Adventures of Week 20

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.


11 responses

  1. You may change your mind, lots of people do these days… with amazing ultrasounds and all… BUT, I’ll say this. That moment when my doctor said “It’s a girl… then a boy… then a boy,” were the three best, biggest surprises of my life– bar none. Bigger than getting engaged, or birthday parties, or anything! That said, my friends who found out the sex ahead of time, say that they loved that too… But, I vote for waiting. :-D

    • I knew I wanted to wait to find out the sex mostly so that putting my kid into a rigid gender box would be postponed as long as possible. Just recently my dentist asked me if it was hard to shop not knowing the sex. And I said, “No…my baby’s genitals don’t dictate what kind of stuff I’ll need.”

      That said, I am excited to find out, just as I can excited to find out all the aspects of fe’s personality.

      • I felt the same way, but didn’t say it as intelligently. ;-) I just wanted the surprise, and I didn’t want to plan colors, etc around the sex.I never felt like I had to have pink or blue bedding. It’s just such an exciting time!

  2. DUDE. You just announced you were pregnant – what? – like three hours ago. And now you’re halfway there! You look wonderful.

    I always loved the ultrasounds too. I felt so much more connected to C when I could see her. Sometimes I look at her now and feel amazed that the little kicking globule I saw on that screen not too long ago is now a little girl. It’s amazing.

  3. I was so excited to find out if there was a penis or a vagina in my belly when I was pregnant with Eddie. Mostly because I wanted to refer to the baby by a name rather than “it” or “the baby.” (My unborn children have been named since college so I was eager to assign a name.)

    Your baby will be who s/he will be no matter if you find out the gender now or later. They’ll like what they like and you can encourage or discourage those preferences if you want. We encourage all of Eddie’s play/clothing preferences because I think that’s what parents should do–encourage kids to find themselves from the buffet of life. The social pressures are on at school, though, and it appears to be from the children and not the teachers. We’ve had to support him when he comes home upset because kids made fun of him during dress up time because he put on a dress and jewelry. As parents, Dave and I are both feeling a tiny bit guilty about being somewhat neutral when it comes to gender expression if only because it hurts US when we see Eddie’s feeling get hurt when he’s in those situations–situations he doesn’t understand. (I saw somewhat because we don’t try to be completely PC and accurate–he’s only 4 and there’s a limit to his understanding.) I’m trying to focus on these being teaching moments but it can be tough emotionally for us. We’re working on him being able to stand up for himself with rebuttals like, “Teasing isn’t nice. Everyone can choose what they want. And today I choose the dress. I will be happy with whatever you choose to wear, too.”

    But aaaaaaaaanyway! Yay for a good report on your fetal development. I’m so excited for your growing family! You look wonderful pregnant.

    • Brian and I have talked about this, and we really do want to encourage whatever gender preferences our kid might have.
      I’ve commented to Brian how lucky I’ve felt being able to grow up with a brother. Because of that, both me and him were able to play with gender nonconforming toys and not feel bad about it at all. I got to have access to GI Joe and Ninja Turtles and he got to have access to Barbies and dress up clothes and we had tons of fun and it was all ok.

      I really like how you’ve roll-played with Eddie. It really boils down to a lesson on empathy and acceptance rather than gender issues.

  4. That is one precious baby bump you’ve got right there. Glad to hear all is going well, The suspense of waiting to find out the sex of the little duck shall certainly by my undoing. Can we take bets? I’m thinking fe is a he. 50/50 shot of being right, yes?

    • Aren’t girls conceived, like 51% percent of the time? I’d have to look that up.
      Honestly, there’s a part of me that is dying with curiosity to know the sex, but we really wanted the surprise and we want to postpone the inevitable genderizing of our kid for as long as possible.

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