Saturday, June 23, 2007

It's a girl!

I usually wait to add photos until the end of my posts, but I know even the most patient among you would scroll right over any text to get to the images in this case. So, with that in mind, here is our little one at 19 weeks and six days:

P1011600_3
Here you can see her profile. The dark line at the top of the head
is her mouth. The circle on the side of her head is her left ear.



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Same profile, but that little circle above her is her right fist. She
was moving around like crazy, playing with her arms and face.



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Here is her left fist. I'm amazed that this little image shows
all four fingers and individual knuckles. Technology rocks.



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And here, by far my favorite, a thumbs-up sign.
As in, "Hey ma, it's alright in here!"

......................................................................................................

When Jerry and I checked in with a receptionist, the suspense was killing me. I had to summon every ounce of willpower not to barge in on another woman's appointment, grab the ultrasound wand out of the nurse's hand and push it around on my belly.

Somehow I managed to refrain myself and sit with Jer in the waiting room. Thanks to my ever-so-timely husband, we were 10 minutes early, so I popped a hard candy into my mouth, crossed my fingers for just a moment and silently hoped that our little one would be healthy and strong. (And give us a good shot between the legs, of course.)

As the minutes ticked by, I became increasingly impatient. Every time the door opened to the exam rooms, I said, "C'mon ... c'mon ... c'mon ..." as if that would encourage a nurse to summon me rather than the other women in the waiting area. Instead, our 1: 15 p.m. appointment came and went. Everyone, including many who had come in after us, were being called in one by one.

We overheard a nurse arguing about a scheduling problem with the receptionists, but it honestly didn't dawn on me that perhaps the reason Jerry and I had been waiting so long is because we were the problem.

Eventually, a nurse I was familiar with called my name.

"Yay!" I said, picking up the pace as she practically sprinted back to one of the exam rooms. "We've been looking forward to this appointment for weeks! I couldn't sleep I was so excited."

"Well, c'mon back, but I have to tell you about a scheduling issue we ran into."

I turned around and shot Jer a nervous look as we walked.

Once the door was closed behind us, she gave an exasperated sigh, explained how the other two nurses were off for the week and that I was accidentally scheduled as a 15 minute rescan ultrasound, not the full-fledged 45 minutes she needed to complete a rigorous 30-point part check on our baby.

My whole body sagged.

"You've got to be kidding me," I said.

"I'm so sorry," she said, "but my hands are tied. I'm the only nurse on staff, I'm completely overbooked and I have a whole stack of files that I haven't even written up from yesterday. The only thing I can do is offer you a quick free ultrasound and not submit it to your insurance. That way, you'll be able to see the baby at least."

"I don't mean to be rude," I said, "but this is the second ultrasound appointment that has been cancelled on us. We drove more than an hour to get here and it isn't easy to arrange these visits around our work schedules."

"There isn't anything you can do?" Jerry asked.

She sighed, turned back to her daily appointment chart that was taped to one of the cabinets and scanned it with her left index finger. "The only thing I can think of is to cancel the one non-urgent scan I have on here. And I can't make any promises. Her appointment is at 2:45, would that work for you?"

"I'd probably be a little late to work, but I think they'd understand," I said to Jer. "What do you think?"

"If you could arrange the switch, we'd be more than grateful," Jerry said to the nurse.

"Alright," she said, turning to me. "Do you have a full bladder?"

"Yes," I said, almost forgetting that I was completely miserable and in desperate need of relieving myself.

"Well, then hop up quick and I'll get a picture of your cervix," the nurse said. "That way you won't have to worry about the bladder thing next time if I can't switch around the schedule."

As she squeezed a dollop of lubrication on my abdomen and applied pressure to measure the thickness of my cervix, it almost felt like torture that she didn't at least give us a quick glimpse of the baby just a few inches higher. Instead, she announced everything looked normal as far as my own body parts go and ushered me off to my five-month checkup with a doctor across the hallway.

"I'll stop over and let you know if I can squeeze you in after that," she said.

Feeling more than a little dejected, Jerry and I went to yet another waiting room and sat.

"This sucks," I said.

"Yeah, I know you love this place, but if this was our first visit, I'd be ready to switch doctors," Jerry said.

Eventually we were summoned into another exam room where I called someone at work to let them know about the problem and that I'd likely be a little late.

The doctor checked the baby's heart rate, which in one month slowed to 150 beats per minute, and explained that was an expected trend as the fetus develops. She also checked my legs for swelling and asked if I was having any complications, to which I thankfully was able to say no.

As we wrapped up the appointment, the nurse popped her head in and said we could have the 2:45 ultrasound.

Although still frustrated and a little stressed, I managed to shoot Jer a smile. We would get to see our baby after all.

