Tuesday, March 15, 2011

From "it" to "he"

Here's our son. Those things floating in front of his face are his hands.
On Monday we had our first (and hopefully only) ultrasound, where we learned we're having a boy! I still haven't gotten used to referring to the baby as "he" instead of "it." It's nice to know the gender and to mentally prepare for a boy, but it's still weird thinking of the thing inside my stomach as my son.

The experience of seeing the baby during the ultrasound was surreal. Like I imagined in my last post, this has made the baby even more real than before. We got to see his tiny nose and his mouth (which opened for a yawn). He hid his face for awhile with his hand, and he kicked his little legs while we watched. We counted his fingers and toes, watched his heart beat, saw his developing brain. Some of these are things we'll likely never see again. It's hard to believe that all of that is growing inside me.

Seeing all those details on the big TV screen made it hard to remember just how tiny the baby still is. His femurs -- the long upper leg bones -- are a mere 3.15 centimeters long. The circumference of his head is just 17.6 centimeters. And he only weighs 12 ounces -- the same as a can of soda.

After the ultrasound, the attendant revised our due date to July 30. We had been guessing Aug. 1, and the midwife had written down July 31. It was bizarre to me how much importance the ultrasound attendant placed on getting an exact due date. I know full well that the likelihood of the baby being born on that exact day is small (although there are exceptions, as our friend Melissa knows). I like to view the due date as more of an estimate, and when people ask about it, I say, "He'll be born around the beginning of August." I think this is part of my accepting and being fine with the idea that my baby will come when it's ready, whenever that may be. He will pick his time.


  1. It looks like he's talking to a little bluebird of happiness in there! Or maybe one of the birds from the border of this very blog! This is one of the best ultrasound photos ever!

    Also, I still refer to our current baby as "it" sometimes, and then feel horribly inhuman. Sigh. It happens.

    When I was pregnant with Oscar, I mentally estimated his due date as two weeks past the date the midwives said. I just didn't want to be disappointed or frustrated if I went past my due date. And, as you mentioned, he was born on his due date (I think that 10% of babies are).

    This pregnancy, I have a feeling I'll go early, but I tell people he's due in late June or early July (actual due date is July 1). Watch: this'll be the one that goes waaaay past the due date!

    Loving your writing about your experience. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Complimenting my baby's cuteness before he's even born -- I like it. ;-)

  3. I've had two friends with histories of going past their "estimated due date" lie about their last menstrual period to delay the EDD by a week. In both cases the ultrasound tech confirmed the fake dates exactly. Which means it's all subjective. ;) As a mama who carried two babies to 42 weeks (and had to fight for every minute of the two weeks after the EDD) I'm happy to see that you are keeping the "estimated" part of it a priority. Love Tara

  4. New life is amazing and I always get teary eyed seeing ultrasound pictures. I can't wait to meet this little guy this summer! Congratulations again and keep the blog entries coming.