Of Babies and Genders

I realize that there may be people who really don’t want to know the gender of our child, because they don’t want to spoil the surprise when it’s born in September (or thereabouts). If you are one of those people, you should realize that one day you’ll just stumble across it accidentally in one of my blog posts, or while conversing with me, so you should probably just give up. But if you can’t give up, and you simply must resist knowing beforehand, you should stop reading this entry immediately.

Steph and I went to get an ultrasound a couple weeks ago to get everything checked out. The doctor measured its femur and its cranium and a few other things, just to make sure that everything was going smoothly. The baby’s parts all measured correctly for a baby at 16 weeks and 3 days except for the head, whose size was closer to the average at 17 weeks. So I guess baby’s got a big head. Excellent!

Anyhow, during the examination I asked the doctor if she could discern the gender of the child. She maneuvered around for a couple minutes, and then said, “Ah, look here. I think I’ve got it.” We were greeted with this image on the TV screen while the doctor explained that we were looking at the baby from the bottom. The blur on the right is a leg, and the one on the left is also a leg. That bright spot in the center is a scrotum, and the shadow above it is a penis. I know this woman was a professional, but looking at the foggy graphics on the screen I had to ask, “How sure are you that you’re right?”

“Well, legally speaking we can’t give percentages on this kind of thing,” she explained, “but I’ve never seen a girl with a scrotum and a penis. Granted, I’ve lived a pretty sheltered life, and I don’t get up to The City very often.” Everybody’s gotta get into the act. When she’s not practicing medicine, she’s down at Rooster T. Feathers.

So, there you have it. We’re going to have a son!

8 thoughts on “Of Babies and Genders

  1. How do they measure baby parts from a picture? How can they be sure they are measuring the femur when it is at its longest view? The whole 2D view of a 3D object sort of thing.

    Gosh Josh, your son isn’t even born yet and you are already posting naked baby photos of him.

  2. Oh! Jeff, they’re actually able to view the baby from just about any angle they like. First off, if the baby is awake and active it’ll be flipping around in there, moving its arms and legs and turning around. Or at least our little guy was. So even if they hold the ultrasound “camera” still they’ll probably eventually get the view they need. (I don’t know what that piece of equipment is actually called, so I’m just calling it a camera for now even though it doesn’t use light to form an image.)

    Assuming the baby is sleeping or not moving much, they can just move the camera around on the belly of the woman, or inside the woman, to get a view from a desired angle.

    Once they can see what they need to see (and keep in mind that the subject matter of most ultrasounds is clearer than the one I posted in this entry) the computer hooked up to the ultrasound aids in making measurements. The technician selects the outside edges of the cranium on opposite sides, for instance, and tells the computer to find the head. Then the computer will suggest what it believes to be the oval of the baby’s head with a dotted line. The technician can adjust it or confirm it, and get a very precise measurement of diameter, length, etc. Same with the femur, or I assume, many other parts.

  3. A Boy?! Oh, and i bought all this pastel pink stuff and knitted hot pink booties and … well, Congrats, Josh and Steph! Thanks for sharing the ultrasound. Don’t play tooooo much Mozart. Guess it’s back to the needles for me.

  4. “First off, if the baby is awake and active it’ll be flipping around in there, moving its arms and legs and turning around.”

    Why on earth would you two have such an active baby?


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