Tuesday 18 January 2005

Half Baked

I had my 20 week appointment with my midwife this astoundingly cold morning. One of the first things we did was go over the ultrasound results. Everything is normal; the baby has the right amount and the right size of all body parts. It is currently head down (though I swear it was doing sommersaults the other day, so I guess we should say that it was head down at the time of the ultrasound, but might not be now!) and the placenta is at the back of the uterus, where it is supposed to be.

Elizabeth asked me if I wanted to know the gender and I said yes. She told me it was a girl, and I then told her about the doubt that the ultrasound tech had instilled in me with her "90%" and commenting about how she "couldn't really see." I asked Elizabeth if she had actually seen anything in the pictures to indicate that it actually is a girl. Elizabeth then informed me that she doesn't see the pictures. All she gets is a sheet with a few diagrams drawn by the technician (or whoever) and an itemized list with checked-off body parts. The column for "gender" was simply marked with "xx" and that was all Elizabeth had to go on.

So, essentially, we don't know any more than we did before and won't, because (as we were informed) that was our last ultrasound. Unless we decide to go to See3D for a 3D ultrasound. The cheapest package for the 3D ultrasounds is $130, for which we get a 20 minute session and a CD with the 3D pictures on it. I was thinking it would be really cool to get a DVD with the video of the session on it, but now I'm thinking that I'd be happy enough with the neat 3D pictures. Of course, I don't know if we're going to do this or not, but it is something we're thinking about (or I'm thinking about, anyway).

Elizabeth also measured my "fundal height", which is basically how big my belly is getting. Apparently at 20 weeks, the size of the belly in inches should correspond to the number of weeks you are. I measured 19", which Elizabeth said is perfect. For those who haven't seen me in a while, you're not missing anything. I still don't have a big belly and I'm still wearing most of my regular clothes, but my belly should be increasing by about an inch every week at this point.

At the end of my appointment, Elizabeth asked me if I had experienced any "Braxton Hicks" contractions yet. I said I wasn't really sure and she described them to me as a "painless tightening of the uterus" and "practice contractions". Coincidentally, I just felt my first one last night, but it didn't really know what it was! I was lying on my left side and rolled onto my back and noticed that my abdomen felt really hard. Apparently that was a Braxton Hicks contraction. Who knew? When that happened last night I also noticed that the baby seemed to be kicking a bit and I could feel it from the outside, so I got Tim to feel it too, finally! When I told Elizabeth about that she seemed surprised. She told me that it was early to be able to feel it from the outside.

Maybe our girl isn't going to be comatose after all!

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