For my first ultrasound (around 5 weeks or so), for once I was really glad I paid attention during all the movies I've seen that involve pregnancy. You see, I astutely noticed during movies like "Knocked Up" that the mother-to-be was wearing one of those drapes during the procedure. And every woman knows what that drape signifies. So, I did some research ahead of time to see if it was possible that the first ultrasound would be - how can I put this - a little up close and personal. And oh yes, it was. The actual image was pretty anticlimactic. I mean, it's basically a blob. Oh, with a fluttery blob inside it. It was so startling to see something with a beating heart on that screen that I laughed. This was not the best thing to do when the ultrasound wand is up close and personal - she had to re-find the image a couple of times during this process. But hey, we got the baby measured and confirmed that the heart was beating, no problem.
We just had ultrasound #2 (18 weeks). My mother-in-law lives about an hour away, and was able to get off work to come along, which was really cool. My mom had a short hospital stay last week (nothing awfully serious, she's OK!) so was unable to join this party. I thought, "Hey! No problem, we'll just bring a video camera and she can see it later." Which was all cool until we got there and they told us no cameras. Dammit. I'll admit, there were tears - I blame the hormones. The genetic counselor we talked to was very understanding and has probably seen all sorts of weird behavior. Pregnant women are not the most stable of creatures at the best times.
I'm not sure what I was expecting from this second scan. I mean, I knew it wouldn't look like a blob. At least hopefully we're not giving birth to an amoeba, that would suck. Instead, now we've got an alien fossil. What? Well, allow me to illustrate. First of all, the baby is transparent. This, to me, was a little bit shocking. Also, here is the face, which just screams alien:
And here is the profile, which looks like some sort of fossil:
It was still a pretty cool experience. Now, a word on finding out the gender ahead of time. We have heard lots of stories from other parents about wanting to be surprised. My personal thought on this subject is that there will be shock and awe a-plenty when another person comes out of my body, and I'm not in need of any further surprises, thankyouverymuch. Also, we have had a really hard time with names, and narrowing the field by 50% sounds like an excellent idea at this stage. So, we found out by way of another ultrasound image taken from the baby's bottom: it's got junk! The tech even put an arrow pointing to the body part in question and wrote BOY, just in case there was any confusion. So look out world, we're having a son!