Here we are -HALFWAY to welcoming this little Bean into the world. Twenty Weeks feels SO good!
We went to see a perinatologist (aka a maternal-fetal medicine specialist) for our anatomy ultrasound. Something they like to do for IVF babies since there’s some concern they are more prone to heart defects. We spent a lot of time with the ultrasound tech trying to see all that there is to see of this somewhat uncooperative kiddo. There were head measurements, arm and leg bone measurements, and estimates for weight. All her measurements are right on track for her gestational age, and her weight is estimated at 13 ounces. All great news!
Here’s Baby Bean with knees to nose:
They took a picture of Bean’s belly, showing us this tiny stomach and organs. Diaphragm, liver, loops of small intestine; it is so cool all the things they can show you on that muddy black and white screen. They checked her nasal bone, if it was short or missing that would be an indicator of Downs Syndrome, we were happy to see a proud white line just where it aught to be. They looked close at the upper palate in the mouth, pointing out to us a solid white mass to show there’s not a concern for a cleft palate.
They also checked blood flow in the umbilical cord, and spent lots of time attempting to get every angle of the heart. Here’s where we found out we have a bit of a stubborn baby, with little arms tucked in close the arm bone shadows obstructed some of the heart views. We poked and prodded, rolled side to side, and tried all we could to get her move and allow clear pictures. We saw lots of kicking but those little arms didn’t move away long enough to help us. What we did see was there are four chambers and they seem to be working just the way they should. Her heart rate was 151. And, I’m not ashamed to admit I’m a little happy that they feel we didn’t get every angle, that means we get more pictures in five weeks when we go back to check again. Let’s not forget that little heart is only about the size of a nickel and will grow a lot in the next five weeks!
We also didn’t hesitate when the tech asked us if we wanted her to tell us the gender. Oh yes! She got a great picture of a leg and tiny butt and the three little lines that tell her we’ve got a little girl growing in there. She checked twice and said she was extremely confident Bean is a girl! We are obviously thrilled! Of course we’d have been thrilled if we’d had a boy growing too, but the knowing makes it so exciting! I called my mom as soon as we left the appointment to tell someone out loud -It’s a girl!
The doctor came in after the ultrasound and went over the images again with us, slower, pointing out details. I got a chance to ask him if he had an opinion on my birth options, something I’d been warned he might have. There was some talk at a previous OB appointment that he may recommend I have a c-section or be induced at 39 weeks due to my advanced maternal age. (They use that term for mamas over 35.) I was beyond happy to hear him say that if I was 40 early delivery would be standard protocol, but that I’m young (haha!) and unless I develop something in the next 20 Weeks indicating otherwise he sees no reason I can’t go the full 40 weeks! He said they wouldn’t have me go past 41, but that gives me a chance for a natural rather than induced labor (or scheduled cesarean) and that is music to my ears! So, if I could humbly ask you to add that into your prayers for this little adventure -a healthy uncomplicated pregnancy, and a body ready to do the work when the time comes- I would be so grateful. I think I’ve said before how much this process means to me, and that doing each thing is important to me. This process includes birth; the labor and pain don’t scare me, but not having the option does. I’m fully prepared going into this with an open mind that says however this birth happens is OK. In the end the healthy arrival of our Bean is what matters most. But, I’m not wishing away any part of the process, and I am passionate about having the chance to do labor and delivery au natural if my body cooperates.
I’d already made plans with a friend to take the hand print gender reveal photos that evening. There was so much laughter, so much excitement to share with our friends who feel this utter joy with us. There was also some teasing of daddy -who’s daughter with have him sucker punched right from the beginning I am sure. It was so fun to go pick out pink paint for that occasion. To pass the bows and flowers and ask my guy Do we need those, too? How girly do we need to be to share our news? We opted for just the paint, though he tried to convince me to get yellow or green and make everyone crazy building the suspense. You’re welcome from my impatient self that I didn’t agree to that! 😉 He also let me get pink glittery stickers to make a sign for our girl to reveal her name. And that, my friends, you will have to wait on! Though not so long, soon we’ll talk about the story behind those choices. I just really wanted to give this moment, this story, its time. Because IT’S A GIRL is so big and awesome, and It’s a HEALTHY girl all that much more big and awesome. Let’s just celebrate that for a minute or two, OK? OK!