Yesterday, for my birthday, I got myself a downtown photo session.
Baby Baker was very stubborn about positioning. Refused to turn around so we could get a good facial profile — just kept staring at my spine, butt in the air. (And trust me, the doctor tried — I thought I’d have a bruised belly after all of the poking and prodding and awkward body positions!) The picture above is the best one we could get, and it doesn’t really have any facial features. He was able to eventually find the lip and chin, from each side, and determine that there was no cleft. Ryan thinks the doctor saw both eyes, too, but I was thinking he only got a clear look at one.
The thing about that particular baby position is that, while you don’t get to see the face, you get a very clear shot of everything else that is important. For example:
(Sorry about the glare; I need a scanner or something.)
I get dreadfully disoriented with ultrasounds. Ordinarily I’m very good at three-dimensional space. I think it might be because I’m looking at it from a strange angle; if I were sitting up, looking at it straight on instead of lying down and straining to see, I think I’d do better. That being said, even looking at the still photograph I’m not entirely sure whether the pelvis is to the right (my suspicion) or the left in this picture. Is that a leg off to the right?
I admit a certain amount of confusion regarding how the ultrasound can see through the skull. I also don’t really recognize anything in this cross-section of the brain, but the doctor was rattling off brain-bits that I’d heard of before, and said that everything was healthy and exactly the way it ought to be.
Although he didn’t print a picture of it, we also got a great view of the heart (four chambers, all pumping) and the bladder. Doctor also got a good look at the back of the neck, which can show indicators for Down’s Syndrome; Baby Baker’s is perfect.
That’s a hand with five fingers on it. You know how you know that you picked the right doctor? When he tells you that there are five fingers, and then says that this is a good thing unless you were counting on raising a six-fingered swordsman.
The next picture is my favorite:
I am an absolute sucker for baby feet. I have never felt the urge to touch a pregnant woman’s belly, or grab at someone’s baby — but it takes every bit of willpower that I have not to touch a baby’s foot if it presents itself. I’m nuts over baby shoes and socks and little baby tootsies curled up instead footie pajamas. I have really lucked out here; my baby will be coming complete with not one but TWO perfect little baby feet!
Anyway, to cut to the chase… it is an excellent thing that Ryan and I were not hoping for a surprise, gender-wise. Remember how I told you that the baby was positioned? Well, the first thing that the ultrasound revealed was a picture looking up (or down, I guess, since baby was upside-down) at the baby’s bottom.
This particular shot is nowhere NEAR as clear as the one Ryan and I saw, immediately. I guess Ryan (who, after all, took care of a little baby boy for several months) knew instantly what he was looking at; I was pretty darned sure but wasn’t sure to trust myself because of that disorientation. (I wasn’t sure what end of the kid we were looking at!) Anyway, I guess neither one of us said anything because we weren’t sure if the other person had seen it yet. Then the doctor pointed it out…
So, yeah. Looks like we’re going to be having a little boy!
I would be lying if I said this didn’t scare me a little bit, but I’m not quite sure if it’s the fact that we’re having a boy instead of a girl, or if it’s the fact that this hypothetical genderless Possibility has abruptly turned into a pronouned Reality. In one fell swoop, I’ve gone from “I’m going to be a mom!” to “I’m going to be the mother of a son who will grow up to become a man.” And that’s a frightening prospect and a big responsibility! I don’t know the first thing about little boys, but then again, I don’t really know the first thing about babies in general. And everyone I know who has boys assures me that they’re great. (Then again, would anyone really post on Facebook, “I have boys and wish desperately that I didn’t”? LOL.)
I am excited. When I think about this baby growing up into a teenager, I remember that I really “do better” with my male students. I’m happy as a clam with my classes of ITE students (almost all male, entirely nerdy) and am pretty okay with just about anything teenage boys throw at me — but my “lose my cool” kryptonite is bratty teenage girls who roll their eyes. I always had more male friends than female. My favorite storybook characters are men and boys; my favorite toys are stereotypically male offerings. (Which, before the Mommy Warriors come after me, would have been a major presence in the household with a baby girl, too. Duh. Why would I have loved blocks and dinosaurs and ray guns if I hadn’t had them growing up in my all-girl household?) And I’ve always thought it must be a nice thing to have a big brother.
It took me about 18 hours, but I think I’ve found my footing again. Now that this has become a Reality — a HE — I suddenly feel inspired to work on getting things ready for him. (Man, it’s nice to have a pronoun!) Right now isn’t the right time to go shopping; December is never the right time for big-ticket purchases like nursery furniture. But I’m ready to start really looking, and clearing out the room, and getting irritated that I can’t paint it. 🙂