Thursday, March 08, 2007

The Umbilical Cord--the Only Cord

The baby and I had quite a time laughing at Andrew today. Once I started laughing, the baby started too. It was really cute, but the more I laughed the more distorted the image got, which made me laugh even more. It took me a few minutes to regain my composure.

Why, you might ask, were the baby and I (not to mention both doctors) busting a gut over Andrew?

Because he was being himself. Now, don't get me wrong. I love my husband dearly, he's sometimes just so innocent it's scary. He's very bright. He gets good grades. He can just be so...naive. (Not that I can't be, it's just that I notice it more when it's his naivety and not mine).

You will notice in the ultrasound movie, Andrew labeled the umbilical cord. That was for him, in all his wisdom. (It pops up on the screen at 1:40, in case you're looking for it).

We had the doctor in and the student doctor in and the doctor was explaining things to the intern. He was doing the 4-D image--which is simply a "live" 3-D image. I suppose they count movement as the fourth dimension or something--so that we could get a good look at the baby's face. And so he could show the intern all the different programs (I think we went through 4 programs and like 2 or 3 probes...I was beginning to feel a bit like a guinea pig).

Well, Andrew looks at this shot and says, with great wonder, "What's that?" And he points on the screen to where (what I thought was obviously) the umbilical cord was hanging over the baby's shoulder.

The doctor, sensing a little concern, said, "Oh, it's nothing to worry about. It's just draped over her shoulder by her neck. It isn't wrapped around it. Babies just like to tug on it, play with it..."

"But," Andrew asked, "What is it?"

"It's the cord." The doctor said.

"What cord?" Andrew asked.

The doctor paused, gave Andrew a quizzical look and said shortly, "The umbilical cord."

I started to giggle. The doctor then knew that at least I knew what it was and he muttered, "The only cord."

With that I totally lost it. When I did, the baby reacted positively and if you look really closely (and kind of use your imagination--this is an ultrasound, after all), her mouth spreads into a wide grin and it looks like she, too, is having a good chuckle. The doctor pointed this out and that made me laugh harder which made my poor baby get all distorted on the screen.

"That's not the baby--that's you. Don't worry." The doctor informed me.

It looked so terribly funny that I really got into an uncontrollable laughing fit...meanwhile poor Andrew, the target of everyone's laughter (including the two doctors, and our baby), was turning red.


I tried to explain to him after that there is only one cord and since he is linguistically informed, and the doctor said, "the cord," he could very well assume that there was only one cord, and thus the umbilical cord.

He said there was no way he could know for sure there was only one cord.

I thought very hard about asking him how many belly buttons he had, but thought better of it since he had already been the source of so much ridicule today. Maybe I'll ask him that tomorrow.


Oh, and he would like to point out that he can't even spell umbilical cord correctly (see label on above picture). So how is he supposed to know where it is or what it does or how many of them there are?

Which kind of brings me back to a lovely memory about my dear brother David, who dared to show off his naivety just before my nephew, Deklan, was born. Abra and Billy were over and we were all talking about how excited we were for their baby. We were guessing which features of the two parents were going to be portrayed in Deklan, and overall having a good time. Would the baby have blue eyes, or brown? Would he have freckles? Would he have dark hair?

When they were preparing to go home (all the way to next door), David asked, "So, its belly button going to be an innie or an outie?"

We all stopped and stared at David (who will probably deny that this ever happened--back me up, Abra). Without missing a beat, Billy said, "Oh, it's going to be an outie. Definitely! It's going to be way out there. When he comes out, I'm tying the knot like this..." and he held his hands in a fist over his belly button.

David didn't get it right away. We had to explain that the belly button isn't an inherited trait. It's just the scar that stays after the umbilical cord falls off. He felt pretty sheepish, I'm sure.


So you see, Andrew, it's okay. You're not the only one to get a little confused over these things!


  1. Congrats! Our daughters can be friends! I have been not very patiently waiting all week to see what you were having. I love those 3D scans. No one does them out here but they are so cool. The 4D is time. It's a physics thing...kind of lame I know.

  2. Andrew has always been the source of good-natured fun in our family. He's quite the character, and I'm so glad you love him!

  3. for the record... I vaguely remember the umbilical cord conversation!
    CUTE CUTE BABY Nancy! Have you thought of more names???

  4. Man, I don't think I even ever mentioned that he thought it was the *quote* "feeding tube.\" *unquote.*

    That the baby would simply turn her head, suck on it, and that's where she got her food.

    He's so...creative! :)

  5. Isn't it funny how you think that EVERYBODY knows something? This just makes me laugh!