We thanked the nurse repeatedly when we got the chance. She took my exam out of pause mode on her computer and gelled up my belly again. It was obvious that she was in a hurry, everything was a little rushed and frantic, but I didn't mind.

Within seconds, a clearly visible profile came into view on the screen. I couldn't believe how much our baby had grown in the three months since we last saw that little blinking blob with nubs where appendages would form. Now it had arms and joints and facial features and internal organs and pretty much looked like a human. Amazing.

I reached out my left hand and locked fingers with Jerry. We both just smiled at each other stupidly in the darkness then quickly turned our attention back to the glowing computer screen.

The nurse talked us through everything as she went: two kidneys, no obvious signs of a cleft palate or club feet, four chambers in the heart, the spine, the upper lip, eye sockets.

It was nothing short of amazing. Every bone was illuminated in shocking detail. The spine was facing up, so we could watch as it twisted and moved. The baby's arms and hands were very active, touching the head, exploring the face and grabbing at anything and everything. I just sort of laid there, desperately trying to take it all in.

"Did you want to find out what it is?" the nurse asked, pausing the screen and shocking me out of somewhat of a mesmerized stance.

Jerry and I gave her a simultaneous yes.

"Well, see these three lines?" she asked. "That's typically what we see for a girl."

I turned around just in time to see Jerry's face curl into a huge grin. "A girl, huh?" he asked. "Alright. Alright. I can do that. ... How sure are you?"

"I'd say about 60 percent," she said. "Up, there it is again. Nope, 80 percent."

At the third clear shot of the three lines, she upped our percentage to 90 percent and said she'd only been wrong about the gender once in two decades. With those kinds of odds, I felt very confident about her diagnosis.

A girl. We're having a girl. It's a girl.

I just kept repeating it over and over in my mind. After that, the nurse started referring to her by gender: her hands, her arms, her legs.

It started to sink in. That's my daughter. I squeezed Jer's hand tighter.

We left with four photos and the good news that we have to get another brief scan in four weeks. Any excuse to get to experience that again is a good one in my book.

The nurse explained that because the baby was spine up, she couldn't get a very accurate shot of the heart. Unfortunately our insurance probably won't cover it, and it's a significant expense at $200, but if it means ruling out a possible abnormality, it isn't even a question.

As we scheduled our next appointment, Jerry and I couldn't take our eyes off the ultrasound photos. On the way home, we took turns calling family and friends and sharing the good news. Most of mine were met with "I KNEW IT!" and lots of congratulations.

Hours later, after a very long and exasperating night at work, I couldn't wait to get to sleep. Jerry got home a mere moments before me and was laying in bed watching an episode of 24 on the mini DVD player.

As I crawled in beside him and put my head on his chest, he smiled and asked, "How are my girls?"

I smiled thinking I could get used to that question.

"We're good."

Really good.

51 comments:

natalie said...

yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! congratulations!!! i'm so excited for y'all!!!! :0)

Miriam said...

YAY! YAY! YAY! Congratulations!!!!

its_just_ang from Xanga said...

Oh, wonderful Kelly!!! I'm sooooo excited. What does Jerry think of having a little princess?? This is going to be so awesome. Many congrats to you guys!

julie said...

YAY!!!!! This is so awesome!! I'm so grateful to be able to share this with you, someone I've never met, but who I treasure having in my life. I've been online three times this morning, impatiently waiting for you to get up and let us know what you're having.

Very cool, Kelly. So happy for you.

Amy said...

Ahh! Congrats! That is so incredible! I was honestly up at 5:45 this morning refreshing every 30 mins or so to see when you were going to update. Haha. I am soo excited for you guys!

Rachel said...

Congratulations! Nice pictures! I love ultrasound profile shots where you can see their little noses!

Tiffany said...

Finally!!! The anticipation has been killing me. This might sound crazy, but I honestly woke up this morning and the first thought that popped in my head was "It's a girl!" haha, crazy, I know. My sister is having a girl too and everyone swore it would be a boy. You are going to have so much fun with her, I am SO excited for you and Jerry!!!! Congratulations!!

mia said...

i cant wait for you to post up first birthday pictures, with her in a dress smiling at the camera [:

Anna said...

Yay, congrats!!!! Girls are so much fun.

Leslie said...

Aww, yay!

I'm thrilled for you. Can't wait to hear about Jerry's and the family's reactions.

tossedrice said...

yay for little girls!! i'm so excited for you. congrats.

"Uncle" Plainsman said...

THUMB'S UP! That incredible sign from your little girl says it all, and much better than anything else I could write here!

Chelsea said...

Aww congrats! I kept checking your site last night and this morning for an update, but thats so excitingg!! How much longer before you start stocking up on the pink?

gisela said...

so back to GISELA being a perfect name for a girl :-p~~~ congrats love! Let the pink stuff buying begin!!!!!!!!!!

