No. We are not having an hermaphrodite. We just, well….don’t know.
That’s right – after 20 weeks of wondering, waiting, curiously reviewing all the gender-predicting old wives tales, and taking a poll of everyone with whom we are aquainted – we still do not know if Baby Pixie is a boy or a girl.
Here’s how it all went down: We were scheduled for our 20 week anatomy scan on Tax Day. I scheduled this u/s while I was in the doc’s office for my routine 16 week appointment (most pregnant ladies see the doc every 4 weeks at this point), and I could not have been more excited about it. Not only does 20 weeks mark the halfway point in pregnancy (meaning you’re that much closer to being done!), but it also means you can relax and just enjoy being pregnant from here on out, not having to worry about every little thing going on in there. You are supposed to be able to finally trust that everything formed okay and that it’s all functioning properly. Not only that, but of course it’s awesome that at 20 weeks, provided that baby cooperates and gets into position, you could find out what you’re having!! So needless to say, I was crazy-excited.
I was also a little nervous, and I couldn’t figure out why. The nervousness didn’t set in until about 10 days before the ultrasound. I kept saying how worried I was about the appointment and everyone kept asking why I was so worried, and I couldn’t tell them. It wasn’t that I was worried something was wrong in there – I have felt pretty confident for the most part that Baby Pixie is doing just fine and there’s nothing wrong with him/her. But there was a nagging sensation that I couldn’t put my finger on. But I chalked it up to being worried that I was going to be told we are having a boy, since we both really want a girl badly. (I know, I’m a horrible mother…but I can’t help it. I just want a girl!)
Anyway, the day quickly approached, and all of a sudden it was Tax Day and we were off to the appointment. At my 16 week appointment the doc had told me to bring anyone and everyone I wanted to the anatomy scan. “Bring the whole family and fill up that room! It’s so exciting!” she said. I didn’t think about this until the day before, but I realized it would be totally selfish of me to not at least invite a couple of people, given the offer the doc had made of filling up the room! I knew a couple of my good girlfriends would be working and/or unable to come, but I did ask my mom to come. My friend Kristen was beside herself excited about the ultrasound and kept emailing me every day things like “Two more days!! I’m so excited for you!!” So I asked her if she’d want to come too, which she did. In the end, it was myself and Mr. K, my mom and dad, and Kristen that came.
This time the ultrasound was scheduled to be in our doctors office, which I was glad for since it meant there wouldn’t be the horrible snafu there was last time when the office staff “forgot” to tell me that the 12 week scan was supposed to be done at another doctor’s office. (Yeah, THAT pissed me off – I barely managed to get the 12 week scan appointment in time before it was too late, and that was just because the other doc was kind enough to squeeze me in, knowing that my doc’s office hadn’t done what they were supposed to do by telling me that I actually had to CALL the OTHER doc to schedule the scan.) So we were thrilled that there weren’t going to be any scheduling problems, and I was happy that Mr. K had agreed to stay for my 20 week checkup that was to directly follow the ultrasound that day. I was disappointed to learn, however, that the ultrasound was going to be with the same ultrasound tech that did our 6 week ultrasound…you remember her, right? She’s the one that told me my miscarriage “Doesn’t count as a real pregnancy.” Yeah. We hate her.
So of course we start to walk into the ultrasound room, and…
TECH: “Well, you just brought the whole family, didn’t you?”
ME (embarssed): “Um, yes…the doctor told me last time to bring whomever I wanted…”
TECH (visibly annoyed): “Well. There should be a limit. But whatever.” (walks off)
ME (still standing in doorway of u/s room, very loudly so the entire office could hear): “OMG DID SHE SERIOUSLY JUST SAY THAT TO ME?!?!?”
MOM and KRISTEN: “Oh… it’s okay we can just wait outside if it’s a problem…”
ME (loudly again): “No. NO. You’re not going anywhere. Get in this room!”
So, we all filed into the room. I’ll admit the room was not large, but there was enough space for me to lie on the table, for the u/s tech to stand comfortably next to the u/s machine and manipulate it, and for my dad to sit down in a chair, and Mom, Mr. K, and Kristen to all stand up against the opposite wall, with still enough room for someone to open the door and walk into the room. Yet the u/s tech started making snide remarks about how we will have to leave the door open “because it’ll get really hot in here with this many people…” and all this other nonsense. My family just stared at each other with mouths hanging open in shock that this woman could talk to us in this manner. But we went along with everything because we were just anxious to find out that everything was okay and whether we were having a boy or a girl. Of course u/s Tech lady asked us if we wanted to find out, and I told her yes that we were very much looking forward to it if at all possible. “Well,” she said, “you’ll have to wait until the very end because I don’t show that part right away. So you’ll just have to wait.” I said that was fine, we were just anxious to know. She just kept repeating how we’d have to wait until the very end. It was as if she was dangling it over our heads just because she could. I was mostly livid, but just wanted to get the baby onscreen and see my kiddo again.
