Friday, August 26, 2011

A milkshake to celebrate gender :-)

We didn't find out Dru's gender because we felt like there were very few good surprises in life - we wanted that experience of waiting to find out. Well, we've been there, done that ... and it was nice. But I will say that as a woman who has experienced infertility/loss, not knowing contributed to my not bonding as much as I could have with my son. I kept calling him "it" rather than knowing the gender and naming the baby early. I remember being shocked that they put a live baby on my belly at delivery - I was really shocked I actually had a baby. Now, I'm not sure that's linked to not knowing the gender, but I think we can safely say that for self preservation reasons, I'm prone to not bond with a baby developing in my uterus. So ... this time, we wanted to try finding out the gender. I wanted to call the little one our baby girl or our baby boy. I wanted to start the bonding process early ... and hopefully - be able to name the baby well before they require it before letting you out of the hospital. It took us a few days to name Dru and many friends thought we were just trying to keep them on the edges of their seats - when in fact, we entered the hospital with 100 potential names - our problem is - we like 'em all! So we were kind of hoping that by finding out, we could settle on a name before we are enroute to labor and delivery ;-)

According to Ramzi’s theory, our 8 week ultrasound showed the placenta on the right side of my uterus – which is supposed to have a 97% chance at boy. I was emotionally preparing myself for another little boy. Thinking about all the advantages and disadvantages to having two little boys. I was really marinating in the possibility of little brothers.

Then came the NT scan at 12w1d – where they analyzed the nub angle or angle of the dangle (as all fetus' at this point have protruding genetalia, the techs can sometimes use the angle of it compared to the spine/backbone to correctly guess the fetus' gender) and so at mine they guessed (with 90% certainty) that this baby would be a girl – but they encouraged us not to buy anything yet.

So I went from thinking blue to thinking pink … I thought I would be excited for something new and different - for a same gender baby – but instead, I was sad not to have a baby brother for Dru. I was really getting excited about two boys. Then I started to notice the baby's movement on the right (which, according to Ramzi is supposed to mean girl) yet most people who guessed - based on how I'm carrying, would guess BOY. And Berilac REALLY thought boy and wasn’t convinced by anyone’s guesses – with nub “proof” or not (not really proof – this theory too has a good chance of being wrong)!

The ultrasound in which we found out was a sonographer training (that’s how we got it early - 18.5 weeks – and they paid us $50 to do it! Heck yeah!) so we went into it as their subjects with the caveat that we would only participate if they told us gender – and they were more than happy to cooperate! So on our way into the scan Berilac says to me “I hope it’s a boy” and with surprise, I ask him “how come?” and he tells me …. “because if it’s a girl, we’re more likely to be done having kids, if it’s a boy, I’ll want to try for a girl” … I didn't know he wanted a girl, much less, that he was interested in having more than two kids :) after all that we've been through, I was surprised to hear his inclination.

We brought in a blank card and asked that they determine gender, write it down on our card, put in a photo and seal it up. We wanted to experience learning this information on our terms, not theirs. So, they had us close our eyes when they did it and they told us the baby cooperated and that they were able to meet our wishes.

During the ultrasound, after the gender check, they used the words “she and he” and “her and him” (look at "his" vertebrae!) but it didn't seem obvious to me what we were having … so we enjoyed the rest of the ultrasound got a really cool dvd and I asked for my cervical length out of curiosity (3.7mm, good.) and we left the hospital in all smiles. We headed directly down to a local diner to celebrate. Because I have been having milkshake cravings this pregnancy we thought it appropriate to celebrate with something the baby loves! I called in advance and found out they didn’t have blueberry shakes, so we came prepared, blueberries in tow. We tried to decide if we wanted to give them the card and have them bring out one shake (Berilac didn’t want them up in our business so that was nixed), we considered ordering one shake in each flavor and only drinking the one (but that seemed like a waste) … so eventually we settled on opening the card and letting the great news absorb while we waited for our fries and appropriately colored shake to arrive.

We prayed in thanks for the amazing gift we had been given (regardless of this precious little ones gender), we opened the card, and I cried.

Berilac said “I knew it was a girl because during the ultrasound they kept using the pronoun – SHE!” I told him that I thought I saw the bits when I think they showed us a quick glance at the potty shot while moving around (because the baby moved A TON) and my first thought was … “no penis, I’ll bet that card says girl!”

But … we both still could have been wrong. It was nice to see the pic and get the confirmation. Pretty in pink, here we come. During the ultrasound, after they had told us that they were able to tell and write down for us the gender, we asked how certain they were, if they were 100% and they laughed said - you can only be certain when they are here - and they mimiced rocking a newborn baby.
We've had the official 20 week ultrasound since then (last Thursday at 21w1d, today I am 22w2d) and they were able to confirm girl again. This tech said that she was 99.99% sure it was a girl and she showed us (me and my mom this time) the potty shot - complete with three lines and nothing more. We also got to review all of the organs, the cervical length, the amniotic fluid levels, and size of the baby and everything looked "unremarkable" and "normal" ... this baby is measuring in almost exactly the 50 percentile ... so a wee bit tiny-er than Dru, and for that I'm grateful. He was 8#11 at birth and I'm hoping not to exceed that this time.
A little girl to celebrate and less than 2 weeks until viability. Thank you Lord.