We've made it to 18 weeks, which is totally amazing to me. This is a milestone in my mind because it is twice as long as a baby has ever survived in my womb. Every day I'm still overwhelmed and joyful that this baby is doing well and continuing to grow! Having the Doppler here to listen to the heartbeat has helped us out so much. We use it nearly every day, and it is a great comfort since I'm not feeling any little baby kicks just yet.
This past Friday we had our elective 3D ultrasound. My mom, sister, and nephews were here for the weekend and accompanied us to the appointment. I was so happy to have them here, especially when Thursday night got here and I could hardly sleep a wink. I was feeling so much anxiety that night -- some of it was anticipation and "good nerves" but I find that I still get pretty nervous before any ultrasound or appointment that has to do with the baby. Even though we'd heard the heartbeat earlier that day I was still a little bit afraid. That night I only slept for 3 hours!
We could see the baby moving around quite a bit when the ultrasound began (on the regular 2D image) and we were amazed at how much baby had grown since we last had a peek! It had been about 5 weeks since my last ultrasound with Dr. G in mid-March. We saw a great looking heartbeat and were so happy about that. Remember, this was not a diagnostic test with my OB's office, but more for fun and of course to see if we could find out the baby's gender.
It seems we have a baby who is a tad bit modest. The legs were shut (and at one point, crossed at the ankle -- so cute!) for most of the half-hour session and it took several attempts for them to be sure enough to make the call, but we were finally told with certainty that we are having a baby GIRL! My family was ecstatic, as that was what they'd all predicted, including my nephews. It was really sweet to see their reactions, even though I was looking through my own teary eyes. Chuck and I had also been thinking pink, but we were both absolutely sure that we would be thrilled no matter what God had given us. It truly was going to be a win-win situation!
We have a few semi-good 3D images from the day but not very many. The technician said that I was still a bit early for great pictures, and for most of the exam the baby's face was up against the placenta. They have set us up for another (FREE!) appointment at the end of May so we can try again for good pictures. We were quite surprised and happy with the generous offer. We were not disappointed in the least because having good pictures of our baby had taken a backseat to just seeing that she was growing and thriving. It will be really fun to be able to look again in about a month when she is chubbier!
We don't love the baby any more than we did when we didn't know she was a girl, but knowing has made it all a bit sweeter. We had been struggling with picking out a first name for a baby boy, but we had definitely settled on a name for a girl. Calling her by name has been so special for us. This is our first time to be able to give a name to one of our babies and it makes my eyes well up with tears just thinking about that. It's certainly not that we couldn't name any of the babies we've lost, but that it was always too hard for us to think about when our pregnancies were cut short.
(I'm sorry about the teaser, but we're not quite ready to share her name publicly just yet. That will have to be saved for another post all its own, but I can't wait to share it with you!)
Next up is my second OB appointment with Dr. R tomorrow afternoon. My next ultrasound appointment (the big, important diagnostic one) is May 17 at the OB's office. We are excited about getting official confirmation that she is a girl, but I'm nervous because I know that it will be an important test for the baby's development thus far. We would greatly appreciate your prayers as we head for that next milestone.
P.S. This weekend we also celebrated my sister's birthday, which is today!
Happy 35th, Sis! We are so glad we got to celebrate both of these things with you! :)