On Monday, November 29th, Adam and I went to the 2nd Trimester anatomy screening at American Radiology. This is the appointment where they measure all the baby's parts to make sure it's developing properly (I'm 20 weeks - HALFWAY THERE, WHEEEE!), and they can check to see if it's a boy or a girl. I still don't care to know the gender until it's born, but Adam wanted to know for preparedness-sakes. I told him we could find out, but in order to appease me, we were going to have the ultrasound technician print out a picture of the fancy parts and write out what it is, stuff it in an envelope and the plan was, to open it on Christmas. Adam was cool with that.
We go to the appointment, and a lady with a heavy russian accent is the ultrasound tech. She's pointing to the screen saying things like "There's the heart, there's the kidneys..." And when it comes time to take a picture of the nads, she tells me and Adam to turn away. She types in some stuff, the printer spits out a picture, and she stuffs it in an envelope before I look again. I have to admit, I glanced at the stillframe on the screen, but I didn't see what she typed, nor could I tell what was on the picture, except for a little blue arrow pointing to a select body part.. but in grainy pictures of unborn fetuses, you have to have a very trained eye to be able to tell whether you're looking at a ball sac or a labia, because they're exactly the same thing in utero. It isn't until just before the baby is born that the sac (if applicable) descends out of the body.
So I say to the lady, "How sure are you?" Because, I've heard stories about people who were told they were having one gender, went completely ape-shit specific on nursery room decor and clothing colors, then voila! Baby comes out the opposite of what they thought it was. She said "I ninety-five percent sure. You can never be hundred percent." (In broken english.)
Flash forward to Saturday of the same week. My sister, Brianna, is in town from Oregon, and it's her last night here in Maryland, so we decide to go out and sing karaoke with my mother, my mum's husband, and my dad. Adam and Brianna get trashed that night, and in their rantings back and forth, Adam spills the beans that he looked on the ultrasound tech's screen and he "thinks he saw what it is." Brianna says "Well, don't tell me, cos I don't want a secret that big to keep!"
American Radiology, where I had the ultrasound, had trouble locating my placenta. At the appointment, the Russian lady told me that it was "laying a little low..." meaning, overlapping my cervix slightly. She said not to worry, that only if it's covering the cervix completely did it mean something bad, and that the "something bad" would prolly only mean that I would be a guaranteed c-section. I can handle that. No biggie. A week or so after the appointment, my real doctor calls me and says they "didn't like the results" that were given to them by American Radiology. (Lets call them A.R.) They said not to worry, that A.R. does all sorts of radiology stuff; X-rays, MRIs, ultrasounds for oncolology, and other stuff.. they really don't specialize in pre-natal screening. My doctor advises me to schedule another appointment, this time in the city at Johns Hopkins Hospital, (Lets call them JHH) for some "real results." I had my first trimester screening there, and their equipment was better (because they are motherfucking Johns Hopkins) but the traffic in the city is iffy, parking is a bitch, and the hospital itself is pretty confusing to navigate around in. I know, I should have scheduled the second trimester anatomy screening here in the first place, but I wanted Adam to be able to go with me, and A.R. is in Glen Burnie (like 5 minutes away from the house) so it was more reasonable for both of us to go to on a workday. Well at this point I'm excited to go again, because now, I can get ANOTHER ENVELOPE TO OPEN ON CHRISTMAS!!
I'm talking to the ultrasound technician at JHH, who is a girl about my age who speaks english as a first language. Of course I immediately remember to tell her that I don't want to know the gender of the baby and I ask if she could print it out and put it in an envelope for me, to which she agreed. I pull an envelope out of my purse, and the girl looks at me funny and says "Oh, honey, I would've given you an envelope!" I say to her "Well, I brought one this time because at the appointment I had at American Radiology, I asked the tech to put it in an envelope and she said 'Did you bring an envelope?'" (She did go find one for me, though.)
Then, I think to mention one of my worries: because of my doctor's unwillingness to believe in A.R.'s ultrasound abilites..."What if the envelope you give me has a DIFFERENT GENDER than what's in the A.R. envelope?!"
She finishes measuring some baby parts, she tells me to look away while she gets a close up of the goods, I hear her type some stuff, the printer hums for a second, and then she tells me I can look again. She explains that she hasn't gotten a good look at my placenta yet because my bladder was too full, so I was to go empty my bladder while she went to the back to "get a head start on my paperwork."
After I pee, I come back to the room and sit. She's gone for more than a couple minutes, and when she finally comes back, she says something to the effect of "I was really confused when you said you'd had your appointment with A.R. already, because I thought this was your first ultrasound anatomy screening. So after I realized what you meant, I pulled your file and looked at the pictures that they gave you, and...." she then pauses, shakes her head from side to side and makes a sarcastic noise of shock and disbelief. She says "There ARE two different results in your two different envelopes. I don't even know what the lady at A.R. thought she was looking at in that picture. You need to trust ME, because I do nothing but pre-natal ultrasounds day-in and day-out, and I know what I'm talking about." She then reinstated what my doctor had mentioned about how A.R. does ultrasounds, x-rays and all sorts of radiology, without specializing in one specific thing like they do. She literally said to me, "You need to throw the A.R. envelope away. I'm right. My name is Shannon, and you know where I work."
I'm not throwing the A.R. envelope away, I'm just going to let Adam open the JHH envelope on Christmas because it's a different result that what he "thinks he saw." All I have to do is make sure that he doesn't see this rant I just spent all morning typing anywhere online.