The Dinosaur Penguin

19 Weeks

Alternatively titled, "Anatomy Scan: How I Scared Tom Half to Death"

Ultrasounds - An exciting experience where you get to watch a TV screen showing your baby moving around.  Or the time to figure out any and all genetic problems, health issues, and life ending debilitations. One of those is a lot more fun than the other, but the reality is, both are true.

I was aware of this, and was appropriately excited and nervous in the weeks leading up to our big appointment.  Tom, however, was completely in the dark until I explained my anxiety one day.  As he put it, "I appreciate the knowledge, but I also appreciated the ignorance!  Now I'm FREAKING OUT!"  I look at is as some good practice for being a parent.  The next 20+ years is just going to be alternating between excitement and panic right? 

My mind has always had an interesting way of preparing for big events like this, especially ones where the outcome is unknown.  It's like I'm living two parallel realities at once, one where everything will work out fine and there's no need to worry, and one where the worst possible thing WILL happen, and I'm ready and expecting it to come.  Maybe it's just my way of preparing for all extremes, so as we were waiting for the appointment I was both relaxed and already knew that the worst had happened.  

Tom was straight up panicking.  It didn't help that we arrived to out appointment almost 20 minutes early, and were called back 30 minutes after our appointment time.  That's a long time to sit in a waiting room wondering if your baby has a brain or if their heart is missing a chamber.  Of course I was just happy that they let me go to the bathroom before this appointment!

This is a foot. It's sole purpose at this point is to kick me. Repeatedly.

This is a foot. It's sole purpose at this point is to kick me. Repeatedly.

Finally we were called back, and the ultrasound was under way.  With every passing minute, we were both able to relax a bit as baby passed test after test.  Look, baby has two feet!  Well that's good to know!  And has bones, and a jaw, and a very symmetrical brain, if I can brag just a bit.  Organs were where they were supposed to be, and the heart has all the pieces it needs.  A lot of measurements were taken and everything is charting right where it should be.  The only creepy part was when they were looking at baby's spine, and I swear whatever was on that screen was not a baby.  It alternated between a dinosaur and a penguin with a sharp looking beak.  

It figures after all the worrying about the baby, of course it was me that was the problem.  Apparently the placenta isn't getting along great with my uterus and cervix, but at this point in the pregnancy it's not a huge deal.  And if that's the only thing they found during the ultrasound, we'll take it! 

Still, no one likes to be in the situation where the ultrasound tech says "I'm going to have the doctor step in and explain some things for you."  I've seen movies - that's when they tell you the baby is dead!  Luckily for us the baby is completely fine, and we're only dealing with a minor problem that has a 90% chance of fixing itself.  We'll find out later if we need to worry, but for now everything's okay. 

This ultrasound seems to be the only real milestone in the second trimester.  There aren't a lot of symptoms, I'm still not big enough for most people to notice I'm pregnant, not a lot's going on.  Sure we're making preparations for when baby is here, but none of it seems real.