Saturday, November 2, 2013

The Day We Met Daniel

Before Tim and I were married, let alone talking kids, I felt in my soul that my first child would be a boy. I fell in love with Tim's baby pictures and imagined having a little boy just like him. One day, also pre-marriage and pre-attempting, we were talking about what we'd name our kids. One of us mentioned Daniel, and immediately we looked at each other and knew that would be our son's name. He became such a vivid and tangible entity in my mind that I knew he would be in our lives some day.

When I actually got pregnant, I had NO instincts as to what (meaning who) was in there. Toward gender day we were actually thinking girl just because we were so convinced of boy pre-pregnancy, but really we had no clue. Three days before our appointment I had a dream that it was a boy, and the next night I dreamed that it was a girl, so really my mother's intuition must be rubbish.

The baby usually starts his squirming and kicking at nighttime. The day we were going to find out gender, he moved ALL DAY. We joked that he must have known that we were going to see him and was really excited.

My anatomy scan was scheduled for 3pm on Monday, October 21. My clinic always gets me in for my appointments promptly; within 5 minutes of my scheduled time. That day, we waited in the front for over 30 minutes past our scheduled time. I remember both of us tapping our feet and fidgeting with impatience. The lady at the front desk apologized a couple of times, so we didn't feel like we'd been forgotten, but I was starting to get hungry. They gave me some crackers and went ahead and let me use the bathroom (you have to every time). Finally, they came for us, and I practically sprinted inside, dragging Tim behind me.

The ultrasound tech apologized. Apparently the previous baby hadn't been very cooperative, and to be honest if I were that mom I would have been upset if they'd cut it off at 30 minutes and made me come back (which happens at other clinics), so I get why we had to wait. I was bouncy in my seat while she got our DVD ready and asked if we wanted to know the gender. We said yes, and when she asked if we had any guesses we said that we had absolutely no idea. She talked us through all the things we would get to see, and what she was looking for in terms of growth and health of the baby.

As she started it became clear that gender would be the last thing. Of course that made me crazy! But really it was so cool to see every little piece of him (not that we knew it was a "him" yet, it's just weird to say "it" again). The tech explained what she was doing the entire time, which was nice. She told us what she was looking for with every new shot.

The first thing she measured was his spine. He promptly rolled around and showed us his belly instead. He wouldn't stop moving! It was the cutest thing to see him twist and turn and show off. He kicked the ultrasound wand thing and was just a total ham. If we're predicting post-natal personality, he will definitely be a seize-the-stage type like I was. Though he was squirmy, the tech got every shot she needed. After his spine, she showed us the four chambers of his heart. She said that all four chambers were perfect. Next she measured his brain and we saw his profile.

We couldn't believe how much our baby had grown! The last time I saw him was at 12 weeks; Tim hadn't seen him since 9 weeks, so it was a huge difference for him.

Next, we saw his arms and hands. Then she made her way to his legs. They seemed especially long to me, but that's probably because he doesn't have much baby chub just yet. Anyway, while she was around the back of his legs he moved around and there it was.

Before she could comment I hollered out, "Is it a boy?!" It was more of a statement than a question though. "It's a boy!" she said. We all started laughing because it was just so sudden, and the tech said, "Good thing you wanted to find out; you wouldn't have been able to miss that." Our little squirmer really wanted us to know who he was. Right away Tim and I said something along the lines of, "It's Daniel." Our little boy who we knew would come before we were even ready for him. Our little boy who we always knew would be Daniel.

We were both tearing up a bit, but he kept us laughing, too, and the tech joked that she wished someone had taped my reaction. While she was taking some measurements he flipped around and decided to show us "what" he was a second time.

The tech was really getting a kick out of him. She said, "In case anyone tries to tell you that your ultrasound could be wrong, show them this one," and wrote "No doubt!" on the second picture, ha!

She still had quite a bit more to get after that, and he kept moving and being silly the entire time. Still, she managed to get everything she needed. At the end, she went back to his face to take some 3D images.

He kept one little hand over his eye, and had a perfect pout on his face. I can't get over being able to know what he looks like. I know by the time he's born he'll be a little chubbier, but we know he has a button nose and a pouty upper lip. We know he's the Daniel we've been waiting for. That night was the first night he made my belly move. :)

One of our midwives confirmed that everything on the scan looked perfect, and that he measured to the day the size he was supposed to be. The tech also got a good look at my bicornuate uterus. We were able to see that the dip is very minor, that Daniel has plenty of room to move and grow, and that he can even get in that horn a little bit when he gets bigger. Such a relief!

Tim vetoed all of my middle name ideas (boo), and asked for time to think of something. I think seeing him and knowing who he was made it extra real for him (whereas I am constantly reminded due to all of my crazy symptoms and baby kicks). Tim went out of town a couple days later, and while we were Skyping one night he said suddenly, "What do you think of Bailey?" I knew that was his mother's maiden name, but we hadn't looked at family names on that side before. I immediately liked the way the names flowed together. My family is the side that often uses last names (my name is a family name), so it kept traditions from both sides. Right away I said, "I like it! Let's do that!" Tim must have thought I'd need time to think about it, because he looked really surprised: "Really? You're sure?" "Yep!" I said. Then he did a happy Skype dance. With that, Daniel Bailey Lavender was fully known and named. We're so excited to meet our little boy in less than four months!