3D Ultrasound

I typically think of myself as someone with a good amount of self-esteem. I can reason myself out of eating the whole tub of ice cream. I can save half a chocolate bar until later, I can talk myself out of the conveniently placed burger shop located across the street from my apartment that I have to pass on the way home from work every day.

However, after getting so amped up about finding out if my little bundle of joy was a baby girl or a baby boy before my last ultrasound, leaving without knowing that left me feeling antsy.

I kept thinking about the boy name and the girl name I had settled on without any help from my husband who suggested the name Dracula, Draxle, and of course Kyle Jr. (Kylie if it was a girl) he lost all naming privileges. I had decided on two and was pretty much set in stone, but while rubbing my growing bump while watching TV or walking down the street, I didn’t know which to call my bump by.

We had the intention of finding out the sex of our baby and then keeping it to ourselves until the birth. Not finding out sure made it easier to keep the secret. There was really no secret to keep. However, I did think knowing what we were having just between the two of us was kind of a bonding opportunity. A secret only we knew, one we would both hold onto.

Not knowing was really getting to me. My mom reassured me by telling me she didn’t find out the sex of my three younger brother’s until they were born. My mother in law told me she didn’t find out the sex for any of her three sons either. Well… that just wasn’t going to work for me. I needed to know.

I had already started to get things together for my hospital bag, and on the list of things to bring, it said to bring three complete outfits. Now, this sounds like an easy task until you walk into the baby stores and realize it’s split right down the middle based on gender and age. There is no middle ground. A limited amount of gender neutral gear.

How in the hell do women go without knowing?

At twenty weeks, I was obsessing over baby gear. I wanted to look up all the strollers, I wanted to decide whether I would do the bassinet, or whether I would skip it all together and find something else more practical that could be used for a longer amount of time. I wanted to decide on colours for the nursery. All of which would be easier if I knew if it were a boy or a girl.

Popping onto the pregnancy forums, I reached out to all the ladies in the Toronto area and asked for suggestions for a 3D ultrasound place that would guarantee us the sex of the baby would be revealed.

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This place was AMAZING!

I got to see my beautiful baby for thirty minutes on a big screen TV all while the tech explained to me what was what. I’ll have to admit, I have never been a fan of the 3D ultrasound. My husband and I always felt like the colour and the mushy look of the baby always made them look like Pumkinhead. When it is your baby though, it’s something completely different.

We saw how active our baby was. How they were using my placenta for a pillow and would give us a glare and move away as the tech pressed down where they were trying to sleep.

At twenty weeks, your baby doesn’t have a lot of fat. The tech was great and she explained all of these things to us while being sure to take lots of photos that were put on a jump drive for us to take home so we could print out any we liked. On the jump drive was also a video that was everything we had seen on the screen during our whole visit!

They gave us a printout of our choice when we left as well as a teddy bear that played the heartbeat of our baby!

Honestly, I would say it was worth the visit just for the memories. It would be so cute to show them later. At this point, I like to collect all I could because you never know what your kid will want from you later. I have an ultrasound of myself as a baby and was hoping to frame it side by side in the nursery along with my husband’s and our baby but my mother in law never got one.

I was disappointed to hear that. I really thought it would have been cute to compare all three and keep them framed in our baby’s room.

And when all was said and done, we knew what we were having!

So, boy or girl?

Sorry guys, it’s still a secret!

2nd Trimester Ultrasound

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.

Thank goodness!!

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.