Today was our 20 week ultrasound. For a lot of parents this is the big moment when they find out whether they are having a boy or a girl, but since we are opting to wait till birth to find out our baby's sex, this was just a great opportunity for us to see our beautiful baby and to make sure it was healthy. I do have to say that we got mad props from the second ultrasound tech for deciding to wait to find out the sex. It really made me feel good because so many people have responded negatively to our decision, whether it's just a simple questioning of our intentions to a full on lecture, so it was really nice to have a bit of positive reinforcement.
Once again I had to go through the torture of drinking water and then holding it. You would think that with all of the millions of women who have been pregnant, that by now we would have all banded together to come up with a different approach to the ultrasound - one that didn't include torture of the mother. But, we haven't and so I had to endure the torture.
Mark had worked the night shift, so I woke him up after three hours of sleep to go to the appointment with me. Also our niece came with us, although there is only one other person allowed in the exam room at a time, so she had to wait in the waiting room. We got to the appointment just in time and were quickly called into the exam room. The tech got right to business and after he took the shots he needed to with the full bladder, he let me go use the restroom. All I can say is thank God. If he had made me wait any longer with all that pushing on my stomach with the probe thing, I was going to pee all over the exam table.
For the next hour, I laid on the table while he jabbed, poked and prodded my stomach with the probe thing. Occasionally, I would have an idea of what I was looking at, but most of the time, I had no idea. I was able to pick up the head, spine and hands, but the rest was foreign to me. Mark had an even harder time figuring out what he was looking at, but at least he was brave enough to ask what he was looking at. I really enjoyed hearing the baby's heartbeat, which is so unique and distinct. It was beating at 145 beats per minute and had a "nice, even rhythm." The baby is in the 87th percentile for growth - holy mole! We are going to have one BIG baby. Mark's response to this, "Good thing you have childbearing hips." Gosh I hope I've got good hips because I'm going to need all the help I can get.
After an hour, the tech printed out some pictures for us and went to run the images by the doctor. He came back with a few images he needed to recapture for better clarity. Just as he was getting started, another tech came in to call him away to another procedure. She took his spot and I spent the next hour and 15 minutes getting poked, prodded and pinched some more, as well as having to contort my body in weird positions to get the baby to move. For example, I had to lay on my side with my legs drawn to my chest or had to lay on my back with my knees pushed against my chest to cramp the baby's space, so it would be forced to move.
However, the baby didn't move. No matter how much she made me move around or no matter how many times she poked my stomach, the baby stayed in the same spot. I have bruises forming on my stomach from how hard she was poking it, but it didn't seem to phase the baby one bit. All I can say is our child is going to be a spitfire.
Thus, our original 45 minute appointment turned into a 2 hour and 15 minute ordeal that taught me two things. One, we have a healthy, normal developing baby. Two, our child is going to be an awful lot like Mark. God help me.