There were two possible ways I could approach blogging about today's appointment.
1) Post a quick "It's a
2) Write a lengthy entry and make you wait 'til the end for the reveal.
At first I thought I'd go with number two, until I realized that most people would just skim through the entry until they found the information they wanted, which meant all my carefully crafted prose would go to waste, and who wants that?
In the end, I decided to write the tell-all version right off the bat. But first...
Sugar and spice and everything nice, indeed. And this next statement might sound weird, especially since you're essentially looking at my daughter's ass (I think; some of these pictures are super hard to read), but she's absolutely beautiful.
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It wasn't until Luke and I were in the car to make our 10:30 appointment with the ultrasound tech that I began to feel nervous. Up until that point I'd been solely focused on learning the gender, but once we were on our way to the clinic, I couldn't stop picturing worst-case scenarios about the progress our baby was making. I'm eating much better and have put on a few pounds since my last visit, but what if my lack of weight gain was due to the baby's lack of growth? Why hadn't I felt Freke move yet? What if, lying on that table with my belly covered in goo, we were told the baby had died?
Awful thoughts, but I couldn't shake them. My heart was pounding, my hands were clammy, and I thought I was going to lose the bowl of Fruit Loops I had for breakfast.
Once there, we waited about ten minutes, and then suddenly I was lying on that table, pulling down the waistband of my maternity pants, and breathing deeply in an effort to stay calm. Lisa, our technician, squirted the gel over my stomach (and it was hot! Yikes!), and went into her spiel.
"Now, I normally use 'he' when referring to the baby, so until I say, 'I think it's a...', don't take that to mean anything, OK?" she said.
"Also, I like to make faces when I'm reading the screen, but that doesn't mean anything's wrong, OK?"
Again with the nodding of the heads.
She was a pleasant woman, that Lisa, and the three of us chit-chatted about various gender myths as she moved the wand over my belly, typing notes on the screen and keeping an eye on the monitor the whole time. She kept it face forward, so I tried to crane my neck a bit to see what was going on, with no luck. I motioned for Luke to join me next to the table, and he grabbed my hand.
After a few minutes, a slew of pictures printed from her machine, and she tilted the monitor towards us. There was our baby.
She pointed out various body parts for us to see: head, legs, arms, spine, stomach, from all sorts of angles. I almost stopped breathing when I saw the tiny little heart muscle, beating just as fiercely as it had during my initial appointments through the Doppler. A hundred and forty-three beats per minute, she said.
Then we were on a mission.
"Let's see what we can find," she said, and proceeded to poke and prod my belly for a shot of the good stuff.
It was hard at first, but finally the baby moved into the proper position, and Lisa took a peek.
"Now, there's always a chance I could be wrong, but I think..." Her voice trailed off, and her fingers returned to the keyboard to type those fateful words.
"It's a girl."
And that was it. I started to cry, and I really went all out, with the chest heaving and shortness of breath and the blotchy red face. I couldn't believe it. I was so damn happy to see our baby in action, in person. It was the most miraculous moment of my pregnancy thus far. Not since learning about this little person's existence have I been so emotional.
Luke squeezed my hand and kissed the top of my head, and Lisa grabbed some tissues. She didn't comment on my tears, and I was glad, because I hate when people acknowledge my blubbering. It just makes the blubbering worse.
After about fifteen minutes of watching our baby in action, Lisa was helping me off the table and handing Luke our now-precious VHS tape. We went back to the waiting room for my 11:00 appointment and were ushered in just minutes later.
The actual appointment was great. Measuring within a four-day range of her December 10th due date, our little girl is doing marvelously, and there's no reason not to think I'll give birth to a strong and healthy baby.
Hi there, baby. We love you.
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Now the only question is what to do about her Internet moniker. Freke no longer seems fitting, and I was considering Frekie, but that might be even worse. Freka? Frekette? Your suggestions are most welcome.