Posted by: ppernick | June 16, 2005

Baby Reactions

As I mentioned in my last update, Ari and I recently went in for the 20 week ultrasound.  All I can really say is…wow!  Although I have had plenty of little signs that I am in fact pregnant, it’s been difficult to grasp the entire reality of what is happening.  My belly is growing, but I’m at the size where strangers could easily confuse me for being overweight.  I have gotten sick a couple times, but I escaped most of the morning sickness.  I felt a few kicks and punches, but still wonder if that’s really what I’m feeling.  And we saw early ultrasound images, but it wasn’t until last week that I could identify the fetus as a human being.  What we saw last week (and have been looking at quite a bit since) was utterly amazing and started to make this whole pregnancy thing a bit more real. 

It took a little bit for either Ari or me to actually recognize what we were seeing.  The doctor made the comment that he seemed more excited than we were – possibly because we weren’t oohing and aahing.  It isn’t that I wasn’t excited…I was awe-struck – especially when he managed to get a good view and we could actually see something resembling a human being.  And even once I recognized the image, I was mesmerized and speechless.  I felt as Ari took my hand and held it to his face for the rest of the examination. A quick look in his direction told me he was just as captivated as I was.

One of the first questions the doctor asked was whether we wanted to know the gender or not. Ari and I have spent quite some time trying to make a decision, but when it came down to the wire we copped out – neither one of us could (or wanted to) make the decision.  So…at the end of the exam, the doctor asked again.  We were still indecisive, so we looked away, as the doctor added footage of the genitalia to the end of the vhs tape.  He then printed a couple of stills and wrote down the gender or what we should be seeing.  Those images are somewhere at home for us to look at when we decide we want to know.  Somewhat surprisingly, my desire to find out has actually been quelled.  We made it through the big test – we said no (by default) when the real-time opportunity presented itself and now I think I’ll be able to last until the end (or the beginning :)).

Of course, we are still curious.  Ari and I have been fixated on the hints.  On the one hand, according to my mother-in-law, the Pernicks only know how to make boys – 6:1 odds I believe.  And, the first time we could hear the heartbeat it was slightly on the lower-end of the range which apparently points to male.  On the other hand, the heartbeat is now on the high-end of the range and according to a coworker of Ari’s, the position of the fetus is indicative of a female.

During the examination, the doctor did note a couple “abnormalities”.  There appeared to be only one umbilical artery rather than the usual two, and the cord is attached to the placenta off-center.  As a precaution, he then spent quite a bit of time looking at the heart.  He wants us to schedule another ultrasound for week 32, but the baby appears to be healthy and active.

This week, we saw my obstetrician as a follow up to the ultrasound.  Other than discussion about some of the ultrasound results, we actually had a couple questions for him.  One question was about travelling during the third trimester.  I was surprised to hear him say that it was safe to travel up to a month before delivery, though if we go somewhere remote the earlier the better.  I guess I was expecting a minimum of 2 months no matter what.  He also mentioned 2-3 weeks after delivery should be safe as well.  I also mentioned I had been waking at night with charlie horses.  One of his suggestions led into how much liquid I should be getting a day.  His response: 8-10 liters!  I’ve already been finding myself in the bathroom quite a lot, if I drink that much water I might as well move my office.

Overall, it seems the half-way point has come and gone – thought now without making its mark.  As I continue to grow, and as the fetus continues to use me as a punching bag, this pregnancy and what it means becomes more and more real.  The realization that Ari and I will soon be parents continues to sink in deeper and deeper.  I just hope that Ari and I do as good a job of raising our child as our parents and grandparents have done raising their’s.  I do know that no matter what, this child will be extremely loved – and nobody will love him or her more than Ari or me.

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