Thursday, March 10, 2005

It's a . . . blur!

Today was ultrasound day! Or, as we called it, "Gender Determination Day" for child #2.

Deciding upon a name for child #2 has been a major topic of conversation around stately Darn Floor manor. Lid is no help, because she always suggests names like "glix" or "thir" or "dadadadadada."

I have only been considering boy names, because I was already certain of this child's gender. Had Lid been a boy, she would have been called "Titus," a name that alarmed friends and family. Our families were generally relieved when Lid turned out to be a girl.

At the time, my wife liked the name "Titus," but it no longer makes her top ten. Or even her top twenty. So I've been suggesting a number of other great names. "August," for example. I think it's a great name. "Gus" for short, of course, but you can't just have "Gus." So "August" for long.

She did not respond positively. Nor did she embrace "Owen." She liked "Benjamin," but I was afraid that people would call him "Benji," and so I suggested "Bennett" as a compromise. I'm not sure she's sold on it.

The sonagram above will replace the one on our fridge that was taken at six weeks, when offspring #2 was just a head and a butt. Since then I have been peppering the image on the refrigerator door with words from a Magnetic Poetry set, beseeching the appliance to make the child a boy. One recent sentence read:

give me a boy please

Another said:

ask god for a baby brother

But when my back was turned, visiting relatives rearranged the words so that they read:

sweet baby girl

From the youngest of the nieces to the oldest of the aunties, they were all certain that the baby would turn out to be a girl. And they all got a charge out of telling me so.

Yesterday, I held Lid up to the picture on the fridge and asked her if she thought it was a boy baby or a girl baby. She pointed and replied "gur!" with enthusiasm. They're all against me. But she's only 15 months old. What does she know?

Yes, she's only 15 months. The two children will be roughly 18 months apart. This is much closer together than we expected. When we decided that we were ready for another child, we expected it would take some time. It took a whole year for Lid. This time it took once.


I'm sure someday we'll be glad they were this close together. I hope that day comes really soon.

In discussing names, I'd remarked to my wife that we could be old-fashioned and name the child after a virtue. But I noted that most of the virtues are girl's names: Prudence, Patience, Charity, Grace, . . . even Wisdom is described as a woman in the Bible.

And though they sound a bit more manly, no one names their children Courage or Strength.

"Or Penmanship," I offered.

"Penmanship isn't a virtue!" my wife said.

"Well it should be" I argued. "Hardly anyone has good penmanship anymore." (I certainly don't.)

"Well we can't name the child Penmanship. What would you call him for short?"

"Penny?" I suggested.

Of course, that's a girl's name again, just like all the other virtues.

So today was the day. Gender Determination Day.

I think the ultrasound machines are soooo cool. I have often remarked that I would like to have one at home. I think it would be neat to be able to just look around at your insides whenever you wanted. I could put the wand up against my wife's head and look at what's inside. I still wouldn't be able to tell what she was thinking, but it would be cool to be able to do it.

When we entered the room, the ultrasound tech asked us if we wanted to know the gender of the baby. "Duh!" I said. "This is Gender Determination Day! What do you think?" Well, no, I didn't say that. Not exactly. Something close to it, though.

The ultrasound lasted much longer than expected, as the tech seemingly took every possible measurement of the baby's various body parts. "Here's baby's head!" she said, cheerily. "Here's baby's heart." Nice, strong beat. Four chambers. Noted.

I also noted with frustration her refusal to use any gender-identifying pronoun. She did this with Lid, too.

"This is baby's leg . . ."

C'mon, c'mon . . .

"Here's the spine . . ."

Yes, nice. C'mon, c'mon, get to it.

"Now, here's baby's face, . . . you can see nostrils here . . ."

Nostrils?! You're looking at his nostrils!?

"And this is a foot, see here?"

C'mon! C'mon! Show me his pee-pee!

I really don't know how they can tell what they're looking at. Occasionally, as she moved the wand, something recognizable swam into view, like an arm or a foot, but just as quickly it would move away. I wanted to grab the wand from her and look for myself, but I think this is frowned upon.

The picture at the top of this entry is the best picture we got. At least from my point of view. It's one of the few where you can tell that the thing kicking around inside my wife is actually a baby, and not a puppy or a space alien. The baby is reclining backward, with its legs up over its head. This can't be comfortable, which might explain all the kicking.

As we were leaving the clinic, an elderly lady in the waiting area asked to see the pictures. She said she'd never seen one before, and of course they didn't have such things when she was pregnant.

It's amazing how this little peek inside the womb has altered the way people think about the unborn child. Prior to the development of ultrasound technology, it was easy to think of the baby as an unviable tissue mass. But even at six weeks, the tech could point out the baby's head and butt. We had images of Lid at 10 weeks, and arms and legs were quite visible. Small, but visible.

And today at 24 weeks, the ultrasound tech could point to a blur on the sonagram and state "I think this is the labia right here."

In case you're not well-versed in anatomy, that means it's a girl.

"What do you think of the name 'Miriam'?" my wife said.


I wonder if she'd go for "Augusta"?


At 9:03 AM, Blogger Kerry said...

Drew. What a gret tale, warmth and humor. How about Augustinia, then she might be called Tina?

At 7:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about Nosey for "nostrils"?


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