the ultrasound probe along the right caudal abdomen to avoid the rumen. From there, with a firm, constant pressure I was able to visualize the abdominal wall, a cotyledonary placenta, and finally little skulls and rib cages leading to tiny beating hearts. It was as if I could see with my fingertips. A whole new world was illuminated onto a tiny screen. What seemed hidden was now in plain view.
I had ultrasounded livers and bladders, prostates and spleens, tomato-like kidneys…but this…this was so very different. Through the power of sound waves, I was able to visualize a tiny life.
I’m sure this will not be my last pregnancy ultrasound, and at some point the task may even become mundane. However, I hope that no matter how ordinary it may seem down the road that I am able to maintain this feeling and sense of awe that I experienced ultrasounding my first sheep.
Vet school is full of “firsts.” First ultrasound, first blood draw, first surgery. So often, I fly past these moments, looking forward to whatever may be coming next and failing to fully appreciate them. The veterinary profession is a field of “firsts,” and I don’t want to let them pass me by.