Wednesday, January 9

Ultrasound at 19 weeks

The ultrasound was possibly the most fascinating thing I have ever watched.

Not only was it emotionally enthralling, but it was also intellectually and visually awe-inspiring. The technician showed us cross-sections of Fetus' heart, spine, ribs, and brain. During the fetal anatomy scan, he also measured all the major bones ("that is the cutest patella I have ever seen!"), took the heart rate (132), and counted the vertebrae on its spine. At one point, he measured the blood flow in Fetus, which came up as red or blue areas. My witty hubby said, "that looks like an Election Day map."

Fetus is quite the performer. At first, s/he was curled up in a very tight little ball. After my belly had been prodded for a bit, Fetus moved around. It moves; what a relief! Then it touched its toes and waved to the camera! It was such a Nicole shot but unfortunately the tech didn't take the photo. Fetus kicked, put its hands over its head, opened its mouth wide ... and it was so fascinating.

Speaking of s/he ... as soon as we walked through the door, I said, "Please, please: we don't want to know the baby's sex. Not even close." The technician smiled and assured us when it came to that area, he'd have us look away but he did have to view the genitals for the anatomy scan.

And yet ... he never had us look away. I know that they look for the absence or presence of a penis (that there says plenty about how we are socialized about gender) rather than the presence of a penis or vagina ... so does that mean we're having a girl? Or did he just realize, via my comments, that we generally had no idea what we were looking at unless we were told? I mean, he would say, "that's the forearm," and my response would be, "OK, I'll just take your word for it." Or what if he just forgot to do the anatomy scan in the genital area? I really don't want to know the baby's sex, but it made me wonder more than I have before.

Aesthetically, the ultrasound was very inspiring. I enjoyed the black-and-white abstract photos and I kept wishing I could take the technician's pictures instead. I can't think of a better word than mesmerizing.

The tech was really nice the whole time and let me pee halfway through. Apparently you only have to drink a lot of water in your first trimester for ultrasounds, not in your second or third. At least that's what he told me.

Before the ultrasound, I just about fell over when I took my weight. At the midwife's, the nurse has you pee in a cup and take your weight at the same time. Well, I peed in my cup, OK, ladeeda, and then I went to take my weight and I added a few pounds to my last weight four weeks ago ... and a few more ... and I almost felt faint by the time I got the thing to balance out. According to that scale, I had gained another 24 pounds!

I almost fell out of the bathroom begging the nurse to do it instead. These were the thoughts going through my head: how in the world ... ?; did I really eat that many potatoes?; oh my God I'm not going on a diet while I'm pregnant!: oh my God they are going to tell me to cut waaay back and I'm so hungry; I could really go for a blueberry muffin; where did all that fat go? I don't look that big, do I?; ... one of those ones with little sugar crystals on top ...; I hope I weighed myself wrong; maybe I weighed myself wrong last time and that's the real problem; no, my overall weight gain would still be incredibly too high; why do they make us watch our weight when we're pregnant? Shouldn't that be considered torture?; oh my GOD do I really weigh that much?

Fortunately the nurse did weigh me and somehow, despite my honors science classes, I had weighed myself wrong. Thank God. I gained 6 pounds in 4 weeks, which is a little more than what they advise, but 6 pounds I can do. 24 not so much.


Courtney said...

What a lovely little baby! Congratulations on your first successful ultrasound. :)

(And don't worry about the weighing yourself thing - I can never seem to do it on the ridiculously intricate scale at my gym, either... though the fact that all the trainers are right there behind you watching as you try never helps)

Sending your baby good, healthy vibes. :)

BerryBird said...

Beautiful photo of the little one! So glad you didn't really gain 24 pounds since the last appointment--I'm sure that would leave you uncomfortable in many different ways.

Tom Krieglstein said...

That's so exciting! I can only image the feeling must be enthralling.