~ Spoiler Alert!
Ultrasound. Painless, right? Absolutely not. Well, not in the way most people think. I learned my lesson early on at my first ultrasound when they told me to arrive with a full bladder. After only ten (yes, ten) minutes of waiting to be called in, I decided that the cruelest form of torture is not being able to relieve oneself. If by some miracle, I scathe into heaven, I know I would be saved an endless torment of extreme bladder control in hell.
For our Second Trimester Screening, I decided to be smarter. I arrived without a full bladder knowing that the water I drank ten minutes prior should be making its way down into my tinkle-tank. I hoped that I had timed my consumption perfectly so that I would not have to battle any unbearable biological urges. I knew that I could not throw myself upon the mercy of the Medical Gods to at least get me in on time. It was already fifteen minutes after my scheduled appointment and my bladder was filling.
Now, no amount of squirming, breathing or conversation could distract me from the building pressure below. Bump decided that it was a wonderful time to settle on top of the bouncy bladder ball that I'm sure provided loads of entertainment. More minutes crept by. In fact, I dare say I saw a few seconds tick by twice. Finally, after all decorum was lost and I sat clutching my girlie place like a three year old, I was called into the back room. Thank you, Lord! Unfortunately, I had spoken too soon. Our technician was a trainee.
Seriously, can I be this unlucky? The senior technician, however, did compliment me on my cervix telling me how perfect it was. I had visions standing in front of the judges for the Miss America pageant and being asked "What makes you unique?". "Well, I've been told I have the most perfect cervix in the world." Excellent. I was not only full of urine, but pride as well. However, further prodding of the senior technician revealed that she was only referring to the amount of urine in my bladder. It was at the perfect level. Great. My visions of pageantry dissolved into a voided dream. I only wished I could void my bladder just as quickly.
We spent the next hour hearing various versions of "I'm having trouble getting this measurement" from the trainee. Finally, we got to the part for which we came. The sex of our child. I know, you're hanging on the edge of your seat, right? Well, you're just going to have to wait, I don't reveal my secrets so easily. The good news is we have a healthy child and that's the most important news of all.
Finally, after over an hour at the Diagnostics center, I was allowed to use the restroom. I can't even begin to describe the surge of relief I felt while releasing the contents of my bladder. At last, we went home to tell everyone our news. We were showered with scores of congratulations involving virtual hugs and kisses. Soon, all memories of the bladder trauma were forgotten. I settled into my contentment with a glass of cold IBC Root Beer and silently toasted our success. It was enough to calm me to the point where I only slightly freaked out at the events that took place a few mornings later.
I woke up a little later than usual on Sunday morning. I stretched out in the bed and placed my hand upon my belly to greet Bump. As my hand moved from my right side to my left, it curved down into a flat spot. Immediately, I looked down and noticed that I had a huge lump on my right side, but the left side of my belly was as flat as a pancake. I reached over and gently shook Jeff awake. Actually, I commenced heavy slapping but that doesn't sound as pleasant and I'm a bit embarrassed by my panic. The sleepy response I got from my husband was one of a noncommittal shrug. Clearly, Jeff was not worried. He was probably right, but I was taking no chances. It was time to do extensive research on my lopsided belly. And by research, I mean calling my mother.
My mother couldn't help but laugh. She told me that Bump was just curled up in a ball on my right side. If I wanted to move Bump, she told me to put an ice pack over the little ball. Relief washed over me and then annoyance as my mother kept chuckling. I have noticed that she's been laughing at me a lot lately, although she would say she's just laughing with me. "What's so funny?", I asked her. "Call me when Bump starts stretching," she said. "And just how will I know Bump's doing that?". "Believe me, you'll know", she laughed again. I hung up the phone with her laughter still ringing in my ears. Great. I was sure this was part of the payback she'd been wishing for all these years.
I rejoined Jeff in the kitchen where he was getting ready to shuttle us off to breakfast. I mumbled that every thing was just fine and he nodded an "I told you so." After breakfast, I settled myself on the couch with an icepack because Bump was still curled up on my right side. I placed the icepack over the large mound and waited. It was then I felt the strongest kick that I've ever received from Bump thus far. The icepack practically flew off my belly. The kicking did not subside, but after a few minutes my symmetrical belly returned. I spent the rest of the day playing with Bump. Later, Jeff came in and jested how hoped the icepack wouldn't give Bump any brain damage. I hurled the icepack at Jeff.
Overall, Week Nineteen was a wonderful week. I know there are people out there that struggle with the decision on whether or not to find out the sex of their baby. For us, it was an easy one because we both like to be prepared. With the knowledge bestowed upon us this past week, Jeff and I decided to treat ourselves to half a vacation day. This coming Friday, we're going shopping for our son.