Saturday, October 6, 2012

First Sonogram: Baby Is Definitely Not A Kumquat.

Hello again.  It has now been twenty-nine days since I last posted about our upcoming baby.  Since then Carly and I have been on vacation-likely our last vacation ever without the burden excitement of being parents.  Also, yesterday we had our first sonogram and thus were able to see our baby for the first time ever.

To begin with, let's discuss the sonogram.  As I mentioned, Carly and I were able to see our little baby for the first time yesterday.  What an experience that was.  First of all, to this point in the pregnancy I've been able to kind of compartmentalize the idea of becoming a father a little by thinking of the baby as a walnut/Lima bean/kumquat/whatever-odd-food-item-you-can-think-of rather than a real person.  However, yesterday confirmed that, yes indeed, there is a real person with a real beating heart living and growing inside of my wife's tummy and that the implications of that fact are going to be far greater than a walnut or a kumquat would be (it seems like every morning Carly is informing me that our baby is the size of a different food item).

I'm not quite sure I'll ever forget the day yesterday.  Carly and I both went into work and then met at our apartment to go to the appointment.  I was fairly nervous for it while Carly, as she seems to always be with anything to do with the baby, was really excited.  After sitting in the waiting room for a few minutes we were called back into the sonogram room.  Everyone had told me that, being so relatively early in the pregnancy, we wouldn't really be able to see anything more than a blob.  This expectation couldn't have been farther from the truth.

I was amazed with how well defined the baby's features were and how much the baby looked like a real person.  We were able to clearly see things like the baby's tiny little rapidly beating heart, its head (with a tiny little brain inside), its tiny little arms, its tiny little legs (which were crossed), and a tiny little nose with tiny little ears, among other features.The doctor told us the baby's CRL (as we learned in a previous post, the "crown rump length") was a total of five centimeters-less than two inches!!!  Seeing all those "tiny little" features and having them all add up to just five centimeters was and still is just incredible to me.

Another thing that I found amazing was that the baby was sleeping the whole time.  Maybe this should be embarrassing for me to admit but I had no idea that babies actually sleep in the womb.  The doctor said she was nudging the baby to try to wake him/her up-I thought she was just cracking a not-so-amusing joke.   Carly explained to me afterwards that this wasn't an odd joke but rather a factual thing that was going on.  It also should be noted that the baby, despite the doctor's apparent best efforts, refused to be awoken.  Obviously this baby has Carly's deep sleep habits.

(If you scroll down to the bottom of this post you will see three pictures from the sonogram.  We still don't know the sex of the baby and won't know for about another six to ten weeks.)

After the sonogram part was done we were escorted into another room where another doctor came in to discuss the actual medical results that were accomplished during the sonogram.  The woman explained to us that they measured the back of the neck and the nasal passage along with a few other things to help determine certain risk factors and so far everything has come back good for us and the baby.  At one point the woman said to me "congratulations, dad" as she left the room.  It kind of struck me when she said that; she was the first person other than Carly to refer to me as "dad."  It was just another one of those "gulp" type moments for me.

One item that I thought was pretty funny about the various rooms that we were in was that there were smelling salts taped everywhere.  The sonogram room had salts taped to the monitors and the other rooms had the salts taped to the paper towel dispenser.  Just kind of an odd thing I thought.

In addition to the sonogram, there have been other noteworthy things that have happened in the past four-plus weeks since my last post.  One such item was our vacation that we took to Nags Head, North Carolina last week (a town in an area known as The Outer Banks).  There are a couple of reasons I'm going to discuss our vacation in the baby blog.  The first reason is that it was, like earlier mentioned, likely myself and Carly's last vacation without being parents.  Secondly, as I will further discuss, it gave me the opportunity to "study" a couple of other fathers-my brothers.

This may sound like something extremely unimportant in the grand scheme of things but during our vacation part of me was thinking about how this would be the last time I would be able to do these things without having to worry about a dirty diaper, or a car seat, or baby formula, etc..  I'll be honest, the selfish part of me was kind of bummed about this fact.  However, there is another part of me that is kind of looking forward to having a tiny little person to share the various elements of the vacation with, especially as he or she gets older.

One of the more strange things for me that has come out of my impending fatherhood is how I look at my two brothers and almost study how they act as fathers themselves.  For those of you who don't know, I have two younger brothers: Rick is two years younger than me and has a four year old daughter and Brian who is four years younger than me and has a one year old daughter.  With me being the oldest, I have almost always experienced certain life's milestones before either of my brothers.  For me looking for advice from my younger brothers, even if its not quite discernible to them that that's what I'm doing, is really really awkward for me.  Sharing a house while on vacation with them gave me a little bit of a venue to where I could at least study their interactions and handling of certain situations so that, at the very least, I might know a little of what to expect in the future.

Other than for all that there really isn't much more else to discuss at this point.  Our next appointment is in four weeks on November, 2.  There won't be a sonogram done then, just a basic pre-natal check up that day from the way I understand it.

Until my next splurge of thoughts on my impending parenthood, I continue to wish you all pleasant reading,


The Baby

The Little Baby And All Of His/Her 5cm
The 3-D Image