Monday, August 6, 2012

The Life-Changing Question: Ballet or Football?

The Life-Changing Question: Ballet or Football?

Week of Pregnancy: 19
Fruit to Fetus Comparison: Mango or larger! We’re running out of fruuuuit!
Cravings: Kinda over them and trying not to eat crappy food. Failing on some days as I am too tired to cook something decent. Or lazy.
Aversions: Pork and pork products (weird, I haven’t really had much pork since becoming pregnant – and the taste has COMPLETELY changed!! It used to be my favourite roast meat!)
Husbands’ excitement metre: Trying to keep it in, but smug in his ability to predict our child’s sex.
Mini-Muffin Kick-Counter: Up to around about 10/20 felt flutters a day! Have decided it feels like your hands cupping a flailing goldfish, and popcorn – rolled into one.

In regards to the title... I’m hoping both for either gender, to be honest! Let’s not live up to those sexist stereotypes!

So, this week was the week! THE ULTRASOUND WEEK! Not only would we find out if our baby was healthy, but also what ‘favour’ of baby we were having! (These were exact words of one of my students in grade 12 – I jokingly responded ‘hopefully not chocolate, or I’m in trouble...  my husband is vanilla.”)

 Boy or Girl?! Did it really matter that much – not really! We were super excited to find out either way so I could so some serious shopping and start making gender-specific clothing for the first few months of our child’s life. You know, for before the stage where they get to a discernible sex and everyone says “what a cute little... boy? Girl? Monkey?” That could be awkward, I wish to avoid that if possible. If our child wants to dress like the opposite sex when they’re older, that’s up to them, but for now, I’m going to dress them in as much pink/blue as necessary.

So, day of the scan. 

Me = freaking out trying to find morphology scan referral, doctors notes, etc from our last visit. Cried a little when students were quite mean to me. Had a mini-break down. Freaked out that we would be late. Worried we wouldn’t find the hospital. Stressed about a multitude of things that could be wrong with mini-muffin. Excited and scared that we would/wouldn’t find out the gender. Excited for shopping.
Justin = played video games for a while. Chilled out a bit. Tells me not to freak out. Baby will be fine, and he believes there is no doubt it will be a girl. Promises me Sizzler for dinner after the scan to cheer me up.

Ah, Justin. He knows the promise of food will make me feel better. Sometimes I wonder how I'm not two-hundred kilos.

Skip forward to a two hour tedious drive in which every bump seemed like a roller coaster, as I am attempting to drink a litre and a half of water in the space of an hour and a half. Hard to do, surprisingly, especially while in the car and going up the ‘range’ of Mount Morgan.

When we reach the hospital, we park at the complete wrong end, and are currently running 5 minutes late. We race through the hospital and find CQMI (imaging/ultrasound/x-ray) and, slightly exhausted, are told by a nice lady to wait for our turn and to fill out some forms. We wait in the waiting room for what seems like forever (really only 20 minutes) before another nice young lady invites us through.

I swear, 90% of all ultrasound technicians are tall, blonde and have model-legs, which makes me feel like a heifer with a fat tummy and a butt the size of Tasmania. I forgive her because she has warm ultrasound gel, rather than the freezing stuff that most ultrasound facilities have.

After a moment of holding our breath, the wait is worth it! After a few seconds we see...
The baby is a lot more squished this time around, as I’m holding a litre of water right next to its house, and it’s grown a lot! I mean, A LOT! Legs are proportionate, body has caught up (mostly) to the size of the ginormous head, little arms are waving madly!

We are patient as we let the technician do her work – measuring the head, brain, spine, liver, kidneys, stomach, and anything else she can find! She tells us that Mini-Muffin is indeed healthy, and perfectly average in every way, shape and form! Here's a 3D image of Mini-Muffin with hands in front of face:

Current measurements
Approx weight – 280gms
Approx height – 20cms (including legs)
Heart beat – 137 beats per minute 

Right Hand with the correct amount of fingers!! --> 
All normal, all functioning, all fabulous! Our little Mini-Muffin is perfect!!
And then our patience pays off...
Ultrasound Technician: “Are you ready to know the gender?”
“OMIGODYES!!!” (Almost wee with excitement and the fact that I’m still holding on to 1.5 litres of water)
She moves so that we get a good view of our baby’s privates...

Its a girl!

She then proceeds to point out all the reasons why Mini-Muffin is a girl – but I am too ecstatic and over the moon and don’t hear a lot of it because of the current visions of tutus and pink. And soccer and boxing, if she so wishes. 

Justin smirks smugly. Yes, he was right all along. He has not once deviated from his belief that Mini-Muffin was a girl – and I have to admit it! I utter the dreaded words... “You were right.” And I get the notion that I will never live that down and it may be brought out as ammo in arguments for the rest of our lives.

It’s so strange how gender gives you a better idea of what your baby could be like. Immediately, I feel so much more bonded to my daughter growing inside my tummy simply because I know a bit more about her – the simple fact that she has ovaries instead of testes. Boy or Girl, I think I would have felt this way. Suddenly I feel like I know my child, not their favourite colour, whether they like broccoli, what their hopes and dreams are for the future, but that she is healthy, and she is a girl. Two things, really! I am then allowed to empty my bladder, which is about the best feeling in the world. 

The small fact that our baby is a girl almost allows me to ignore the next piece of news;
The placenta is awfully low, and very close to the cervix. Not great news, in the long run, if it chooses not to ‘move’. Basically, if the placenta covers/is too close to the cervix, that makes it hard to give birth naturally. All my thoughts and dreams of a natural, no-drugs water birth go flying out the window as I’m told I may have to get a C-Section, but not to panic, as there are still many weeks for it to move, and we will check it out at the next ultrasound.

I take the news surprisingly well for someone who’s never had to be cut open before. I still have my appendix and tonsils, and all I’m missing are my adenoids (which, really, isn’t much of a surgery). So I grin and bear it.

 If (I say that very strongly!! IF) a C-Section is the best thing for Mini-Muffin and me, well, that’s what we will do. I’ve heard it’s the ‘easiest’ birth, but hardest recovery. But, of course, who wants to be cut open. Really? 

If, on the other hand, the placenta decides to move, Justin and I may have some more arguments about me wanting to be a screaming ball of mess when our child enters the world.  (He’s all for drugs, I’m sort of ‘meh’ about the whole anaesthesia idea and would rather experience the whole thing... but still reserve my right to have an epidural!). Whichever is the safest and best choice (which we will weigh up when the time comes) we will do. No point in arguing with the doctors who know what they’re doing!

So, finally, we go to celebrate at Big W, and I buy five pink/purple sets of clothes for newborns to baby size 0. (Including the most adorable frilly dress and a pair of purple stretchy jean shorts) while Justin rolls his eyes. THEN off to the real celebrations at SIZZLER! We eat, we chat, we laugh, and then we drive (with very full bellies) home! I grin the majority of the way home, thinking of the wonderful, special, active, and amazing little girl I am growing my tummy, and how we will be parents in a matter of 19 – 21 weeks.

It truly is life-changing... and scares the pants off me...


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