today was the ultrasound to see how monster is doing.
so, pretty much all pregnant people in the area come to our local hospital (the IWK) for their ultrasounds. they have two different floors for ultrasound. the seventh floor is where you go if you are high-risk and typically you have multiple visits there throughout your pregnancy. the first floor is where you go, often only once, for a diagnostic ultrasound at around 20 weeks to make sure there arent any glaring problems with the baby. we went to the first floor.
had an 8a appt which required me to get up at 7a, pee, and then drink 500 mls of water so my bladder would be full for the exam. that was fun. downing a lot of water on an empty stomach that early in morning was a little tougher than i thought, but i got it all in. at the hospital, we were taken in right away and the exam lasted only 30 minutes so i was able to control my bladder for that long.
dave got to come in. the room was darkened and we got to stare at the tv monitor while the lady was probing around taking her measurements. after she collected all her data, she took a couple minutes to show us around ye old uterus, although, it wasnt like i couldnt already tell what was the head, spine, heart, arm, etc. while she was doing her measurements.
now for the interesting/unusual part (aside from the fact that the blue jelly they squirted on my stomach was warm. ee, weird). here is where i think most parents would freak. the IWK does not offer the opportunity to find out the sex, nor do they provide a picture of the baby. its their policy, these things just arent available. you could cry or threaten, but they dont do it. now, if you have to be seen on the seventh floor (high risk) typically at one of your visits they will be able to determine the sex and possibly provide a picture, but that is because you are there for longer and more frequently. the first floor sees too many patients per day with limited resources, and so, those 2-3 minutes per patient it can take to spend time finding the genitalia translates to several extra patients they could have seen that day by the end of a work period. and, there is time and money involved in providing an ultrasound picture, so they dont do that either.
so, this is obviously a big deal for some people. but, what can you do, nova scotia is one of the poorest provinces in canada due to its industry options, isolation, and high number of retirees. the one million people living in the province are also clustered in only a few spots, leaving large swathes of land between some communities who then are stuck driving long distances for services.
fear not, one company has found a way to make money off this situation. the UC baby company of halifax offers you the chance to view your baby for longer periods of time, find out the sex, and take home a CD loaded with images. you can even buy a DVD of the images set to a metallica lullaby. packages start at the bargain price of $175 and go up from there.
now, i know i will offend people by saying there is no way in hell i would be caught dead going to the UC baby place, but there you have it. every ultrasound and creepy 4D picture ive ever seen looks THE SAME. i could go on the internet and print out any 20 week fetus image and print it as the picture for monsters first scrapbook entry. i have no desire to buy the video from my first colonoscopy, and i dont have a desire to pay a company to do something my doctor has already done for me: provide proof my baby is alive, developing normally, and moving around. the memory of watching the tv screen is still in my head and it will sustain me until i push out the intruder. i was able to see a heart beating, arms flapping, and bicycle kicks being performed. i now have a grainy image to put to the little pokes coming at me from the inside. im set. plus, i have ample time to debate if it is at all meaningful that i didnt see anything that remotely resembled a phallus during the exam...see, this is much more fun.
anyway, after the exam she went off to find a radiologist to read her exam findings and see if there was anything right away that was of concern (for which we would have been sent up to the seventh floor). she came back and said that no immediate flags were raised and that the report will go to my doctor.