A month went by with no other complications and at this appointment with the MFM we would get to see our baby again. By this time we were due for the anatomy scan. This is the point in the pregnancy where they measure baby’s arms, legs, head, belly, and check for any (other) abnormalities. The ultrasound tech didn’t seem to have much trouble finding everything, so that must be a good sign! She explained to us what she was measuring and that I did have little pockets of fluid now but she didn’t know if it was enough for lung development (which by this point was our biggest concern).
When the ultrasound tech was done measuring everything she said she had one last thing she needed to check; the sex of the baby. Normally parents would be ecstatic to find out the sex of their baby, us on the other hand, were still unsure if we wanted to know. By this point I was around 18-20 weeks and legally we had up to 23 weeks (given my condition) to decided if we wanted to terminate the pregnancy. We both decided we didn’t want to know the baby’s sex until we were at a “safe point” in the pregnancy (we weren’t there yet!) because if we did have to make the decision to terminate, knowing the sex of the baby beforehand would make it that much more difficult for us to deal with. After a few minutes of back and forth we decided we wanted to know. We held our breath as the ultrasound tech typed on her keyboard…
IT’S A GIRL!
We just stared at each other for a little while and let that sink in. *It’s a girl* We probably didn’t have the same reaction most parents do. At first we were so excited that we wanted to call and text every person in our contacts list and tell them we’re having a little girl! Then we both felt a sadness. Almost like we should have stuck to our guns and said no because now the situation just got that much more difficult.
After the ultrasound, the doctor came in to talk to us. She discussed what would happen at admission to the hospital and how the whole process works from here on out. We also found out that she would not be monitoring me anymore because she is not credentialed with the hospital my insurance company requires me to deliver at. Bummer. She did leave us with some hope. She said even though our baby was growing a little behind her heart rate has stayed right in normal limits despite having very little fluid surrounding her. She explained that our daughter could still have some or all of the issues we previously discussed but that she’s made it this far and that’s a good thing.
We left that appointment with a mixed bag of feelings. We were sad the doctor wouldn’t be able to find out what happened to us when we left her office that day. We were excited that we now know the sex of our baby. We were nervous because my time at home was slowly ticking away. We were scared because the future of our baby was still unknown. We always asked each other after these types of appointments if we were doing the right thing; if in the end would all this be worth it? Would our daughter resent us in the future if we made the wrong decision? Thoughts like this crossed our minds daily and we never got any real validation that what we were doing was the right thing.
We had deep conversations throughout this time about things we never thought we’d have to talk about. Having those tough conversations all the time took a toll on us mentally. Not being able to leave the house (except for doctors appointments) and being stuck in bed all day, everyday wore on me. My husband felt bad when he wanted to go out for a couple hours just to clear his head. It wasn’t easy on either of us,but this was just the beginning. The hard stuff hadn’t even happened yet, but I can promise you we were not as prepared as we thought we were.
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