January 21, 2006

Ultrasound Update

EthelRed in profile

Yesterday, we marveled at the growth and development of our young expectation during our thirty-two week ultrasound, and collected the following factoids:

EthelRed is in vertex position (head down).

Thursday, during our Childbirth class, Joel, using his forearms, gripped either side of my hips, practicing a comfort measure that I like to call The Vice. A time-honored pain relief tactic, The Vice encourages the bones of the pelvis to shift ever-so-slightly (approximately a millimeter or two) and provides relief when the baby’s head is pushing on the mother’s sacrum. The Vice brought such relief to my back – alleviating aches I didn’t even realize that I was having – that I concluded that EthelRed must be head down. Having my instincts validated at this appointment today made me feel like I’m in touch with the secret plans going on inside my body.

She is still a She.

We had a brief conversation before our appointment about the possibility of an alteration of our gender expectations … It went something like, “Have you thought about EthelRed’s maybe being a boy?” “Yeah. (pause) The boy’s name still works for me.” “Me, too.” After re-confirming her gender early on in our appointment, I looked at the grainy, moving ultrasound images of her face and wondered, “Are you a C--------? Or, perhaps a M-------? Or, what about an A-------?” Our Name Game has evolved into The Name of the Day, in which we suggest a first and middle name, valid only for that day. In addition to taking the pressure off the responsibility of naming, it allows us an opportunity to play around a bit with combinations in hopes of stumbling upon just the thing. (Joel’s note: Aimee is the prime and reining champion of the Name of the Day. I tend to have a Name of the Week. Or perhaps month. I like to think this is attributable to a steadiness of disposition, rather than a lack of imagination.)

She weighs about 4.5 lbs.

I’m glad that she seems to have found a use for all the extra bowls of Raisin Bran I’ve been eating. Although I have trouble eating large portions at any one meal, I have cleverly avoided heartburn and dyspepsia by eating several small meals throughout the day. The effect of these little bites is that I feel like I’m always eating, so it’s good to see pounds added to someone else’s waistline.

We calculated a new estimated due date based on her height, weight, and head and abdominal circumferences: March 13th, 2006.

Although the watchword of labor and delivery seems to be flexibility, our new due date has been deemed “auspicious” and “favorable” by Joel as it falls on the Monday just after our Spring Break vacation from the classroom. In an ideal world … Well, a person can dream can they?!?!

I have mentioned that she’s flipped into a good birthing position?

What a relief.

November 8, 2005

The Veil Briefly Lifted

Ten days ago we went for our 19-and-a-half week ultrasound to see how EthelRed was coming along. The contrast from our first ultrasound was, of course, breathtaking. Our fetus leapt upon the shadowy screen with obvious anatomy, vigorous movement, and, at times, a convincing portrayal of someone reacting to outside stimulus. Aimee and I both did a lot of cooing, “Oh look, vertebrae! And a bladder, right in the middle! Oooo, look at that heart, look at those symmetrical chambers!” Eric, our ultrasound tech, did another outstanding job of pointing things out to us, telling us what signs of normal development he was looking for, and providing immediate feedback when he found said signs. To sum up: EthelRed is developing fabulously! Which is to say, completely average. To un-sum up: EthelRed has normally formed ventricles in the brain, a regular spinal column with perfectly typical vertebrae. All of EthelRed’s organs are ordinarily perfect, and measurements of the limbs all revealed a commonplace flawlessness.

Aimee delighted in EthelRed’s activity level. It seemed like our fetus was in constant motion, hammering at the walls of Aimee’s uterus with little hands, kicking, and rolling around. This is pleasing, as it lets us know how, even though Aimee has been feeling tiny murmury taps on her abdomen for a couple of months now (the strongest of which I can just feel with my hand), EthelRed is still very active even when nothing can be felt.

Towards the end of the exam, Eric turned to us and said, “And would you like to find out the gender of your child?” We both nodded enthusiastically, and he went looking. It was tricky to discern, as EthelRed was a little tucked up, but we eventually concluded that….

Ahem: Spoiler Alert. If you, dear reader, would rather not know EthelRed’s gender, we fully support your inclination. Many people prefer to keep these things as a surprise, and we would hate to impose our philosophy (or, actually, a lack of philosophy) about this issue upon you. So, why don’t we all enjoy an ultrasound image of EthelRed while you think about things. Also, if you conclude that you’d really rather remain in the dark, we urge you to read future entries with caution. There may be many entries that won’t be about EthelRed at all, which you can enjoy without worry. But we will start using a gender-specific pronoun after this entry, so surf carefully.


So, EthelRed is….

A girl! We’re pleased and excited and wriggly with delight!