I had my 20-week scan the other day.
I wasn’t nervous. I wasn’t nervous because my husband and I had already been through a week of high stress following our 12-week scan, the one that darkly warned us of a greatly increased chance of having a child born with Down’s Syndrome. Even though the additional testing returned blissfully negative on all counts, we still know there’s a possibility that something will go wrong. That there is an anomaly that won’t be caught. That our kid won’t be “normal.” But perhaps because we’ve accepted those facts, and because of the results of this second scan, I was quite happy to be there.
I’ve been meaning to write a whole lot more about being pregnant. Yes, I know a lot of women, men, and couples have been here – expecting your first child – but it’s still very new to me. And I was always the kid who took pride in all my scrapes and bruises when I was little (“Look, Dad! I’m bleeding!”), so it’s only natural I view myself as a sort of self-science experiment. I frequently say things to myself now like:
“Gee, look how fat I look!”
“I wasn’t expecting my bellybutton to be poking out so much right now…”
“Is it common to think your unborn child is just gas? Oh, it is? Alright.”
“No one talks about being slightly constipated. That’s a pregnancy thing, right?”
“I’m a pee-machine. I turn water into pee every thirty minutes. Cool.”
“I wonder if I’ll waddle like a duck when I’m 9 months pregnant…”
“I wasn’t expecting my boobs to be this huge already!”
And the list goes on. I surprise myself every day with new perspectives on life, on being a future mom, on carrying an unborn child. (It’s like Alien!) I’ve finally reached the point where I can feel Baby B’s movements, though the scan confirmed that peanut’s head was down in my pelvis, which meant that cute head-butt I felt earlier in the morning was probably a butt-butt. Go figure. The kid’s half me and half my husband.
I’m excited. Not as much as my husband, who is much more paternal than I am maternal (at least for now), but I do think ahead – past the labor pains and possibility of heinous tearage and the bloody mess birthing a child will entail – and I am excited about the potential of my unborn child. How will he or she look? What will he or she study? Will we have to be strict disciplinarians? Will we have to visit the hospital every few months because of a sick child? Will our kid learn quickly? Walk sooner than normal? Talk later? I sometimes worry I’ll take raising a child much like training a dog, though perhaps there are worse things a parent could do. I worry about setting rules that are too strict, or coming into disagreement with my husband on something we both know down the road won’t matter much (like if the kid has ice cream for breakfast one morning). I worry about how my body will change, or not, after I have this baby.
But mostly I just try to take it one day at a time. The 20-week “anomaly scan” went really well. I thought it might. All the major bits were in place – arms and legs, hands and feet, spine, heart, kidneys, skull – and though we could have asked for it, I told the sonographer to not let us know the sex. I agree with my sister, who has kids of her own, that in this day and age of technology and medical wonders, sometimes it’s nice to be surprised.
I suppose that means it’s time to actually write down baby names.