Monday, February 7, 2011

It's a Girl! I Think. Maybe. Unless It's Not.

Today was Rutabaga’s first ultrasound. Since I’m 13-1/2 weeks, there was quite a lot to see. Since I’m also 42 years old, today’s ultrasound was an “early screening assessment” to check for the likelihood of chromosomal abnormalities or other birth defects. So although they do take a look at the development of some of the major organs like the heart, brain, and spinal cord, and the placement and development of the placenta, the main point of the exam is to take a bunch of measurements of various body parts. Well, the main point for the doctors, that it. The main point for the parents is to get some cool photos to show off to all their friends.

(Come on, people. With an opening line like, “Today was Rutabaga’s first ultrasound,” you KNEW there would be pictures.)

So when the tech started looking around, she pointed out the heart beating, the face peering out at us, the wriggling little hands and feet. Rutabaga seemed to be posing for us as s/he looked up for a perfect profile shot, then turned to the side for a front view, then obligingly waved his/her arms around and kicked up his/her little feet. The tech got several good photos for us. But then she started trying to take measurements, and suddenly Rutabaga was not so cooperative.

The tech did quite a bit of poking and prodding of my belly, trying this angle and that, trying to nudge the little rascal into a better position. She tried tilting the table so my feet were up in the air and my head was hanging down – woo, head rush! (I could suddenly understand the attraction of gravity tables. I felt like I grew two inches just lying there.) She had me roll over on my side while she poked and prodded some more, and then had me roll back. Eventually, between her efforts and the efforts of the adorably pregnant doctor who came in afterwards (who admitted with a sheepish laugh that she did ultrasounds on herself on a regular basis), they managed to get some good measurements and determine that Rutabaga is perfectly healthy and well-developed.

But it got me to thinking: What more female behavior is there than to preen for the camera but refuse to have any measurements taken? Really, for a fetus that’s the equivalent of hopping on a scale. What woman wants to do that publicly?

So I am that much more convinced that Rutabaga is a girl. (You know, unless she’s not.)

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