That's the first question they ask before the amniocentesis.
Going into the procedure, I thought the amnio was the big deal, but it's just a minute long at the end. Sure it's a long needle (Though I never looked, so I can't tell you if it's scary. Jrex admitted to not breathing as they did the procedure, so maybe it was). The poke into the skin is like any blood draw, it's when they poke through the wall of the uterus that my muscles bunched in horror at the invasion, but that only lasted a second or two. A little more bunching while they extracted two small vials of fluid and then they were out and done.
What was worse was having to get a Rhogam shot after all was finished. I have A-negative blood and there's a risk that my body could develop antibodies to the baby's blood. It doesn't affect anything this pregnancy, but could mean that if we ever got pregnant again, I'd attack the new life like it was an infection. The Rhogam prevents the antibodies and avoids future issues. THAT shot goes into my butt and it's a fat needle and made my whole side hurt for a while afterwards.
The truth is, the big deal during the amnio is the 30-minute ultrasound before the procedure. Up until now, this baby thing has felt theoretical. I talk about it like its happening, but it didn't feel real emotionally. My barely popping belly also makes it hard to believe anything is growing in there. Watching the ultrasound and seeing something that frequently resembled a baby tipped me toward believing there really is a little person in there. The fact that the kid measures over five inches from head to butt still freaks me out a little. I keep holding a ruler up to my stomach and trying to figure out how it's possible. Apparently the kid is in a headstand position with the head buried behind my pelvic bone (part of why I'm not popping much). They couldn't get any clear head or neck measurements as a result, so I still have to do the 20-week ultrasound where they measure every little part.
Of course when the ultrasound tech would say, "Now we'll look at the kidneys", what was on screen just looked like gray blobs. The "heart" looked like a butterfly: four black ovals fluttering in a sea of gray. As for gender? The headstand position meant that she got a full-on crotch shot, so she just paused and said, "I think you can see it on screen".
The 'rump' is to the right with the legs extending top and bottom. She labeled it so I can send the picture to Jrex's Mom.
Yup. We're having a boy.
I've been hoping for one. Yes, I like girls, but I've always enjoyed little boys. I like their energy and straightforward emotions. Girls are complicated! Plus they go through that whole princess phase which freaks me out. (Of course, with my luck, I'll have a son that goes through the princess phase instead!) Jrex is more ambivalent. As he put it, "I can read stories and do puzzles, I don't know if I have the energy to chase a 2 - 5 year old."
"Well, that's why we'll have the yard and dogs, he can run around out there without us. Plus we'll be living two blocks from the park, so it's easy to walk over there and let him run around."
The real shocker for me was that when Jrex looked at the list of conservative boy names I'd selected (with the assmption that Jrex would prefer a good, regular name, especially for a boy), he dismissed most of them by saying, "I don't want any Biblical names." What?! That wipes out most of them! He added, "They just feel like clichés." I thought about it and realized that just about every Korean-American man I know has a Biblical name. So now we're off into uncharted territory. Celtic? Germanic? Greek?
We both really like "Aidan", but it means fire. If you combine that with the Korean middle name that Mom Kim picked out (Ye Jun), you get "Fire provided by God" and THAT sounds like asking for trouble doesn't it? One of our friends just named their kid Bryce, so that's taken. At this point, we welcome any name suggestions! Fritz? Wolfgang? Jamie? It can't start with a "K" since our last name does and we'll be living in the south so "KK" for initials just seems sketchy.
I feel sad that the baby isn't the biggest thing in both our lives, but we leave in six weeks (!) and our social calendar is mostly filled now. My Dad comes this weekend, Jrex's Mom comes the end of the month, the baby shower is in June along with many other events. I'm planning a major moving sale Memorial Day weekend and we're sorting through the apartment in a grand purge. I just found out that my job IS going to keep me full-time remote which is a huge relief (and only drop my salary by $5000 as I go back to being 'just' a designer. I thought it would drop back by the whole raise amount of $15,000, so that's a huge surprise!). Since my insurance will now continue, it means that in my copious free time I can look for a doctor, a hospital and prenatal classes. I'm starting to interview for my replacement as Stud1o Manager as well as looking for designers to interview.
Welcome to the whirlwind, Baby K!