So I had my ultrasound yesterday. I freaked myself out a bit by looking up all the various conditions that doctors look for with the 20 week ultrasound. Not a smart move. Do not follow my example. I ended up spending the morning and early afternoon worrying unnecessarily. “Oh my goodness, what if my baby has [fill in the blank].” Repeat ab libitum. Combine this worry with having to chug 32 ounces of water and then hold it for two and a half hours and you have a recipe for misery. And then? Once one gets to the appointment and into the room, the technician checks a couple of things (seriously, just a couple of things), and then she/he says, “you can go to the bathroom before we proceed with the rest of the appointment.” Which, you know, is nice of them and all but…..Seriously? You really needed to torture me for two hours with close to unbearable pressure on my bladder for a picture or two? It just proves to me that this is a male dominated field, because no woman who has gone through pregnancy would ever think that this was a good idea.
I found myself underwhelmed by the whole ultrasound experience. I guess I expected a feeling of connection to the image on the screen—a moment of bonding between parent and child—and perhaps get a bit emotional. In the end, I was oddly detached. I partly credit this to incredibly awkward angle in which I had to position myself in order to even view the screen (and even then I was still looking at it from below and to the side). Plus, as everyone knows, ultrasound images are grainy and blurry at best. I found myself getting a headache from the trying to see the screen from my position and then make sense of any of the images.
Early into the screening, Mr. F. and the technician started chuckling. “Are you interested in knowing the sex?” she said, as she chuckled and moved the wand around. I looked at the screen trying to find what was so amusing. Not being an expert at reading ultrasound images, I was still a bit confused (and frustrated with the awkward position at which I was forced to view the screen). However, it appeared that both Mr. F. and the technician found a certain bump on the screen to be amusing. “I mean, I am just looking around and taking measurements, but it seems pretty apparent what kind of baby you are going to have.” I took from her comments that it was very clear that we are baking a boy in this little oven of mine.
What to say. I was disappointed. And yes, I feel a bit traitorous admitting that (the mother guilt starts already). Both Mr. F. and I had thought that this baby might be a girl. Granted, this thought was based entirely on first fleeting impressions—nothing factual at all. But the fact that we both had similar impressions made me think that they might actually mean something. I didn’t realize the extent to which I had convinced myself that I was having a girl until the technician said and the ultrasound showed me the complete opposite. I was devastated. And as odd as this may sound, I really felt like I needed a mourning period, however brief, to mourn for the loss of this possibility—for this daughter of mine. On top of this I felt ashamed of my behavior. I could tell Mr. F. was just really excited-not because it was a boy-but for the experience of seeing our child on the screen and for finding out more about this little person in our life, and he wanted me to be excited too. I could tell this, yet that didn’t stop me from falling into a bit of a funk. I was this <-> close to breaking down into sobs on the drive back home.
What saved me was a call to my sister. She counseled me and “talked me off the ledge” so to speak. She reminded me that all my fears regarding boys: they are difficult, they are destructive, they are crazy, they are gross, they pee everywhere, etc., were entirely dependent on the character of the baby. She told me crazy girl baby stories and then contrasted them with angel boy baby stories. She reminded me about the cute boy clothes out there and explained how easier it was to dress boys than girls. She then told the news to my nephew M, who is 6. He was SO EXCITED! So, so excited. Not five minutes after learning that he was going to have a boy cousin, he was already planning on bunking with said cousin at the yearly summer beach trip. It is hard to remain depressed in the face of so much enthusiasm. (And I am not even about to burst his bubble by mentioning that this boy cousin of his won’t be much fun for another few years.)
After talking with my sister, I found myself excited for this baby boy of ours. I even had a great conversation with my dad where we brainstormed ridiculous boy names: Udolfo, Fitzwilliam, Allgernon, Bubba, etc. I then spent some time looking over boy portion of my baby name list (names with actual possibilities versus those that my dad I and I came up with) and got very excited with the idea that perhaps one of them will be the perfect match. So you can see that at the very least I am resigned and at the very most I am quite excited. However, it wouldn’t hurt to hear more wonderful things about boy babies, so if you have any anecdotes, please share.