Thursday, February 24, 2005

it's a scrotum!

First of all, the least important thing from a worried Peds perspective, even though it's the first thing that people want to know:

Cletus is a boy! I went in for my ultrasound earlier today thinking there was a distinct possibility that I might not leave with the oft-asked penis vs. vagina question resolved. "I mean, are you really able to tell the sex at the 18 week ultrasound?" I asked the tech. "Can you really see everything you need to see?"

"Well, it kind of depends on the baby. If the position is good, then yes. But if it's all crunched up into a ball, then maybe not." Then she squirted the warm goo all over my stomach and put on the probe. Cletus had his head practically up his ass. He was balled up tighter than a Popple. And so I figured that we weren't going to be able to spy much of anything.

As in our past experiences with ultrasounds, Cletus hated all the attention. Every time we tried to get a good view of some organ or limb, he would wiggle away, or put his hands up to hide the anatomy in question, or just shift position such that all we got was a view of his skinny ass. And then he would put up his hand, like, "Damn you papperazi, why can't you just leave me alone!" He's like a surly teenager, that one. Look behind the placenta, he may be hiding some cigarettes back there.

But finally, with some jiggling and some shifting of position, we were able to get him to show us the goods. And not just the boy parts. Every normal measurement on the scan was like a balm for my NICU-addled brain. Normal cardiac anatomy. Intact diaphragm, with the stomach bubble below. Five digits on each extremity. "This is some beautiful neuroanatomy here," the ultrasound tech said at some point, almost to herself. "Look at the thalamus and the ventricles. Textbook." And I felt all proud.

Unfortunately, Joe wasn't able to make it across the street after all. His OR case was scheduled to start the moment I went into ultrasound, and he was scrubbing when he got the page that the scan was starting. But I made them print out a bunch of pictures to show him. This one, a close-up of the lenses, I especially requested.

(Ophtho boy loves him some eyeballs, you see.)

So in all, this has been a great week for us, future-parent wise. We found a nanny. Our fetus miraculously has all its parts in the right shape and location. And we found out the sex! After revealing the money shot, the ultrasonographer told me, "Yeah, even before we saw the penis explicitly, I had a suspicion that it was a boy." I asked her what tipped her off. "Well, see how he kept moving his hands down there to grab at something?" She gestured towards the screen, where, sure enough, Cletus's hands were again moving below the belt line. (Look again at the first picture above, and you'll see his hand in the shot.) "I know then that there must have been something down there to grab at."

That's my boy.

Currently reading: More out of a sense of needing to tie up loose ends than anything else, I started reading the fourth Dan Brown book, "Deception Point." This is the worst book I have read in a long, long time.

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