On Tuesday, we got to see our little fetus again! I had been looking forward to this visit for several weeks, which is awesome and crazy because it’s only the second time I’ve ever actually looked forward to having an ultrasound.
B and I got to the doctor’s office right on time, and I was gulping water in the car on the way. I’ve been able to perfect the art of making sure my bladder is juuust full enough by the time I’m called in for the procedure. If I’m too full too early, then I have to pee or risk soaking my socks. If I’m not full enough (not usually my problem) then they yell at me and make me wait. And I don’t like to be yelled at.
We sat down in the waiting room and one of my first thoughts was: Yessss! No blood draws today!
Which was quickly followed by: Frick! No blood draws means no snacks!
I turned to Brian. “Do you think they’ll give us snacks if we ask?”
“Somehow I doubt it.”
“Well, they really should provide snacks. Maybe I’ll write it on a comment card.”
“You do that.”
The ultrasound tech came out to get us and brought us into the exam room.
“Hi, my name is Li-“
“WE DON’T WANT TO KNOW THE SEX!” I blurted out. I was terrified that the surprise would be spoiled for us.
She laughed. “Well ok then, I’ll tell you when to close your eyes. You sure you don’t want it in an envelope for one of those gender reveal parties?”
“NO! NO SEX!” …and it’s impossible for our baby to have a gender identity at this point in development. Yarg. I cringe when I hear people use the term gender when they really mean sex, especially when it’s a medical professional. I bit my tongue.
The experience of this ultrasound was pretty awe-inspiring. I especially loved getting to see the interaction between me and the baby – when the baby pushed on my bladder, I could both feel it (very much so) and see the corresponding movement on the screen. And when the tech pushed on my tummy and we saw my baby get jostled around and get all annoyed – precious. This isn’t the first time you’re going to get annoyed by me, Little Duck. I’m still trying to wrap my brain and emotions around the concept (that I understand intellectually just fine) that I am growing an independent being – something that moves of free will and can affect me, and me fe. Blows my mindgrapes.
I was also fascinated by the physical development of my little duck. We got to see all four chambers of the heart in motion, and when the tech zoomed in and slowed the picture, we could see the freaking valves! I never knew heart valves could be so freaking cute!! We saw the aorta, the stomach filled with fluid, all the little toe bones, and individual structures in the brain. All this made me want to go and take an anatomy class, or at the very least, to look up brain development in my old psych books, which was the part I struggled through in my undergraduate career.
Overall, the human body amazes me.
Everything looked normal (and cute). The only thing of note is that my placenta seems to be attached very close to my birth canal – to the tune of within 1cm. I’m told that, as my uterus grows, that the placenta will creep farther away from the birth canal, hopefully enough so that I can plan on a vaginal birth. Looks like I’ll have to have another ultrasound later on to check on the status of this situation.
After the ultrasound adventure, I wiped off all the goo as best I could (it never all really comes off entirely), and we went to see our midwife.
Where are all the snacks?!
She ignored my unvoiced thoughts and confirmed that everything looks normal and we got to hear the lovely whoosh, whoosh of my baby’s four chamber heart, complete with valves. I expressed random concerns, mostly about being uncomfortable because I’m pregnant. As before, her responses were varied versions of take Tylenol, power through it, nothing we can do.
Again – awesome.
“So, did you find out what you’re having?!” My midwife asked.
Uh…a baby! Is what I wish I had said, because I cringe at that question, as if a penis or a vagina is the single most defining factor of what makes up a human being.
Deep breath. “No, we don’t want to know the sex.”
“Oh, ok! Well I might go and peek at the gender after you leave.”
Cringe. Bite tongue.
The end of the visit was a bit sad – we had to say goodbye to our midwife because our medical insurance is set to change on April 1 (if everything goes well….please, everything go well). At least we knew from the beginning that this would be happening, so we were well prepared for it.
So, I’m glad I got to see you again, Little Duck. Feel free to keep kicking, but please aim clear of my bladder.