Friday, September 3, 2010

20 Weeks: Ultrasound!

Today was the 20 week ultrasound.

This was a big one for us--we were going to find out the sex so we wanted to make sure that Baby Duck would show his or her boy bits or girl bits today.  But we also wanted to make sure that all of the measurements were on target.

Back in the first trimester, we opted not to do the prenatal tests that were available for the baby at that time.  Since I was not in any particular high-risk group, we felt that the tests probably weren't necessary, and the last thing I wanted was needless worry.  The tests are not exactly diagnostic--they don't tell you if something is wrong, they just tell you what your chances are that something could be wrong, which for my personality seemed like a recipe for disaster, or at least sleepless nights.  Plus I wasn't keen on the idea of an amniocentesis, which is the follow-up test if the initial screenings look like something could be wrong.  The amniocentesis involves the insertion of a needle into the abdomen--so you know I'm avoiding that if at all possible!

So we put off the tests and we waited until today's ultrasound.  This afternoon, our prayers were answered with a huge sigh of relief.  Baby Duck is measuring right on target for everything!  On a scale from 1-100 in terms of size, Baby Duck is at 48.9, which means that he or she is just where s/he needs to be in terms of growth.  Heart rate was well within the healthy range at 158 beats per minute.  Weight is 13 ounces and the sweet little foot we saw on the ultrasound today is just 3 1/2 centimeters long!

I am continuing to gain a pound for every week of pregnancy, right on schedule.  Which means, yes, I have gained twenty freaking pounds.  I'm hoping this levels off somewhere, because I'd really like to gain closer to 35 than 40 pounds, but my doctor evidently thinks 40 pounds of weight gain is just fine for my body type.  

Of course, my doctor is not dreaming of the day he'll fit back into his favorite pair of True Religions, is he?

We did ask the ultrasound tech to determine the sex of the baby BUT to wait to tell us.  She wrote it on the pictures and printed them out for us, then sealed them in an envelope and we will open it tonight when we go out to dinner.

We've decided to have dinner at the Boat House in Forest Park.  It's a beautiful night for sitting outside on the water and if there's a long wait, we can rent a paddle boat or canoe and float around the Grand Basin while we wait on our table.  The menu is basic American food (which sounds good to me since I now have an aversion to garlic and peppers, pretty much eliminating our standard Italian, Mexican, and Turkish/Mediterranean favorites).  Plus the service at the Boat House is never very good, which should give us plenty of time to open the envelope and dream about Baby Duck starting Little League or going to the American Girls shop and restaurant in Chicago.

Our ultrasound tech said it was a good thing that she got the money-shot of Baby Duck early in the ultrasound because after a while, the bebe became totally stubborn and uncooperative.  We didn't get to see the little face at all (a quick glimpse of the profile and then Baby Duck turned away from the camera completely).  Baby Duck refused to roll back over, even though the tech kept having me flip from one side to another and forcefully jiggled and poked my tummy with the wand.

We got a good shot of one little foot--as it kicked me in the side, protesting the poking treatment!  It was definitely the strongest kick I've felt so far, and pretty impressive considering the little bugger weighs less than a pound!

We also saw the tiny, sweet little hand as it reached up and played with its ear which was so adorable that it made my eyes fill up with tears.  It was just amazing.  David used to rub his ear when he was going to sleep and there are pictures of him curled up with his "hane" (blanky), his little hand still up by his ear.

Then Baby Duck proceeded to head butt me in the bladder for the remainder of the ultrasound until the tech finally gave up and said we'd have to schedule another one to get the measurements of the parts (heart, chest, and face) that Baby Duck refused to show us.

At least the bladder head butt totally explained why I peed before grabbing my purse and keys, then peed one more time before walking out the door, then peed again when I got to the doctor's office about 25 minutes later and had to pee again before we left.  (Bladder update:  Baby Duck seems to have shifted positions now--how convenient!--because I recently finished a frozen lemonade and haven't had to pee yet.)

I'm so giddy with excitement about seeing the baby (it's real!  it's alive!  it's kicking!) and having the doctor reassure me that all the measurements were normal and on-target, that honestly finding out the gender is just the icing on the cake.

It irks me that people don't believe me when I say that I don't care what it is and they really don't believe me when I say that David doesn't care either.  Seriously--people will roll their eyes and say that he is hedging.  Are you freaking kidding me?

Not only does the idea that a man would automatically have a preference for a son get my feminist sensibilities all ruffled up (and yes, that is always the assumption), it also personally offends me.  I mean, really?  Are you saying that my own father was disappointed when I was born?  Hard to believe since my dad is always saying that he likes me so much more than my brother, who was an afterthought anyway.  Hahaha just kidding, Brandon.  About Dad saying that, I mean.  We both know he thinks it.

The truth is that, yes, I would love to shop for a little girl and to read to her the same books that I loved when I was little, and I love the idea of eventually having a relationship with her like I have with my mom now.  I like French braids and ponytails and dress up clothes, and I'm even coming around to the idea of softball since I saw some really cute uniforms that included pink and black polka-dotted knee socks with matching hair bows.

But also?  I can't stop smiling when I imagine a little boy like David, with a mop-top haircut, building forts out of cardboard boxes and tossing a baseball up to the roof of the garage to practice catching it over and over again.  I also like to imagine a little boy like my brother, obsessed with dinosaurs and Legos.

I also realize that no matter how much we think that Baby Duck will be just like David or just like me, he or she will have a personality all his or her own (and, clearly, a stubborn streak--which just goes to show that there is definitely Taylor blood in those veins!).

Boy or girl doesn't matter:  Baby Duck is going to be awesome.

Ultimately, as much fun as it is to imagine what Baby Duck's little personality will be like, this ultrasound made me realize more than anything how much I am looking forward to meeting this baby and how excited I am for Baby Duck to become a part of our family!

1 comment:

  1. Someone once said something to me about how her friend had "a boy and a girl so her family was complete." What an absurd statement! Like my family WASN'T "complete?" Or if I already had a boy and a girl that wanting another one would be excessive somehow? People are weird about gender, aren't they?

    Glad the ultrasound went so well!!! So much fun. Except for the bladder part.