Observations from This Month’s Visit to the Doctor

Counting and the Due Date

Apparently my 40-week due date is different than the due date determined at the ultrasound I had at 11 weeks. The doctor says that my due date is now one week later than we thought.

Funny thing is I used my ultrasound to confirm the first day of my last period, and if the doctor is counting 40 weeks from that day, shouldn’t the due dates match? Why would my ultrasound predict a due date one week earlier?

This means my 11-week ultrasound was actually at 10 weeks. And every weekly marker gets pushed back seven days.

This means that I’m at 18 weeks instead of 19, and we’ll find out Baby’s gender in two weeks instead of next week. I guess it’s no big deal, but if we were expecting to find out next week, waiting another week is going to feel like years. Seven 24-hour years.

This also seems to mean that my different healthcare providers have different numbering systems. Or they can’t count to 40. I choose option B.

I get that due dates are rather arbitrary, determined by centuries of observing birthing patterns. Forty weeks, give or take a week or two. Or more. But due dates have directed most of my life. If possible, I like to complete assignments before their due date, and I know that this particular situation is beyond my control, but I really like getting things done early.

Other Observations

Mondays seem to be incredibly busy at the doctor’s office. When we checked in, the waiting room nearly overflowed with coughing adults and snotty, restless children. We ended up waiting longer than an hour. But for our patience, the office gave us movie passes for a free movie. Awesome!

Reilly got to use the little contraption for detecting heartbeat. The machine had a little speaker and a wand whose end you put on the tummy. It’s probably a little fetal Doppler machine, but I called it a Fisher Price toy echo machine. Sort of the same concept. I took college physics.

The doctor asked me to lie back and bare my tummy. He then had Reilly put gel on my tummy just below the belly button. He gave Reilly the Fisher Price toy echo machine. He told him to turn it on and take the wand and put the end of it on the blob of gel. He said to press down about half an inch and, after the doctor advised Reilly not to be so gentle and apply more pressure, the Fisher Price toy echo machine immediately picked up my heartbeat.

Then the doctor said to push the wand at one angle then to tilt it this or that way, and we were able to hear Baby’s heartbeat, which was much higher pitched and faster than mine. A pulsing, swishy sound that the doctor said sounded really good. Then the sound went away, and the doctor explained that when Baby moves, the sound moves with it, so you have to continually move the wand to find the sound.

During past visits the doctor has used a Fisher Price toy ultrasound machine. A little bit bigger wand and a little screen. We wonder if he didn’t use that machine this time so that we wouldn’t accidentally find out Baby’s gender. Or maybe since the office was so busy, another doctor was using the machine. I choose option A.

The doctor answered our questions about:

  • prenatal vitamins
  • birthing classes
  • insurance
  • lying on my back vs. lying on my side

He gave some pretty sound advice that was reassuring and encouraged us to keep doing research and think for ourselves. He also made jokes about Barry Manilow and deciding whether to spend money on diapers or dinner or birthing classes.

At home that evening I asked Reilly if he enjoyed using the Fisher Price toy echo machine. Then appeared a sweet smile and those twinkly eyes and he said that it was cool and very exciting.

I guess a bright side to pushing everything back a week is that we get another week of anticipation, which really is fun. The more we find out the more excited we are and the more we love the wonderful and wondrous being growing inside of me. At the ultrasound in two weeks, we’ll know even more.

Do you have a vote on whether Baby is a boy or girl?

A little discussion.

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