When an expecting San Diego mother visited her doctor’s office for her 20-week ultrasound, she was hoping for a glimpse of her future daughter. What she saw was that, and also something more: a look back at her past.
Santee resident Shantel Carrillo, 30, went to her routine ultrasound appointment on Nov. 18. Everything was looking normal, only her baby girl inside her belly just wouldn’t keep still long enough for the tech to snap a photo.
Carrillo really wanted to see her baby’s face, but given the wiggly little one, a side profile was the best the tech could do.
She and her partner, Bryce Vinson, were so happy to see the baby’s face, they really didn’t notice anything else in the ultrasound image.
Carrillo later posted the ultrasound to her Facebook page.
But her friends and family didn’t just see the baby’s face. They saw the face of Carrillo’s late father.
“I posted the ultrasound, just that one that you see on Facebook, and right when I posted it, like 30 seconds later, someone's like, ‘There's an angel kissing your baby!’" Carrillo explained.
Carrillo said the likeness of her dad was in the top left corner of the ultrasound. She told NBC 7 it looked as if her dad was leaning over her baby, kissing her little face, right on the lips.
She couldn’t believe it.
“I was like, holy crap, it does look like me dad!” she said.
She sent the photo to her closest family members and they agreed.
Carrillo decided to post the image on Reddit, and soon, her baby’s close-up went viral.
With that, came a lot of attention and, naturally, a lot of naysayers. Carrillo said many people online have accused her of using Photoshop to alter the ultrasound, but she insisted that’s not the case.
“No, I’m not going to do that,” she told NBC 7 in an interview Monday night.
Carrillo said she herself isn’t totally sure what’s in the photo or why it’s there, but the thought of that image in the likeness of her father looking over her baby is comforting.
“It does look a lot like my dad. And it’s awesome, and you know, it could be him, just saying, ‘Hey, I’m here, and it’s all good,’” Carrillo said. “Or it could be that placenta just looks like my dad, which is awesome too.”
“It’s just a cool picture to have; it just is what it is,” she added.
Carrillo said the ultrasound resembles a photo of her dad kissing her older daughter, Myree Pacheco, 10 years ago. In that photo, he’s leaning over, fondly looking at the baby and smiling. He’s wearing a hat – something he did often.
In the ultrasound, Carrillo said it also looks like her dad is wearing a hat.
Carrillo said she didn’t feel anything different during the ultrasound – no overwhelming signs or anything to indicate her father’s spirit was with her.
But, she said she wouldn’t be surprised if it is her dad, maybe just saying hello and playing a little joke on her.
“It could very well be him – you never know,” she said, smiling. “It’s so his character; that’s just so my dad.”
Carrillo said that when she found out she was pregnant, she was sad her dad wasn’t around to share in the happiness. She told NBC 7 she sometimes prays to him to watch over her baby and keep her safe.
So, maybe – just maybe – he’s doing just that.
“He’s around, he’s doing his job – being a granddad,” she added.
Her daughter Myree agrees. She told NBC 7 she misses her grandpa a lot and was “mind-blown” when her mom showed her the ultrasound of her baby sister.
“I was shocked, I was like, ‘Wow.’ It looked like my grandpa,” Myree said. “I kind of think it is him.”
Carrillo is due on April 5, 2020.
And, somehow, maybe her dad will be there to witness that, too.