Ultrasound 2: Sonic Boogaloo

Finding out we were pregnant (four and a half months pregnant, no less) was a pretty big surprise for Laura and I, and we decided that we’d had about all the surprises we could handle for a while. So we decided that when we went for the second ultrasound today, we wanted to find out the baby’s sex, if possible.

The doctor doing the ultrasound took his sweet old time getting around to that area as he took various skull measurements, showed us the face, arms and hands, legs and feet and examined the heart, spine and umbilical cord. He was like Johnny Shutterbug, too, snapping off a picture every few seconds. Here’s a fine example:

Baby Johnson

That’s definitely a head smack in the center, and if you look closely you might be able to make out the shape of an arm just to the right. The little tyke was squirming around a bit, and at one point appeared to wave at us. Though we didn’t get a picture of the wave, it’s on the video, which I’ll be digitizing in the near future.

Finally, it was time to determine just what sort of equipment this kid was packing downstairs. I didn’t see anything but a whole lot of leg at first, and I was afraid that the kid wasn’t going to allow the big reveal.

Then the doctor asked, “Do you want to know the baby’s sex?”

He barely had time to finish his question before Laura and I both blurted, “Yes.” Then he showed us this picture.

That's a what, now?

Riiiight. I had no idea what we were looking at, so I had to trust that the doctor knew what he was talking about. After it was all over, the doctor handed me the picture and I asked him to explain it to me. He did a very nice job, but the untrained eye may not be able to determine exactly what it is seeing. For further clarification, I’ve enhanced the image a bit…

The Package!

The orange shaded area is the thigh bone, or “femur.” It’s the longest bone in the human body. Three weeks ago, that bone was roughly 29 millimeters in length, which — combined with the 40mm skull measurement — put Baby Johnson’s age at about 18-19 weeks. Based on that, we were given a due date of 27 January 2006. The doctor didn’t change the due date today, but did say that he suspected it was probably off by about a week, suggesting that we’re in week 22, not week 21.

Anyway, the femur isn’t the important part of this image. The white arrow directly above the femur, however, is pointing at the junk, or “package.” The doctor typed three little letters on the screen and I grinned like a clown. Just like that, it’s a boy.