Most of the ultrasound went fine – she didn’t really tell us what was going on with what we were looking at, she just breezed right through each part. Or at least, I think that’s what she did – I was too busy fuming interally and just staring in awe at my kid. Then she started to look for the gender, and couldn’t seem to get a good picture. She said that the baby was in a bad position so she wasn’t going to be able to tell us with any certainty what the gender was. “It’s probably an 80%- 85% chance it’s a girl,” she said, but she didn’t even sound convinced of that much. I asked her what typically she gave when she was the most sure, and she replied that she never gives above an 85% chance for girls. I thought that was kind of strange, since all my friends that are having girls never even mentioned that their docs had the slightest doubt! Of course I know it’s easier to tell with more certainty that it’s a boy, but I was thinking that with the bad position the baby was in that there was no way we can bank on that 80% shot. No one else though they could, either. Both Kristen and my mom immediately asked me when they would do another ultrasound to give us more certainty, but I just shook my head. That was it. I knew not to even ask for another. I was disappointed, but I knew there was a chance we wouldn’t be able to find out. I thought maybe if I just talked to the doc/midwife at the appointment that was to follow the ultrasound that the doc might agree to another, so I decided to mention it when we saw her. Mom, my dad, and Kristen left, disappointed, while Mr. K and I waited to be called back for the regular appointment with the doc/midwife.
They called us back after about 10 minutes, and the nurse looked confused and said that she didn’t see us on the schedule for a regular appointment today, just for the ultrasound. I was livid! I questioned her as to why, if the receptionist who made my appointment last time knew that I would be 20 weeks and knew that she was supposed to make me an u/s appointment, why she wouldn’t also make me a regular checkup appointment? The nurse admitted that the receptionist should have know that, should have made the appointment for me automatically, and that it wasn’t the first time that this had happenend to a patient. (Of course I knew it wasn’t the first time – it’s almost exactly what happened with the 12 week scan snafu! So it wasn’t even the first time it had happened to ME!) The nurse kept appologizing and saying that she’s tried to explain how it works to the office staff, but they never get it. In other words, their staff sucks and this happens all the time! I was so irritated that I would have to come all the way back later that day in order to have my regular appointment. But I knew that coming back meant I would be able to tell the doc/midwife ONCE AGAIN that their staff is incompetent and that I was angry that this was happening to me yet again. I also fully planned to air my concerns about my ultrasound, since after thinking about what had gone on in that ultrasound room, I wasn’t even comfortable that the tech had measured and checked everything she was supposed to be checking for. It was clear to both me and to Mr. K that u/s Tech Lady was an incompetant, rude, and utterly heartless human being who had no business doing what she does for a living. And we both planned to tell the doc/midwife that.
I basically spent the rest of the day crying. Crying because I was hormonal and that my whole day had been disrupted by the fact that I had to go back to the doc again that afternoon to finish what should have already been taken care of. Crying that I felt like I wasn’t getting the level of care I deserve from my doctor’s practice. Crying because that made me think that I was going to have to start stressing about finding a new doctor with better care when I’m already halfway through my pregnancy. Crying that I had been treated like dirt in a doc’s office where everything should be puppies and rainbows. Crying because I still did not know whether my baby is a boy or a girl. Crying because I felt as though the joy of my 20 week “BIG u/s” had been stolen from me. It was awful. I completely shut down for the rest of the day. I didn’t log back on to Facebook or to my regular message board or even answer my phone, even though I was probably worrying some of my friends who were not so patiently waiting for me to call or text them the results of my u/s. I just couldn’t handle telling them we still didn’t know, and I definitely did not want to relive the morning’s appointment by having to retell the story 90 times. I’m quivering with anger even writing about it now, days and days later!
Sooo, long story short, we went back to the doc that afternoon (we actually saw the midwife), and told her what happened, aired our complaints, and informed them that we probably would not be back to that practice ever again – we were considering finding a new doc. The midwife was very appologetic, told us she understood and said that none of this should have ever happened (but did say that I wasn’t the first person even THAT DAY to complain about the scheduling problems), begged us to reconsider leaving, and offered us a free ultrasound at a different doc’s office to re-do the anatomy scan (since I told her if I EVER saw their u/s tech again it would be too soon). We accepted the ultrasound do-over, but said we needed to think about everything before we could decide whether or not we are staying with their practice.
So, there you have it. The whole story of what happened on Tax Day. Tomorrow is our do-over ultrasound with the other doc’s office (the one that did our 12 week scan; they were very very nice). So hopefully we’ll know more tomorrow. Stay tuned!!