Four has always been my favorite number. I like its evenness, which feels more stable than two.
Anyway, I'm four months along in my pregnancy. The other day, I went for my amniocentesis. This is the exam where they find out if the baby has any chromosomal defects such as Down's syndrome. For the exam, I had to undergo an ultrasound first to determine the best area in my tummy to draw the amniotic fluid from.
Prior to the ultrasound, the technician, Buffy, warned us that, although early, the gender of the baby might show in the ultrasound. Thus she wanted to know if we would like to find that out or not. Is she kidding? I've been dying to know! I emphatically nodded yes and she started the procedure.
Because my belly has not been growing these past months, I have been worrying a lot lately. Add to that the absence of usual pregnancy symptoms such as morning sickness and cravings, and the well-meaning concern from friends if I'm eating enough or taking good care of myself. However, the first sight of the baby inside me melted all those worries away:
The baby had the back of its hand on its forehead, as if saying "Oh! Why are you guys poking me? I just want to be left alone!" Buffy, my husband and I laughed at this. Then Buffy said "We'll just pretend that it's waving hello to us."
Buffy then had to look at all angles - the top of the head, the side, the back, etc. When she turned to the bottom of the baby, we saw its legs in a U position, and then she smiled.
"Uh-oh, he's not very modest. He's proudly showing himself to us!"
I focused on the screen on sure enough, I saw a tiny triangle in between the legs. At this point, I couldn't help but cry. I know millions of mothers have gone through this, but it just made it so real for me.I hope he doesn't get mad at me later on for showing his privates to the world
She typed "BOY" on the screen, and I asked "Are you sure?" She goes, "We're not supposed to say we're 100% certain, but yeah, that sure looks like a he."
My husband and I were laughing (and yeah, I was still crying) at this point. Buffy scanned more angles and took measurements of the baby's head and his arm to determine his age. Then she took more snapshots, including that of his toes - his beautiful toes!
After the ultrasound the doctor came in for the amniocentesis proper. Dr. Crites did some more ultrasounds on me to make sure that they find the optimal spot. Then she, assisted by Buffy and two other aides, quickly poked me with the needle on the left side of my belly, as far away from the baby as possible. The doctor was so good in explaining to me what was going to happen or what is happening, and she was surprised that I wasn't bothered by the needle at all. What she didn't know was I grew up with asthma and had to have weekly shots for years to get rid of my allergies causing it. In any case, since the baby was cooperating (while he was constantly moving around during the ultrasound, he stayed away from the needle during the amnio) and I was doing a god job of relaxing while they were drawing the fluid, the process took half the time she said it would.
After she took the needle out, they perform another ultrasound and he looks fine, with the back of his hand on his forehead again as if saying "There, you got what you want, now leave me alone!"
I'm beyond excited! Even though we won't find out the results of the amniocentesis until two weeks from now, I'm so happy to see my baby again, and he looks great! I don't worry about my small tummy or lack of symptoms any longer, I just touch my belly and I know my son's right there, hand on forehead or not.