Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Boy, OH Boy!

So let's start off with the obvious, if you've read the title. Yes, it's true. The little guy is, in fact, a guy... well, he will be. For now let's go with the standard verbiage of, "It's a boy!"

I guess it's true what they say about mothers being very in-tune with the sex of their baby. Although, I thought it would be nice to have a girl (only because it's fun to dress them up), deep down inside I somehow knew it was a boy. Steph is naturally taking all credit for being the first to call the sex of the baby. But by the end, everyone except Javier's mom had guessed boy.

Even Javier, Mr. "As long as the baby is healthy" finally spit out the night before the ultrasound that he thought it was going to be a boy. I didn't even have to drag it out of him.

I invited my parents to the ultrasound and naturally Javier came too. It was a packed little room full of nosy curious family, me, and the technician. The lady started off by telling me that she would be taking somewhere around 70 pictures. This would be the second screening for down syndrome and trisomy 18.

The first thing that she mentioned was that the baby was laying face down, which would be a little difficult for picture purposes. Here's a picture of him face down. You can really see his developed spine.
She was very patient, explaining a lot of the the stuff that she was seeing on the screen which at some points looked more to me like an ink blot test, rather than an ultrasound. We saw the baby moving a lot, and now there's no doubt in my mind that the "spasms" I've been feeling in my stomach are actually fetal movements.

She spent a lot of time focusing on the head and measuring limbs. Near the end, she had been trying really hard to get me a nice profile picture, but he just wasn't moving from his favorite face-down position. In a last attempt, she suggested that I go to the bathroom and relieve my full bladder and then "jump around, shake, or dance" to see if I could get the baby to move out of that position. I must've looked like an idiot in the bathroom, but it was kind of fun :).

As I left for the bathroom, my dad started asking the technician questions about the baby and if we would know the sex. She replied, "I already know what the sex of the baby is...." then everything got muffled because I was in the bathroom, but I'm pretty sure that my family was trying to get her to tell them before I got back from the bathroom.

When I returned from the bathroom, and we tried again there was no luck. She said, "You have a stubborn baby." But she did manage to get a picture of his face full-frontal. Although it's a little scary because it's skeletal, it reassured me that he was not going to be a cyclops. There are definitely two eye sockets in this picture:
Finally, she focused in on a picture and pointed to something on the screen. "Do you know what that is?" she asked. My whole family couldn't tell what she was pointing at, so she drew an arrow on the picture. I said, "testicles?" and my mom said, "penis?" and the lady said, "Yes, you're having a boy."

I looked over at my husband whose attention had suddenly perked. He quickly got up from his seat to get a closer look at the screen. He asked, "Are you 100% sure? You won't come back to me a month later and say sorry, it was a mistake, will you?" To which the technician replied, "Well, girls don't have that!" and we broke out in laughter. I debated whether I should include the next picture; maybe it's too x-rated, but I can barely even tell what it is. Plus, I don't want to wait until he's a teenager to start embarrassing him in front of girls, so what the heck! You'll notice the arrow and that the technician wrote, "I'm a boy!"

The funny thing is that he was just kicking me as I uploaded this picture. Maybe we just had our first disagreement... LOL!

The technician tried her best to get a good profile picture, but he just wasn't budging. She decided to give him some time while she sent the results to the doctor. She was gone a few minutes, when she reappeared with both the doctor and genetic specialist. An already-packed room, became even more cozy with people.

The doctor began to tell me that I had great results. The results for down syndrome had decreased since the first screening. I was also looking good for trisomy 18. She said they found no risk for diseases. Then she began to tell me about something they had found. To which my heart began to beat fast, and I'm sure I did not hide my emotion on my face.

She said that for lack of a better term, they saw an "air bubble" in the baby's head, which they assured me is very common and safe (choroid plexus cyst). Apparently, 1 in 50 ultrasounds finds these bubbles. Unfortunately, they are also commonly associated with trisomy 18 and although I had spectacular results, they were an uber conservative bunch and preferred to take another look. The doctor had come in the room to view the ultrasound for the size of the baby's hands and overall body, which she said looked great as she inspected on the screen. She proceeded to console me by restating that the baby was healthy.

I wanted to believe, but a bubble in my baby's head was scary to think about, especially since I had no idea how that would affect him. While we had been discussing this bubble, the technician was finally able to snap a profile pic of him.
We were then escorted to another room to talk with the genetic specialist, Larry (the only name I remember, probably because he jokingly suggested that as the baby's name at the end of our discussion). In the room, he continued to talk about the bubble. He said that bubbles are very common, and that someone in the room probably had one. You could live your whole life with it, and there's no impact. I started to wonder if he was allowed to lie to me in order to keep me calm, I decided that he couldn't. He said that his team is just really conservative and they wanted to monitor the bubble since it's associated with trisomy 18. He re-iterated over and over again that he was not worried about my baby. He said my blood & ultrasounds from the first and second screenings were spectacular, so he was not worried at all. He wanted me to come in for another ultrasound in about three weeks to check in on the bubble. Then he added, "You don't have to but we recommend it, plus you can get more pictures and see the baby again."

He had a point, so I accepted. I started to take more of a quantifiable approach to the whole thing and decided that everything he was telling me was true, and I don't need to be worried for right now.

After the screening, Javier was so happy about the news that he suggested that the family go out and celebrate at Benihanas, the cool japanese restaurant where they cook and do tricks right at your table. Very fitting, since we all know that the baby has japanese roots!