This morning was the big ultrasound I've been waiting for. The ultrasound where Smudge actually looks like a baby and we can find out the gender of the baby.
The morning began with the tedious process of drinking 1L of water in the space of about 15 minutes. Greg and Reuben seemed to believe this was an easy feat - and the truth is yes, drinking 1L of water when you're thirsty or when you've been exercising, over the course of several hours, is very easy. However, drinking 1L of water when you are fully hydrated and not thirsty anymore, is very difficult. The first 750ml is o.k., but the last 250ml is torture. I have never felt so much like throwing up water in my life.
Anyhow, I was more than sufficiently bloated for my appointment and naturally, while I was early, they took me late. In some ways, it was easier than the first time, because they didn't have to press as hard on me with the ultrasound device in order to get the picture they wanted. Once I'm past 28 weeks, I will only have to drink a half litre of water. Of course, by then, the pressure on my bladder will make the experience just as difficult as drinking 1L now.
Greg and Elizabeth came with me into the appointment. I was very excited for Greg to see the baby, and Elizabeth too - especially since the next time she sees me the baby will be a few months old. The baby's heartbeat was 138bpm this time (last time was 135bpm). The ultrasound technician was extremely friendly at took pains to describe everything she was doing and everything we were seeing. The most important thing is that the baby appears to be perfectly healthy.
We got to see: the face, the arms, the legs, the femur, the kidneys, the intestines, the brain, the cerebellum, the feet, the spine and the heart. We could actually clearly see the four chambers of the heart and we could see the beating of the heart. That was not something I was expecting and it was very exciting for me (especially having spent time at the heart institute).
The baby was extremely active during the ultrasound session, moving legs and arms around and turning itself over. My worries that Smudge would be pointed in the wrong direction and asleep were obviously ill-founded. The problem was getting Smudge to stay put! I was not surprised because Smudge was super active all this week.
As for the gender, the baby was quite accomodating and had legs spread open. The technician was looking at the baby from the bottom up, and there was no evidence of male equipment - so, the pronouncement is that the baby is a girl!