Week 18: Is That a Foot?

OK, I think C. finally gets it now. He’s seen with his own two eyes that there’s a living being in my belly, with a head, a spine, a tiny beating heart, and moving arms and legs. The ultrasound is one of the coolest pregnancy experiences so far. It’s like your own private baby cam! We saw the feet, the fingers, and the leg and arm bones, glowing white against the black background. We could make out the profile – oh, boy, it’s looking like it’s got C.’s nose already, and is that an overbite? – and see the baby crossing its legs and sucking its thumb. Amazing.

The nurse doing the sonogram was, inexplicably, not quite as enthusiastic as we were. Can you imagine? But she obliged when we told her we didn’t want to find out the baby’s sex. “OK, I’m going down there, look away,” she’d say, and we’d dutifully shield our eyes.

I was surprised to learn that we are in the minority among our pregnant pals when it comes to not wanting to know whether we’re having a boy or a girl. I thought most people wanted to be surprised. Instead, it seems most want to spare themselves the hassle of picking out two names and buying only gender-neutral baby items.

One of our friends claimed they didn’t want to find out – only to admit that they’d caved under pressure when they were in the midst of the sonogram. “It’s too hard not to find out when the nurse is right there and you know she knows,” they explained. Not only are they having a girl, but they stole our top girl’s name to boot! I suppose they have dibs because it’s a family name and they’re giving birth a month before us, but still. It hurts.

I’ve been carrying around the ultrasound pictures for days, showing them to anyone who will look. It’s both fascinating and freaky at the same time. It’s also probably the last time I’m going to see my baby before he/she is born. Will I recognize her? Will his overbite correct itself? Will anyone else steal our baby names? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

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