The factory is silent. Its assembly line stands motionless. Somewhere off in the darkness, a buzzer sounds. One by one, lights begin to flicker and illuminate on long-unmanned diagnostic panels, giving a sense of enormity and complexity and scale to the machinery. The low hum of power supplies warming up comes next, followed by the higher and louder whine of turbines and electric motors. A whistle sounds, and one by one, employees begin to file in and take their places at the controls. Purposed for a single task, whose time has now come, the factory slowly comes to life...

Monday, February 2, 2009

Ultrasounds rock!

I'm trying to make this a short one, because I'm pretty tired!

We ended up having to wait a long time in the doctor's office today, which made it nerve-wracking. Our appointment was for 2:30 but it was almost 3:15 by the time they called us back to the ultrasound room. The tech today was the same woman who had to give us the bad news at our very first ultrasound last July (but I didn't realize that until later.)

I purposely wore the stretch pants so I wouldn't have to get too "undressed." Sure enough, I laid back, she lowered my pants to below the belly, and tucked a towel into the top of them to keep the gel from getting on my clothes. She squirted on some gel, (hooray for ultrasound gel warmers!) and we were off!

First, she was a really good tech, because she asked right away if we wanted to know the gender. (Heck yes!) She was also great in that she pointed out everything she was looking at while she was looking and marking things off. If we didn't quite see it, she would go over it again and point. Very thorough.

However, some little baby was not cooperating today, and was determined to keep its legs crossed the whole time! The tech tried jiggling the wand to get the baby to move, but the baby was like, "Quit bugging me!" She said most of the difficult ones who keep their legs crossed are the little girls...

She kept looking. She said it looks like the placenta is at the back, which is a good thing. We saw leg bones and arm bones, and the spine. With some more wiggling we saw a top down view of the head, and eye spots, and a nose. Then we saw some cute little baby feet!! (Ankles crossed, of course...)

It's kind of hard to make out, but above the word "foot" is a whitish area - that would be the toes/ball of the foot, sideways (heel is to the left.) The whitish area below the word is the other foot (remember, they look left-right backwards because of the crossed ankles.) Unfortunately, these things are much clearer to see while they're moving!

She kept looking for the gender, and prodded and poked, and finally determined she was 99% sure...

It's a girl!

There are three parallel marker lines they look for to indicate the baby is female, and she could see them, but she had a terrible time trying to get us a picture! This one here is the best she could do:

Imagine if you sat a baby down on a glass table, and looked up from underneath; that is the view we are seeing. Rump is the roundish area on the left, with the two legs sticking out to the right. (The brighter white areas below the words "leg" are femurs or other leg bones.) You can see two of the three lines they look for where the arrow is pointing.

The tech did say she didn't see any "outdoor plumbing" so she felt really comfortable saying its a girl!

She tried to measure the head, but she had trouble getting a good reading. (Sheesh, already she's got stubborn Kraly girl genes!) The baby had one of her arms over her head and another near her mouth. She said, "I'm sorry but we'll probably need to schedule another ultrasound to see everything we need."

Oh no! We'll have to see our baby again in three weeks! [cheesy grin!] She told us to make sure we told whoever does the next scan that we couldn't get any good face pictures, so they should make sure to try and get us some.

She gave us the pics to bring home, and we waited to see the doctor. Craig made me laugh out loud today when he described our doctor's accent as a "cross between Matthew McConaughey and Huckleberry Hound." Spot on!

The doc said everything looks great, and that it seems my due date keeps moving up a few days because the baby looks a little ahead of schedule, which is just fine. (I don't think I ever told them I have a short cycle, about 23 days, as opposed to everyone's standard 28. I bet it makes a difference when calculating dates of conception, etc.)

We told them we still wanted the AFP and CF blood tests, and both the nurse and the doctor asked us why. I thought it was a little strange until I realized that some people may still choose to terminate on bad news at this stage. I never could -- I just told them we want to be aware of possibilities so we know if we need to be extra-prepared for anything. The doctor made sure I also realized that all I was going to get was a number from the AFP test, and I said yes, I know I won't get a "negative or positive", just a risk factor, but that would be good enough for me.

I'm not too worried about it because the doc said everything looked great on the ultrasounds so far. He also gave me a "You go girl!" when he saw my weight. He said I am *right on target*, exactly right where I need to be! Perfect! So that was great news.

The last thing I asked him about was why sometimes at night I get the shakes, especially a couple of hours after dinner, or when I'm tired. He said it's a blood sugar thing, and if I've had too many carbs or sugars, I'm probably getting that spike and then a drop. Nothing to really worry about.

Everyone we've told has been thrilled today! Mom told me last night she was putting in her order for a girl, so it was great to give her the news today. Dad said he knew it was a girl... Veronica said she secretly wanted a girl, as did several other people, so we're happy to oblige. :D

Well, baby is bumping me, so I figure I should head off to sleep. I will be dreaming of sweet little baby girls tonight...

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