Week 20 – Boy or girl?


“My bellybutton looks funny.”

Pre-pregnancy, a comment like this from Jas would have resulted in me looking sideways at her and saying something like, “What are you talking about?” Now, nothing Jas says is particularly unusual. Now, she could have indicated in passing that she was growing a sixth toe. “Oh yeah? Give us a look,” I would say. I took a look at the aforementioned navel. It did seem different: while the outside had moved with the expanding belly, the button bit seemed to have stayed put, some distance inside. Overall it had a slight megaphone shape to it, as though I would be able to hear words of wisdom from our soon-to-be first-born. I put my ear to it: no words, just faint gurgling. 

To those who wouldn’t know Jas was pregnant, it might seem as though she was talking to herself; that she was starting to go a wee bit senile. Not so: from time to time, she just had a few things to say to the blueberry, often when he/she was on the move. One day, from another room, I heard her exclaim: “I know you’re in there!” I looked around wondering what it was I could be doing wrong, but then realised that – thankfully – Jas wasn’t talking to me.

Jas’ sanity might also be questioned by strangers who saw her jump in her seat on the train. She’d be sitting quietly, perhaps reading a book, and then suddenly spasm as though her seat had suddenly grown a few pervy fingers and pinched her firmly on her derriere. Her jolts were responses to the little one moving about; what were once pleasant, bubbly sensations caused by his wriggling had become strong little stabs, as though he was practicing Bruce Lee moves and trying to escape. His kicks always caught Jas by surprise.

More name searching. We had a formative list of names we might fancy. But there were others I found in our baby books that would definitely not make the cut: in the top five would be “Ikea” (!), a girl’s name from Sweden. Whatever we have, I don’t want to have to assemble it!

20 week scan

Technically, we were half way. I was looking forward to seeing the little one in ultrasound action, to see how it had progressed, to see how big it was, to get another nice little profile picture to pop on the fridge. But once the scanner started sliding over Jas’ greased-up bump, we realised it wasn’t interested in showing off or being helpful to the ultrasound lady. He just showed us his butt. No matter how much the scanner slipped and probed above him, all we saw was his back and his butt. Ms Ultrasound even tilted the bed, rolled Jas from side to side, asked us to go for a walk, to jiggle about a bit (Jas, not me), in order to encourage a re-arrangement in foetal position. No luck. It was like he was hanging on to the sides refusing to budge. Jas could have done cartwheels, but - as though he was in one of those big clear spongy balls you could roll down hills in - he’d resolutely maintain his antisocial posture. The only picture we were going to get this day was of two stubborn little bottom cheeks.

What we did see was its internals. It was great. We could see clearly see a beautifully curved spine, kidneys, and a heart bidoomping away. We could even see the individual chambers of the heart, and – when Ms Ultrasound added colour to the screen – the (blue) incoming blood and (red) outgoing blood. Amazing stuff. I wondered if one day it would be possible to attach little screens with inbuilt ultrasound scanners to pregnant bellies so dads-to-be could watch their little ones being “Bruce Lee in a bag”, in the comfort of their own home. Ok, so maybe it’s a bit shallow and wouldn’t be so comfortable for the mum-to-be, but it would certainly beat a fish tank, eh?

We’d spent weeks trying to decide whether or not to find out the baby’s sex at the scan. Essentially it came down to whether we wanted it to be a surprise on birth-day, or whether we could go out and get it a Spiderman jumpsuit and an Arsenal beanie. Eventually, we came to a final, resolute, irrevocable decision: we’d ask Ms Ultrasound to write the sex on a piece of paper and – without us looking - put it in an envelope so we could decide later. Genius! (I thought of it). But at the scan, Ms Ultrasound said she couldn’t do that for some strange NHS-policy reason. So...on the spot we said: “Ok, we want to know.” 

So, without further ado, I can announce to the world that, without a shred of doubt, our child will be: a boy...or girl. Its little butt was in the way, wasn’t it? No undercarriage was sighted!

1 comment:

  1. What a great article! I am glad I am not the only one that looks a little bit crazy when I'm pregnant, talking away to what seems like nobody and jumping off my seat when baby moves! What a great idea about writting the sex on a piece of paper! shame they wouldn't do it. Although if it was me it probably wouldn't have even made it's way to the lift before I looked at it! ;)