January 22, 2005

Nothing to See

So yesterday was it. The big event. The ultrasound.

Now, for those of you who haven't experienced the joys of parenthood, let me give you a little back story. When you discover you are pregnant, your doctor will give you two ultrasounds. The first usually occurs on the first visit to ensure that yes, you are with child. The second (and final) look happens around the mid-way point of week twenty. This time, the doc is looking to make sure the heart is developing normally, the head is the right size and all the bits and pieces that should be there are. It is a very exciting ultrasound. Even more so because about half way through, the doc asks you, "so, do you want to know gender?"

Now, for me, I always knew that I wanted to know. Knowing boy or girl was the only way to go in my mind. You could start buying clothes and decorating rooms, deciding on a name, and wrapping your mind around the idea of "my daughter" or "my son". I never understood gender-neutral baby stuff. Your kid has a gender!!!! Why on earth would you want to have it spend it's first few months wearing a green onesies looking neither male or female? Deciding on a genderless room for a kid that will clearly be male or female - what a let down! So whenever I run across someone who wanted it to be a "surprise" I secretly pitied them all they were missing out on.

But me, I was going to know.

Of course, in my joyous anticipation, I had forgotten the number one lesson that Leina has taught me during her first 18 months of life. Namely, I am not in charge. This would have been a good lesson to remeber as I lay on the examining table, belly bare and glistening under a mess of clear ultrasound goop.

We saw the heart and the spine. Measured the head and the organs. Counted arms and legs. Everything was normal. And the moment arrived.

"Do you want to know gender?" my doctor asked?

YESSSSSS! "Sure." I replied, very laid back and in control.

So we travelled down the legs, around the butt, and then.......

Nothing. Absolutely nothing. The kid had it's legs crossed at the ankle and it's knees pressed together. The doctor tried poking around a bit but the kid wouldn't move.

"Oh, well, that's all the time we have. I guess you won't find out today!" she said and began to shut off the screen.

I was stunned. "What do you mean? When will my next ultrasound be? I'm dying to know!"

The doctor looked a bit perplexed. "Next ultrasound? Well, unless there's a medical emergency, this is you last ultrasound. You'll have to wait until you deliver to find out."

I think she said something else about a urine sample and another appointment but I don't remember. I was in shock. By the time I was in my car, the shock turned to anger and then pain. I was ready to know. I *wanted* to know. I had planned to stop at Safeway on the way home to by an "it's a girl" or "it's a boy" balloon to surprise Kevin. But as I drove past, I found myself crying. It was such a disappointment. I was in shock. Instead of learning if I was having a son or a daughter, I was still stuck in limbo land. I felt lost and adrift.

Kevin didn't believe me. I think he suspected I was pulling his leg and that I really knew. He seemed just as stunned and dejected as I did.

And then it got worse. I had a whole list of people who were expecting my call, eagerly awaiting the big news. I started at the top and called my sister and my mom. They were horrified. They proceeded to list all the horrible ramifications of this. I couldn't tell Leina is she was getting a sister or a brother. I'd have to put off painting the room in a gender theme and go with something neutral. The baby shower was looking like a yellow/green unisex affair. And everyone I called was equally disappointed and upset. It was horrible. Between calls I cried and tried to pick myself up enough to face another excited "sooooo, what is it? I'm dying to know!'

After an hour or so I shook myself out of my misery. I mean, really, the ultrasound was for medical reasons. The important thing was that this baby was healthy and developing normally. No complications or medical anomilies and that really, was the important thing. So I didn't get to know. It wasn't going to be fun to have to explain to everyone who asked that I wanted to know but couldn't find out, but hey, it could be a lot worse.

I was slowly coming around to see the "bigger picture" and my stunned haze was clearing. So I decided to do a little internet research and, voila, there it was, the answer to my delimna.

Fetal Fotos.

Yes, as it turns out there is a growing industry that will do an ultrasound for a mere $100 and guarantee a gender peek. If they can't see it the day you come in, you get to return over and over until the little squirt lets you get a look. I was sold. And so, I have booked an appointment next Sat for the upgraded 3-D package. Even better, Kevin can come with me since it's not on a weekday and we can discover if we'll be welcoming a son our daughter into our home.

One more week. I can make it. It's better than four months!

Posted by Kevin at 09:00 PM | Comments (0)