Saturday, June 06, 2009

It’s a…

We were both really nervous today. I don’t remember being so nervous before we went in to have Rachel’s ultrasound. It was after the ultrasound that we were nervous. My theory is that deep down inside we were expecting some horrible news again—that maybe we’d hear that our baby wasn’t normal, that there was a big problem that could end in spontaneous termination, that maybe everything wouldn’t be just fine. Of course, everything worked out beautifully with Rachel, but that didn’t mean that we didn’t live in absolute terror for a few weeks.

It also didn’t help matters that the clinic called shortly before we were due for our appointment this afternoon to bump it back until this evening. That meant that we had to sit and wait for the whole rest of the day instead of just heading to the clinic and knowing.

Our dinner conversation revolved completely around the baby. Andrew glanced up every few minutes to look at the clock.

We were so relieved when it was time to go.

I’ve been thinking about this baby a lot lately. I’ve had a lot of reminders that there is a baby inside of me. My initial assessment of this baby has since been proven incorrect. I guess I judged too early. This baby is also a wiggly, energetic little one.

It moves all the time. All. The. Time.

And it kicks so hard that sometimes it actually hurts. Last night Andrew and I were talking and in the middle of the conversation I got jabbed so hard I gasped.

“Oof!” I moaned.

“What’s wrong?” he asked.

“The baby kicked and it really hurt.”

Sometimes I feel a little wimpy that I can be so easily abused by a 20 week old fetus, but I can. My internal organs are altogether too vulnerable to its flailing limbs!

And so it seems that we’ll be having another energetic child, as the ultrasound proved.

The technician was quite shocked, it seemed.

“Oh,” she crooned initially, “The baby just moved. Did you see? Can you feel the movements yet?”

And then, “He certainly is rapid. Does he always move this much?”

And then, “Her limbs are very close. You can see her hand by her knee. Let me count the fingers. Ack! Where did her arm go? Oh, there it’s on her head now. Okay…ack! Stop moving! She’s grabbing her toes now!”

And then, “Here’s his heart. It’s healthy. And there is the stomach right below the heart. And there is the bladder. It’s full so that means the kidneys are working. And here’s…his back. He just turned over and…again. Oh, wow! He moves a lot. But that is good. I just have to see if I can find the…”

And then, “Her head is normal. The lobes. All. Good. I’m going to freeze the frame so I can measure the…she just won’t stay still!”

And then, “Maybe…can you sleep on your side now? Sometimes if the mother moves the baby will stop…good. No. Your baby won’t stop. Hmmm…you can go back.”

Finally she was able to count all 10 fingers and toes, measure the head, and check out the hands, feet, and all important internal systems. Everything is developing on track with no presenting abnormalities. We were very relieved to hear that.

And then we dropped the bomb.

“What’s the gender?” we asked.

“Oh, you want to know?” she asked, looking a little overwhelmed, “I didn’t know you wanted to know. I didn’t even look because the baby was moving so much. Let’s see if we can find out.”

15 minutes later she gave up finding any definite signs.

“At this point I will say that it is probably a girl.”

Oh, good. We’re having a probably-girl.

“There are no…special parts…that I can find, which is why I think it is a girl. We should do another ultrasound later on to see for sure because sometimes the sac will not drop until after 20 weeks, but for now I am almost confident it is a girl.”

We’ve decided to also be pretty confident that it is a girl, since there were no “special parts.” We saw the legs, the arms, and the umbilical cord (which Andrew asked no questions about, bless him), but nothing that would require standing up to use the toilet.

So here’s our beautiful Miriam’s spine…


We’ll see if we can’t get some better pictures at the next ultrasound, and there probably will be a next ultrasound because they only cost 300 LE (just over 50 USD). Since our deductable is 50 USD and we’ve already paid that, we’re covered to have as many ultrasounds as we need to verify the gender of this child!

If she would have stopped playing Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes long enough to get a good look we wouldn't have to go back at all, but I guess since it's free we have nothing to complain about. We would never have been able to afford a second ultrasound with Rachel!

It would be a real shame if Grandma came out toting a bunch of Rachel’s old dresses if it does end up being a boy!

We’re excited for a girl, although we do want a boy eventually. We bought a little galabia with a boy baby in mind, but we’ll just have to use it later. We’re definitely pleased that we can use the Arabic middle name that we had picked out while living in the Middle East. It just seemed fitting somehow.

So, Miriam al-Noor it is…for now.

The report we got from the doctor is a little cryptic, as medical records tend to be. We were intrigued by the wording regarding what I assume to be the amniotic fluid.

Liquor: Normal amount

Do we usually refer to amniotic fluid as liquor in the States? I just checked Rachel’s charts and liquor isn’t mentioned on there at all. Is it okay that I find the wording both awkward and hilarious?

And here’s me at 19 weeks, 4 days along. I don’t think I’ve gotten any bigger since the last picture 3 weeks ago…



  1. Woohoo! I'm so excited for your probably-girl. Two girls is lots of fun :).

  2. I'm a medical transcriptionist and liquor is NOT a normal form of wording regarding the amniotic fluid. However, amniotic fluid is, amniotic sac, or AFl. Hope this helps you feel better! haha! Liquor!

  3. Hey, we like lots of girls! Matching dresses & everything. Jacqueline was "probably a girl" until I came back to the US and had a 35 week ultrasound changing it to definitely a girl. My first ultrasound (@ dr. tarek's btw) the spectrum went from, "Oh, yes ma'am, it's a boy" to "Oh, yes ma'am, it's a girl" to "Well, maybe boy, maybe girl." you think? I could have told you that, girly! Anyway, it is a nice perk of Egypt to have as many ultrasounds as your heart desires. If you went to a German trained dr, they do an ultrasound at every appointment. My friend went to one in Mohandiseen. Anyway, congrats!

  4. I guess I was probable-wrong. Haha. I'm glad you're having another girl...probably. Girls are fun. And I enjoy having two of my own. Congrats!

  5. Yay for girls! But if she's born on her super rad due date, you mean "Miriam al-Noor Sara it is..." The "Sara," of course, being silent. And invisible.

    I'm sure it will surprise you to know that Sam moved so much that I felt him at 12 weeks, and for the rest of the pregnancy he would regularly wake not just me but Kevan up as well, because he was shaking the bed.

    And I think the "liquor" refers to your consumption. Isn't it comforting to know that you're taking in just the right amount? ;)

  6. Yay! I'm so happy for you, and yay for Miriam! Congratulations. I hope she stays a girl, mostly because, what a pain to change once you've had a chance to get used to and love her as a girl, you know? Of course you know, it's you.


  7. That's such a cute name. I always wanted to name one of my kids Miriam (and call her Miri for short), but there is a conflicting personage in the family... so it would be a little/maybe very awkward. Sad. Of course, I could just tell everyone to get over it... :)

    I guess we have similar tastes in names, since I love the name Rachel, too (I think I told you that!).

  8. We do have similar tastes, don't we, Michelle? Matthew is one of my absolute favorite boy names. :) I should consult you before naming our next girl so that I don't take all your favorite names! ;)