The sound of hunting horns jolted me awake. Not real hunting horns, just the sound of a text coming in on my phone. Before looking at the text, I looked at the time, surprised to see it was 7:14 a.m. Then, I heard my husband, Chris, outside our room getting ready to leave the house and take our three-year-old to school.
I figured the text had to be from a family member, namely my mom or sister. They are the only people I know who would text me so early in the day. And, to be fair, I normally would be up and driving to school. Instead, Chris let me sleep in that morning. He’s a prince!
I opened the text from my sister Amy, “When do you find out the baby’s flavor?”
“What?” I thought to myself. “How random.” Then I sighed. Why did it seem like everyone cared about the sex of our baby? I responded and let her know when our 20-week ultrasound would be and put down the phone.
I don’t blame her or anyone else wanting to know our baby’s gender. It’s natural curiosity. For me, though, I don’t care. Honestly. Since losing our little angel girl in June at 12 weeks, all I find myself worrying about is the baby itself. Is the baby okay? Why don’t I feel the baby moving today? Is there something wrong? I hope there isn’t anything wrong. My paranoia won’t stop. Every time a scheduled ultrasound approaches, I panic a little. The worry and paranoia worsens.
It seems strange to me, anymore, that people focus more on the gender of the baby than the baby being healthy. I’m sure that isn’t their intent. I’m positive that at this point they assume the baby is doing great. After all, odds favor a baby making it to term after the first trimester. But, even knowing that, it doesn’t stop my worry. What if I have another ultrasound where my heart shatters into pieces? I’m not sure if I’ll be able to cope.
Despite all these fears and concerns, I hitched on my pants this morning (making sure to wear my lightest clothes possible for the weigh-in), guzzled as much water as I was able (not as much as I wished), and headed with Chris and our youngest, Grace, to our 20-week ultrasound and doctor appointment this morning (For those wondering, Ginny was at preschool). I wanted to know our baby was okay. I needed to see its arms, legs, feet, and hands. I needed to hear a healthy and strong heartbeat. Not knowing, not seeing, is worse sometimes than the worries and paranoia I deal with daily.
As we waited to get called back for the ultrasound, I leaned over to Chris and said, “Is it strange that I hope Madonna does our ultrasound today?” He smiled and didn’t say a thing. Madonna has done every 20 week ultrasound we’ve had. I see her as a good omen. Sure enough, after waiting several minutes, I was called back by Madonna.
After getting set up and assessing if we wanted to know the sex of the baby, the ultrasound began. Within a minute, Madonna said, “Look at that heart beating!” I smiled with relief and joy. My baby was okay. Now, I wanted to know that everything else was good. The Level II ultrasound takes time as she examined each part of the baby: the skull, the brain anatomy, each arm, hand, leg, and foot, the belly, and the heart.
“Do you have names picked out?” Madonna asked.
“Sort of. We have boys names still from our earlier pregnancies that we never used. We started reviewing names again to make sure we didn’t miss one we might like. But we are a bit confused on girls’ names yet.” I responded.
Madonna smiled and said, “Well, I suggest you get busy narrowing it down then.”
Up on the ultrasound screen were the words, “Little Girl!!!” I beamed. My instincts were right, another girl. I looked at Chris who said, “Oh boy.” I chuckled. My husband would truly be outnumbered. Even our dog is a girl. “Our next dog will be male to help balance things out,” I said.
Our baby girl did not cooperate for all of her ultrasound, refusing to give a profile shot or allow Madonna to see all the chambers of her heart. So, in four weeks, we’ll get another ultrasound for that. From what was seen, Sweet Pea appears to be healthy with normal growth (measuring almost a week ahead even) at 15 ounces.
I feel much better and less scared. Knowing my baby girl is growing normally and healthy makes a world of difference in my peace of mind. There is no doubt that I will still worry more than most pregnant moms do. I’ll still have moments of paranoia. I’ll manage that because I also have a lot of hope. Fear, hope, and a baby girl….what a wonderful blessing!