Welcome to the latest installment of the Vomit Chronicles.
I know y’all have been waiting with bated breath to get an update on my nausea issues, so let’s just get that out of the way: I’m in my 22nd week and still throwing up pretty much every day.
Honestly, I don’t even care anymore. It’s become a way of life. I just always hope to get it over with before leaving the house. I’d hate to have to pull over on some freeway and lean out my car door, only to cause a ten car pile-up due to all the rubbernecking.
On to more pleasant news…
On February 17th we had our long-awaited 20-week ultrasound. This ultrasound was the gating factor for such decisions as nursery decor, onesies color, and the colors of the stripes on the blanket I’m crocheting.
That’s right, you read correctly – CROCHETING. Engineer by day, homemaker by night. How “every woman” of me.
So anyway, Garrett and I were sure we were having a girl. Besides always imagining that I would have a girl-child first, time-tested old wives tales also indicated that our first-born would be a daughter.
So you can imagine our surprise, nay, SHOCK, when the ultrasound tech announced that it’s a BOY! Little Michael Thomas Maddox is on his way!
Those old wives clearly don’t know what they’re talking about.
It really didn’t matter to me if it was a boy or girl. I just want a chubby baby in my arms. But I was absolutely thrilled for Garrett that he was getting his boy.
While waiting for the doctor to see us, we busied ourselves with phone calls and text messages sharing our news. Now all we had to do was get the ol’ “Everything looks great” speech from the doctor, and we could be on our merry way, imagining life with our son.
So the doctor finally comes in, sits down, and starts talking about kidneys, ureters, and bladders. It took me a few seconds to realize that she wasn’t saying, “Everything looks great.” She said that my baby boy has more fluid in his right kidney than they like to see, so we would have to go for a higher level ultrasound.
I started to panic.
The doctor saw my eyes glaze over with shock, so she scooted a little closer and stressed that this didn’t have to be a problem, her son was born with the same issue and he grew out of it by the time he was three. Apparently it’s pretty common in little boys due to the nature of their plumbing. And everything else did look great, picture-perfect. This made me feel better, but I’m sorry to say that the damage to my emotions was already done. Garrett was a champ and took up the question-asking after that so that I could just take it in.
I was numb for the rest of the day. I did talk to various family members on the phone, excited that now we could really plan in earnest. But I was glad that I’d decided to work from home that day because I really needed the time to myself. The cubicle farm environment just doesn’t afford the privacy necessary to a worried mother.
I held it together for most of the day, but finally had a meltdown that night. Full-fledged worry and panic ensued about everything from the serious to the mundane:
- Worry that my baby’s kidneys would get worse.
- Worry that I didn’t know how to mother a boy. I didn’t realize until that day that I was scared to death to be a mommy to a little boy. Preparing a son to be a man, to be both strong and gentle, seems like such a huge undertaking to me.
- Worry about the nursery. I didn’t have anything picked out for a boy!
Garrett spent some time talking me down from the ledge, so to speak. I felt better the rest of the week, but I’m still praying like crazy for my boy’s kidneys.
We went to another facility for the higher-level ultrasound a week later. Before looking at the kidneys, she checked out the rest of Michael’s body and saw that it all looks good. We then asked her to confirm that Michael is indeed a boy, just to make sure.
The tech in our previous ultrasound didn’t have any problems checking out his boy part. But this time around Michael got a little shy and kept his legs closed.
And, really, can you blame him for being shy? I don’t care what kind of viscous goop he has covering his body right now, being in fluid for months has got to do something to your skin, including the boy part. Sometimes I wonder if little boys in utero want to hold up a sign saying, “I was in the pool! I WAS IN THE POOL!” (Everybody remember George Costanza?)
(Michael just kicked me as if to say, “That’s right!”)
Just when I was thinking that the doctor would have to give up and move on, she started to pound on my stomach with the ultrasound wand in an effort to get him to move.
I found that particular maneuver to be quite ironic considering how vigilant Garrett and I have been about keeping our pets from jumping on my stomach. And here the doctor is, pounding my stomach like it was a ball of bread dough.
If she had just asked, I would have been more than happy to jiggle my belly for her. And it probably would have achieved the same result. But I’m not the one with the medical degree.
Michael finally did move and reveal the family jewels. So we can proceed with decorating a little boy’s nursery with confidence.
The doctor then looked at his kidneys. She found fluid in both kidneys, but said that it wasn’t anything that she was too worried about, it was probably just reflux. But she also cautioned that things could progress, so we’re going back in two months for a follow-up ultrasound.
Most of my worries have been calmed, but I have to work at it sometimes. I’m comforted by the fact that my son isn’t developing randomly, but being formed in my womb by a loving God.
Now the big question is: what’s he gonna look like? We’re predicting that this short, dark-skinned Puerto Rican girl is going to birth a big white baby boy. Which means that I will forever be mistaken as his nanny.
But I’m cool with that. I’m just looking forward to having him in my arms and looking down at his chubby-cheeked face, knowing that all the vomiting was worth it. I can’t wait to meet my son.