Ultrasonic

Sarah and I went to see a new obstetrician a couple of days ago, as we had heard he was friendly towards people who were planning a home birth. He turned out to be very affable, indeed; Sarah and I immediately warmed to him. If a transfer to hospital is ultimately warranted by a complicated labour, we couldn’t want a better Plan B to have in reserve.

The obstetrician treated us to our second ultrasound of the baby, code-named Franbert at this point for reasons that just aren’t interesting. Franbert is currently -27 weeks old or, if you prefer, 13 weeks old in terms of his future mother’s pregnancy. All of his limbs and internal organs are properly formed, he’s now busy gaining weight, the placenta has taken over the job of nourishing him and he’s now a foetus, no longer an embryo. I say he, but I have no idea as to the sex of the baby; nor do I wish to know it. I’m old-fashioned.

Anyway, Franbert was anything but a static image as the echo sounder was drawn over Sarah’s belly. As Franbertje came into view, we could see him flexing his arms and kicking with his legs. The spine was apparent, as was his tiny, beating heart. A hand came into view, revealing the correct number of fingers. How real this tiny, half-baked creature seemed in this astonishing visualisation of his subterranean world. You’d think there was a disco going on in there, the way he was flailing around.

We came away with a few print-outs of our little half-chewed toffee. As happy as I am to be afforded an early glimpse of my baby, it’s hard to convey to those around me the profound feeling of love and attachment with which this fills me. The last thing I want is to become one of those obnoxious, cooing people who blather on about their beautiful baby and how wonderful parenthood is. Don’t you hate those people? Of course, you do.

150 beats a minute was his pulse measurement, which is exactly as it should be at this stage. A size measurement was taken, too, which estimated the duration of pregnancy at 12 weeks and 6 days. This amazed me, as it was absolutely spot on. Ain’t technology clever?

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