At 18 weeks, a pregnancy is nearly half-way through. At this point Precious and I went for our third (and typically last, barring any complications) ultrasound. My sister and her 7-month old son also came along.
During our second ultrasound (12 weeks), we were able to see the first real images of our child. This one took considerably longer (more than two hours) as the technician examined most of the baby’s bones and internal organs. At times I struggled to recognize anything in the grainy, fluid images and at others I could clearly make out a femur, the nose, or the heart. It was comforting to learn that our baby was in good health but of course what we were all waiting to find out was what lay between those tiny legs.
Was it a girl or a boy?
It’s interesting to note that this seemingly significant determination is not actually part of the technician’s checklist, but we were asked up front if we wanted to know or not. Neither Precious nor I were interested in being surprised. We wanted to be as prepared as possible, particularly as this would be our first child. We had made our guesses going in to the exam, though none of them was based on strong premonition. Precious thought it might be a boy. My sister and I went with girl. We were aware of the typical (entirely unscientific) precursors, for example:
- A higher heart rate indicates a girl, lower a boy (didn’t work out)
- Cravings for spicy food indicates a boy, sweets a girl (something of a tie)
- Less morning sickness indicates a boy, more a girl (seemed to work out)
Finally the moment came, and we are now looking forward to the birth of our son! Actually, my sister had a much stronger reaction than Precious or I. She was quite surprised the baby wasn’t a girl. Even her own baby seemed ecstatic at the news. But standing there, to be completely honest, I was slightly disappointed (Can I say that?) that we wouldn’t be having a girl. I didn’t realize, until that moment, how much I had hoped we would be. Among other things, I think I wanted to see my wife as a child, just as she wanted to see me. So that’s not to say that we’re not giddy at the impending arrival of our son – we are! We will welcome him into the world with all the love we have to share. And as Precious reminded me, there’s always next time