We’ve had an interesting past couple of weeks, and some new nomad baby news to share. I’ll tell you right now that both baby and Mama are fine, except for my sore leg from a gnarly charlie horse last night and a certain amount of annoyance about constant insomnia. So it goes. The third trimester is pretty average so far, including a general beached whale feeling, spurts of energy followed by absolute torpor, and hating that I can’t lie on my stomach, or go through a day without a few vicious kicks in the ribs, hip bone, bladder, and other internal organs. On the spectrum of pregnancy experiences, I have very little to complain about. Very little except for a huge surprise from our doctor last week.
I was in my doctor’s office at the monthly appointment, squinting and angling my head to try to make out body parts in the salt and pepper static from the ultrasound machine. The doctor seemed to be having a hard time also, because she spent about ten minutes longer on the ultrasound than she normally does. David and I were getting a little worried that she’d found something wrong.
Finally, she shook her head and sighed. “I want you to come to the hospital tomorrow night at 9 p.m. to confirm the sex,” she said. “The ultrasound machine is better there.”
David and I were a bit confused and suspicious, to say the least. This was the doctor who had showed me the little clamshell line that was supposed to be the baby’s vagina just last month. Also, the two doctors in Playa who gave me ultrasounds also said the baby “looked like a girl,” which I know is far from scientific at such an early stage, but had contributed to our certainty that we were having a girl.
So, David’s and my suspicion: was my doctor actually concerned about something more serious, and she didn’t want to tell me until she knew more? Was confirming the sex a convenient excuse to get us to the hospital so she could confirm/deny her real worry, without worrying us until she needed to?
So at 9 the next night, the three of us walked the twenty minutes to the hospital. Except that it turned out that we were at the wrong hospital. The kind receptionist called my doctor, and confirmed that we were supposed to be at a larger general hospital we hadn’t known existed. So we get in a cab, and the driver takes us out of town, on a winding interstate through lonely, unpopulated hills. David and I proceed to freak out a little because we don’t have much cash on us for a long ride.
Luckily, we arrived at the hospital in fifteen minutes and had just enough cash to cover the ride. We’d have to figure out how to pay to get back into town after the appointment was over, but at the moment we were more concerned about the baby.
In a large fluorescently lit waiting room, I saw several other pregnant moms. We all waited. For a long time. It was past ten p.m. by the time I was finally called in, and Spencer had fallen asleep on David.
A nurse took me back through a hectic birthing ward, and my doctor, in full scrubs, apologized for the delay. One of her patients in the next room had been in critical condition for the past two hours, and she’d been operating. I felt bad about all the evil thoughts I’d been thinking about her in the waiting room.
I was in the room for less than five minutes. I plonked myself onto the examining table, and she whipped the ultrasound wand. Within a minute, she nodded to herself, and pointed to the screen. “You see the testicles?” she asked. “It’s a boy.”
I’ll admit it. I immediately teared up. I couldn’t believe it–here I was, seven months pregnant, two months past the date of “knowing for sure,” and three doctors had told us we were having a girl. We’d picked out a name. Family members had knitted and gifted us clothing. We’d begun to picture this little girl in our lives. So for the week afterward, we were grieving the baby we’d gotten to know, and getting used to the idea of having two boys.
We ended up getting home at about twelve that night, the time it finally took to get an Uber to pick us up well outside the city center.
The best and most important news of course, is that the baby is still completely healthy and so am I. We are honestly really excited for him, and can’t wait to meet him, and it’s getting close! I’m due anywhere between May 15 and June 8, between a month and a month and a half from now. So we’ve had a good couple of weeks thinking of boy names, and deciding whether or not to get rid of all this girl newborn clothing we have. (We are not–I’m not spending a bunch of money just to genderize a baby who will be genderized early enough as it is. So, our little man will sport pink until he’s past newborn sizes, which is probably when we’ll be leaving the house more often anyway) On the other hand, when you’ve been shown both a vagina and testicles on a monitor, I’m inclined not to trust anyone anymore. We’ll know the sex when he/she is born, and that’s good enough for me.
I also heard an encouraging anecdote from another traveling mom over lunch yesterday, about how her constant walking during her second pregnancy shortened her labor time to two hours!! I don’t know if I’ll be nearly so lucky, but I do expect that all of our walking here and the fact that it’s our second baby should make it at least a little easier than my first sixteen hour labor, right? Right. We’ll keep you informed of any new nomad baby news.
Feature Image Credit: Cheryl Holt, Pixabay