I was lucky enough to have an ultra-normal first trimester: no strange cravings, no debilitating morning sickness or vomiting (apparently another genetic blessing from my mom), no moody hormonal outbursts. The only thing that was unusual was that a) I slept through most of my first trimester, and b) I got to have two ultrasound scans, right within two weeks of each other.
I had my first scan at 8 weeks, which I posted here. When I called my midwives’ practice to set another appointment, they were surprised that I hadn’t been told to come back at 10 weeks. Then they insisted that I had to come back for another one, because the baby was now the proper size to get an accurate measurement (and a fixed due date).
This was all last minute, the day we left for Budapest. I had a lot of freelance work to finish up, and Marlon couldn’t get away from the office. I was thoroughly annoyed, but I went anyway—alone.
During the first ultrasound, the baby looked like this.
“Those are the legs, arms, feet and head,” pointed out the rather perfunctory ob-gyne on duty. (Okay, we were late, so he had a right to be a bit short with us.)
“Hmmm,” I muttered, squinting hard.
“And now the baby is moving,” he said, when the little mango-shaped blob gave a little wriggle.
“Oh. Wow,” I coughed, a little more enthusiastically.
The second ultrasound appointment was a world of difference. Whatever irritation I felt at having to come back for another scan completely disappeared when I saw this.
My baby’s parts didn’t have to be pointed out to me, and I could see them clearly for myself: the head (with a tiny nose and chin!), torso, bottom, legs, even a shadow of a hand near his mouth.
Then suddenly that little hand shot out, like a punch, and two tiny legs straightened and stretched out, flash-quick. In my mind I went heng! heng! which is the sound my muay thai trainers back in Singapore made with their punches and kicks. Silly, I know.
This is going to sound dumb, but that was the first time I started to believe that there really was a baby inside me. The fog of unreality was still there, but it was lifting.
And not only was there a baby inside me, it was growing. Our little mango had grown from 21.3mm (less than one inch) to 46.3mm (about two inches). It doesn’t seem like much, but to actually double in size in just two weeks is a huge difference! And I’m glad I had the chance to see that difference for myself.
I realized how stupid I was for being annoyed about that second appointment. Any opportunity to see my baby, to know that she’s still inside me, healthy and growing, could never be an inconvenience. This mommy-to-be still has a lot to learn.