Meghan said...

YAYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!

Rachel said...

those photos were beautiful!!! awwww, congrats kelly... that was such a beautiful entry!!! <3

Cece said...

The anticipation is over!! Yay!Congratulations on the girl. Love the pictures.

Ray said...

Awww, CONGRATULATIONS! I'm so happy for you, " a girl" wow, girls are GREAT. I think this baby boom gender has changed. For awhile all I heard was of people having boys. Now it's girls which is great.

Question: You said that in order to see your baby's heart it would be $200 dollars and your insurance wouldn't pay for it. Why is that? Is it because you need special machines to see it accurately?

Take care, Kelly & once again congrats to both you and Jerry. ;o)

Ashley said...

Congratulations!!! I cant wait for the blogs about Jerry and a little girl. She's going to be soooo spoiled!!

Randall said...

I guess right! YAY! Congrats on your darling daughter... how cool is that?! I got big tears in my eyes reading it - I am so happy for you both.

Cindy said...

Ok, so I was wrong...but I'm glad I was wrong. You'll have a beautiful daughter! Have you registered anywhere yet?

lovechild420 said...

YaY!!! congrats!!! I knew it LoL I'm so excited for you! Remembering my own experience doing the same thing last year brought tears to my eyes when I read this :o)

adifferentkindofbeautiful said...

GREAT! I thought it would be a girl. :)

Anonymous said...

Congratulations!! Wonderful pics and story. Start rocking on your knees to get her to turn around. They'll teach you how (and why) at Lamaze class.

Emilee said...

Congratulations! That's so amazing! I think your little girl's "thumbs up" really says it all. Jerry is going to be so wonderful with a little girl!

aisha said...

YAY!!!!!! That is soooo awesome!!!! Ultrasound photos are lovely, she looks beautiful. I'm so happy for you!

Timberly said...

Already bought a present!!!!!

Heidi said...

Congrats!!!! I'm so happy for both of you! :-D

Julie/Aahcoffee said...

What a blessing! I am so glad you got to find out what you are having, that she has all her parts, and that everything looks great! What a relief that must be for you. Thanks for sharing this with us. Your pictures are awesome! Congrats again!

Jenny said...

*tear*

Yay! Girls are the best.

Anonymous said...

Congrats to you both!! I am so happy for you guys!!
*g

Wendy said...

Congrats! It's time for all the little pink things!

Janice said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!!

So I guess the Chinese Gender Indicator was right :)

Diane said...

I teared up at the title and the tears began to flow reading the post.

Congratulations!!!!! I am SO happy for all three of you.

Megan Scrivner said...

Congratulations!

Anonymous said...

:-).......
so happy for u....even my husband was waiting to hear abt your baby news!!!!!!!!!!
now my excitement is mounting.....
-sreenitha

Teme said...

Yay -- that's awesome! She's beautiful! I'm so excited and happy for you guys!

Alexandria said...

Oh, congratulations! I am so, so, SO excited for you!

Sarah said...

Yay I was RIGHT!!!

Congratulations! Name her Sarah. ;)

Meghan said...

I am tremendously happy for you.

Best of luck!

Marsha said...

What beautiful pictures. I am so excited for you. As you know,I have two girls. They rock! And there is nothing sweeter than a Daddy and his little girl. You guys are gonna be awesome parents.
Congratulations, and welcome to a wonderful world.
May I predict that in about 3 years, pink will actually be your favorite color?

ajandmac said...

aw!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

oh my gosh.

so cute.

im so excieted for you guys! how does it feel now, to know your little girl is moving all around like that inside you, like....all the time? crazy!

Candace said...

yay!!! :)

julie said...

Just got back online to read the whole story. I gotta tell you, as I read the words "That's my daughter" I started crying. Absolutely amazing, Kel.

Candi said...

Congrats! I'm so happy for you!

Emmy said...

That's totally awesome news! Congrats to you both!

diane - scorpion_queen08 said...

Congrats! I'm so happy for you and Jerry. I can understand that hospital complaint that you have. I feel the same. :( Yay for a girl.

Cindi said...

YAY! Congrats! Little girls are wonderful. I have one and, well.... she's 7 1/2 and growing like a weed, and not exactly what you'd call a peanut anymore, but she'll always be little to me :)

Damnit, you always make me cry! That line of Jerry's "How are my girls?" Can your hubby be any sweeter? Wonderful news!

JazzSaxKitten said...

Yay!!!!!!!! :D

I guess I was wrong, but I think you'll love having a daughter. :) That's so awesome. :)

Tiger Babble said...

Ha ha!!! I knew it!!!

I am sooooo happy for you!!! You are going to have so much FUN!!!!!!!

shimajan said...

congratulations kelly! that's wonderful news! your story was so sweet. =)