My ultrasound was scheduled for 10:30am and unlike my first ultrasound, it was at a hospital instead of at a private ultrasound facility. Now, in all honesty, I did prefer the first place. Everyone was there for a specific reason, you got called in right around your appointment time. Sure, the tech was a little cold and quiet, and they wouldn’t provide me with any information, but everything moved pretty quickly and my doctor got the results in just a few days for us to discuss.
For this ultrasound, I had to arrive with a full bladder. The paperwork I was given told me to drink four full glasses of water an hour before my appointment. I could only manage to drink two before my stomach was bloated and I was doing kegels to keep from peeing my pants.
We walk into the hospital where we check in and then are brought to a second area where we needed to take a number so we could register. This was painfully slow. People were being seen based on the number they had taken, which meant that people who had come in through the urgent care centre had taken numbers before me and would take priority to my appointment time.
Logically, I understand this. However, with a full bladder and needing to get to work for noon, logic wasn’t really playing a part in my patience.
An HOUR later, my number got called and I finally got a chance to get up and register. Once registered, I was told to follow the red arrows down the hall to the ultrasound area. We put my folder in a little slot in the wall and waiting for them to call my name.
Another thirty minutes passed.
*Insert exasperated face here*
By the time they said my name, I was ready to pass out from relief. My stomach was throbbing, my bladder was screaming and the first thing I said to the tech when I laid down on the table was “Fair warning, I am going to pee my pants at any moment.”
Looking at the appointment time on my paperwork, she shook her head and told me she would take all the measurements she needed to take as quickly as possible and then she would let me go to the bathroom before she finished.
When my bladder was finally empty and I could breathe again, I was feeling a lot more excited about the ultrasound. My tech was great, she explained what she was doing and what she would be looking for, and I told her I wanted to know the gender of the baby.
At 18 weeks, she told me she was looking to be sure the baby was growing normally, making sure she could see all ten fingers and toes, measuring the spine, the neck, the skull, the heart and all the other important parts while being sure there are no abnormalities.
Her talking to me through the ultrasound put me at ease. During my first ultrasound the silence was deafening and it made butterflies flutter nervously in my belly.
She did tell me a few things, like my baby had a nice, strong heart. I doubt she would have told me if there was anything wrong. However, what she did tell me was reassuring.
The whole process took between 45 minutes to an hour for her to get all the measurements she needed, with an additional 20 minutes spent with her trying to see the gender of the baby.
From my first ultrasound, I was told my baby was very active. It made it difficult for the tech to get her measurements, and it made it difficult for her to take the pictures she needed, but it made it especially difficult to see the gender.
Legs crossed, wiggling its little butt away whenever we got close, my baby was sure to play coy and not give me the satisfaction of finding out its gender.
Did I need to know? I had written a blog post not too long ago stating the gender of your baby didn’t matter. Our babies could be who they wanted to be, love who they wanted to love. So long as they grew up to be good people, did it matter what they had between their legs? My thoughts were no, but realistically, I did want to know.
The main reason was because I felt like calling my baby “it” for the whole duration of my pregnancy gave me flashbacks of Pennywise the clown and was taking a little bit of the joy away from it all.
I did leave my ultrasound without knowing anything for sure, but my husband and I both got into the car and pretended we were okay with it.