I mentioned in my last post that I would be having another doctors visit soon, to do the 2nd trimester ultrasound scan. Well, it turns out in China (or in local hospitals, at least), they require you to be 22-25 weeks pregnant before you have this scan, whereas everywhere else in the world scans from 18-20 weeks. My theory is, the doctors want to wait until the last possible chance to scan (to prevent abortion) just in case the patient is able to guess the gender. Ive heard around 25 weeks is the latest you can have this procedure done, which is insane.
So, at this appointment, I was 20 weeks + 6 days and the doctor refused to let me have my scan done. We made an ultrasound appointment for 2 weeks later and I headed home. I was super disappointed and ate an entire bag of sour cream & onion chips when I got there.
Flash forward 2 weeks, I am 22 weeks + 6 days and setting my expectations for the day real low. As soon as Chris and I arrive at the hospital, I bolt to each station. Urine test, check. Blood pressure, check. Weight, check. I am getting good at this. I then fast-walk to the nurses station where she gives me a number to wait in line for my ultrasound (same exact scenario if you were waiting at a bank). We sit in the swarm of people, and I anxiously rehearse all the Chinese phrases I’d been practicing for weeks in my head.
Finally, I am next in line, and am placed in a wooden chair behind a curtain inside the ultrasound room. These doctors don’t waste any time. They get you as far into the room as possible without literally sitting you on the same bed as the patient before you.
Now, the exciting part! I lay down and say, “你好吗”. (Ni hao ma, How are you?) The doctor says “好”. (Hao, Good.) She starts the scan and I’m immediately distracted because I can see my baby! First she scans over the head, I say, “是头吗” (shi tou ma Is that the head?), she agrees. Then she points out the eyes, and the face profile, and I’m desperately trying to remember all of the ultrasound photos I studied on google prior. She scans over what I think could be legs and butt, and ask “宝宝漂亮嘛” (Baobao piaoliang ma, Is the baby pretty?) The doctor agrees, that yes, the baby is pretty.
Now, I was given the advice to ask this question because in Chinese, (and English too, really) “piaoliang pretty” only refers to female and “shuai handsome” refers to male. But if you think about it, what doctor is going to disagree with you? “No, your baby is not pretty.” So this response was not helpful at all.
I also painted my nails pink and blue, just in case the doctor didn’t want to answer me in Chinese or English, she could just point at one hand. This idea was a good one, but I didn’t end up needing it. You can never be too prepared. 🙂
I ask, “宝宝看起来好吗?” (Baobao kan qilai hao ma Does the baby look okay?) and she says everything looks good and normal. I continue to watch as she scans, measures, and records the data, and then I see it! She goes over what I KNOW to be legs and butt, and right in-between the legs is a little bump. “It’s a boy, it has to be!”, I told myself. She finishes up, and as I sit up, I whisper, “宝宝喜欢粉色还是蓝色?” (Baobao xihuan fense haishi lanse? Does the baby like pink or blue?). Then she whispers back, “蓝色”, (lanse blue) then in English she says, “Yes, it’s a boy.”
I was SO grateful the doctor was kind, and was willing to tell me. With a big smile on my face, I rushed out to tell Chris the news. Deep down, I had the feeling the baby was a boy from the very beginning (as well as Chris’ dad), but Chris really thought it was a girl. Guess that just means we will have to try for a girl with Baby Bump #2! After the appointment was over and he went to work, I went searching for something newborn-boy I could buy. I ended up at H&M and picked a little 3-6 month flannel for baby Bump. There wasn’t really much to choose from as far as newborn sizes are concerned so I went with “baby’s first flannel”. And it goes perfectly with the hat I had just finished knitting.
It all feels so real now. I can’t believe how close we are to meeting him.
8 weeks & 23 weeks