From the category archives:

Week 20

Today was the momentous occasion we’ve been looking towards for some months:  The 20 Week Ultrasound!

This means that we are OFFICIALLY at the half-way point.  I also officially have a baby bump and officially know the sex of my baby (though I won’t be sharing that quite yet!).

Things are looking pretty sweet.  I have a great heart rate, have gained the perfect amount of weight and have a uterus that has grown right where it should have grown.

As far as our baby is concerned, (s)he is doing very well.  Good heart rate, good skull shape, no signs of the dreaded  spina bifida, no sign of a cleft palate, skull in good condition. 10 fingers, 10 toes…

Speaking of toes, the baby has my husband’s feet.  My big toe is considerably longer than my second toe, while my husband’s second toe is longer than his first.  While we both have long toes, Milton sports tingers, which simply means that his toes are freakishly long.  We can see in the ultrasound that our baby also has tingers.  I am also convinced that the baby has my husband’s leg proportions, which means another family runner.  This is all good stuff.

I did have a moment of nervousness after the ultrasound tech left the room and returned with (dum dum dum) The Doctor.  It was obvious from the start that The Doctor was summoned into the room to give us Potential Bad News.  First, he confirmed my age, “You’ll be having the baby when you’re 34 and a half,” he says, and suddenly I am filled with fear.  My brain immediately starts telling me that this will be my only child, that the risks are too great as I approach my dreaded (and absolutely youthful) 35th birthday.  The Doctor goes on to tell me that the baby’s heart is showing a sign of Echogenic Intracardiac Foci, as told by bright spots on the heart.  This increases my chances of having a baby with Downs Syndrome by 2.  Broken down, this means that while my age and history indicated a 1 in 350 chance of having a baby with an extra chromosome when I woke up this morning, appearance of EIF ups my chances to 1 in 200, or .5%.  SPECIFICALLY, babies with the EIF marker have a 1 in 188 chance of T-21 (Downs).

Of course, there is no indication of a chromosomal problem as far as the bone structure of the baby’s face is concerned.  The ridge of the baby’s nose and cheekbones appears to be strong and “normal”.  AND, further investigation (thanks to an immediate iPhone google search) indicates that a full 30% of Asians have EIF.  Further race investigation indicates 11% of caucasians and 6% of black babies show symptoms of EIF.  Thus,  I don’t think that there is anything to worry about… and if there is, it’s out of my control to do anything but love whatever baby we have.  I do find it odd that it’s required for a doctor to put extra fear in you, but not required for them to say, “But, hey, your baby is Asian, so there was a 30% chance the baby would have EIF anyhow.”  I mean, really?   I would hate to be a doctor who gets called into examination rooms to only deliver red flag news.  I was thinking the whole time about how awesome the job of the ultrasound technician was… and later I thought about how the stony-faced-bearer-of-bad-news doctor ‘s job was NOT awesome.  Also, WAY TO MAKE A GIRL FEEL OLD, doctor.  34 and a half. Geez louise.

All that EIF business aside, it was AMAZING to see our baby moving around in there!  S(he) is far more active than I even imagined!  Lots of times there is whole moving around that I can’t even feel.  I didn’t realize that!  The baby flips and flops into all sorts of different positions without my even knowing, all of the time!  I need to really be punched and kicked to know that something is going on in there… which means that I’m being punched and kicked all the time, too, because I feel it plenty!   So great!!

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19 weeks, 5 days

by Esther on Thu, Dec 17th, 2009

in Week 20

In a day and a half, we will head to an ultrasound appointment to see the last pictures of our baby until the pictures we take ourselves when the baby arrives.

In a day and a half, we will be given an envelope that contains the most interesting news.  In less than 48 hours, we will open that envelope over dinner.  The contents of the envelope will settle a bet that decides who pays for dinner.

We have a pizza resting on the sex of our baby.  If the contents of the envelope reveal that the baby is a girl, I pay for the pizza.  If the envelope reveals the baby to be a boy, my husbandface pays for the pizza.

Our sides seem arbitrary.  Or, rather, it seemed so until earlier this week when Milton has  decided that he is 90% sure that the baby will be a girl because he had a dream about her. 90% odds are hardly arbitrary.

I somewhat randomly decided that this baby will be a boy because a hobby numerologist, a Brooklyn girl who insists her ring test has never been wrong, and my acupuncturist, all say BOY.  I also once had an overwhelming BOY feeling when I visited the house that we are in (contingent on sale of our current place) contract for buying..

I saw myself in that house with a boy, and told my husband, “We should bid!”  Of course,  a few months later we are still in our small but spectacular downtown condo (with no separate bedroom), which has been sadly ignored by the perfect buyer (or any buyer, really).  With that in mind, my vision is possibly moot.  For that matter, the vision of anyone doesn’t mean much.  Any little boy or girl cooking inside of me will be raised around plenty of people who later in life bent their gender roles accordingly… so while the visions of our well meaning friends might be profoundly on point, they could have nothing to do with the current state of genitalia growing inside of me.

Right?  So why is this so important?  As important as pizza, anyway?

Milton says that the baby isn’t real to him until it has a gender assignment.  To quote, “It’s just a little animal.”  But I say that it’s a little animal (OUR little animal) no matter what gender it is.

My whole reason for finding out the baby’s gender is the fact that I want to name the baby before the baby comes.  I want to have greater reason not to refer to my baby as it any longer.  Not that I’ll tell anyone the baby’s name until the day he or she arrives, mind you, but I will start referring to the baby with the proper gender assigning pronoun.

In the meantime, we’re hanging out playing little games with each other.  Asking each other, “Right now.  What sex do you think the baby is?  How correct do you think your feeling is, on the scale of 1 to 10?”  It’s a pretty fun game, but in the end I honestly don’t care.  I have good reasons to want a girl and good reasons to want a boy.  Mostly I just want a healthy baby.  For serious.

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