The only thing that could have made last Thursday's ultrasound better would have been a big tub of popcorn and tall glass of (de-caf) Pepsi (and maybe a little less sticky belly jelly leftovers after the fact). Because it was probably the best “movie” that I've ever seen. I'm sure any other movie reviewer would disagree, but it had the perfect blend of an action flick, suspense thriller and sappy tear-jerker all rolled into one.
The appointment was with maternal fetal medicine, which meant that the technician and doctor would be checking out the baby's heart, as well as measuring the spine and brain for any indication of problems. But after the doctor told us that, even with a family history of heart defects at birth, there was only a two percent chance of a heart issue, it was easier to just stare at the screen in awe of every little kick, wave and contortionist move. Because of all the measuring (and a rather uncooperative baby once again earning the nickname Trouble), my husband and I were able to watch our baby move and kick for a full hour.
The appointment began with the technician starting out with the basic measurements, taking a few 3D pictures of the face, and trying to determine gender, which started out as a “maybe a boy,” then a “maybe a girl,” then a “this is the most uncooperative baby…” and finally a “maybe the doctor will get a better look.” Like I said, Trouble.
The doctor came in, explained what she would be looking for, then made a few measurements of one area, then checked to see if baby had uncurled enough for a gender determination, then showed us the blood flow in and out of the heart (which appears normal), then checked to see if baby was any more cooperative. She moved the wand in different ways that would show a profile, then show fluid chambers in the brain, then show more of skeletal structure.
After not being able to see anything that said “boy” for the majority of the appointment, the doctor said she was about 70 percent sure it was a girl, though the baby had its legs curled up (that or touching the forehead) during most of the appointment. The technician came back in and watched to doctor work, curious to see if she had made any determination.
In one last attempt at the end of the appointment, the baby finally moved just a little and the 70 percent girl became…95 percent boy! She said not to paint the nursery blue yet, since they should be able to be 99 percent sure in a few more weeks; but we got a few convincing looks that my future is going to be filled with lots of trucks, sports and “boys will be boys” moments. And, most importantly, there was nothing to indicate any problems with the heart, and he appears to be healthy and the proper size for my due date.
The last ultrasound I had pictures from, I was about six weeks pregnant and the baby looked like a kidney bean. At the end of the appointment last Thursday, we took home a sheet of 20 photos. In twelve weeks, the baby has gone from a little oval on a screen (which required “baby” and an arrow to point out where he was) to a little boy with ears, eyes, nose and the first indications of his facial characteristics. We could count his fingers.
And, since Trouble was being so difficult, I get to go back in six weeks to get the remaining measurements (and hopefully be 99 percent sure of gender). But since the first “movie” was a hit, I don't mind a little noncooperation if it means that we get a repeat showing.