So. Our ultrasound is NEXT WEEK. I mean, OK, it's next THURSDAY, which means it's not IN a week, it's really in a week and a half. But still. NEXT WEEK.
Weird as this might sound, since we are planning to find out the sex (assuming Piglet is willing to share that info with us), that little tidbit of information is actually not the number one thing I'm looking forward to about this ultrasound. Mostly it's getting to see Piglet up close and personal and check in on all that development stuff. We haven't really SEEN the baby since the ultrasound at 8.5 weeks (the photo I posted when I announced I was pregnant). And at that time the baby was a bean-shaped blob and we couldn't see much more than the heartbeat.
Then of course we did get a quick glimpse at 12 weeks, when the midwife couldn't find the heartbeat with the Doppler, but that was with the terrible-quality bedside machine. Have I told that little story? Basically we knew that at 12 weeks it really depends on a variety of factors whether the Doppler can pick up the heartbeat or not, so we knew it was a possibility that we wouldn't hear it, but after a few minutes of the midwife poking around my abdomen with the Doppler wand it started to get a little panic-inducing, not hearing anything.
Of course I'd made the mistake of making the appointment for the very end of the day on a Friday, so after a few minutes the midwife, seeing that we were nervous and in need of confirmation that everything was OK, called the ultrasound department to see if they could fit me in real quick. But they were already closed, so she reluctantly pulled out her bedside machine, warning us that it was really not good quality and she hates to use it because it often leaves more questions than answers. And then she poked around for a minute before saying, "Oh, I see the yolk sac," which scared the shit out of me because there shouldn't BE a yolk sac at 12 weeks (at that point the placenta has taken over) so I immediately started thinking that the baby had stopped growing and the yolk sac had never gone away.
And then just as the midwife said, "Oh, that's not the yolk sac, that's the head," Piglet jumped. The whole body seriously leapt, like it had been poked (and maybe it had). And then we got a better angle and saw the head in profile, and the baby kicking its legs and waving its arms, and then we saw the heartbeat, so that was a lovely, reassuring moment. But, as the midwife had warned us, the quality wasn't good. We didn't get to see a whole lot (though we could see that there were basic things, like, you know, legs and arms, and a nose), or even figure out the heart rate, and we certainly didn't get any pictures to print out and take home with us.
(Though I will say that DAMN if that baby didn't look EXACTLY like Torsten. Yes, I know I'm smoking crack and a blurry image of a 12-week-old fetus doesn't look like ANYONE, but I SWEAR. I think it was the shape of the head.)
Anyway! The point is, we haven't had a proper ultrasound since early June, so I am really looking forward to getting a real look at the baby, a good one on a proper ultrasound machine, one that takes a long time with a tech who shows us our baby's face and spine and heart and all the rest. And finding out the sex will definitely be awesome but I am more interested in making sure that Piglet is developing normally.
BUT, as far as planning is concerned, the sex thing? Super important. We've done some shopping already, picking up random cute things that we've found on sale, figuring it's good to get gender-neutral stuff because if there's a second baby down the line that isn't the same sex as Piglet, the stuff will be usable for both. And we're doing our nursery in turquoise, yellow, and white, which we feel is a completely gender-neutral color combination. Speaking of which, the rug I ordered arrived, and we are in love:
But what we've discovered is that it's HARD to find gender-neutral stuff. Even if it's not bright pink or whatever, it often has ruffles, or puffed sleeves, or a very boyish-looking polo-style collar, or whatever. And while I would happily dress a daughter in blue and not care about strangers thinking she was a boy, the sex of the baby will most definitely impact a lot of our baby clothing choices.
SO. The point here is that after the ultrasound, we are totally going shopping. And it's a bit of a struggle because if this were last year when Torsten still had his old job, we would have a decent amount of disposable income and could go crazy with the shopping. But this year, the company is doing great and is ahead of schedule but isn't producing income yet, so we have no real money. We obviously discussed this when we decided to get pregnant, and we've budgeted for a certain amount of necessary baby stuff and a few not-so-necessary-but-still-adorable items. But it's hard to pull the trigger on that stuff.
In fact, I've been checking out sales for weeks. You can get five-packs of onesies at the Carter's outlet for $8 to $10. You can get adorable, high-quality pajamas and other baby stuff at Costco for under $5 apiece. You can stumble into Old Navy on the weekend when they happen to be giving an extra 50% off clearance prices and get a bunch of baby outfits for $2 to $3 apiece. And then you start to feel like anything over $4 is pretty much a completely outrageous price for baby clothing.
Which, really, is a GOOD way to feel. Going crazy with disposable income on all sorts of unnecessary baby stuff would be fun, for sure, but it doesn't have to be this way. Having a very limited income means that we have to be much more discerning in our choices, and really at the end of the day that will probably work out for the best.
However, in anticipation of finding out Piglet's sex, I've been thinking about this shopping thing. I have an Old Navy gift card burning a hole in my wallet, and I invested in that 50% off Gap Groupon the other day with plans of blowing the whole thing at Baby Gap once we know boy or girl (Gap clothes tend to be highly gendered, from what I've noticed in my browsing there). The Groupon requires spending a full $50 at once, so my hope/plan is to get a bunch of cheap stuff off the clearance rack and maybe round out the purchase with one splurge on something adorable that isn't on sale. But I'm not even GOING to Baby Gap until we know the sex. Unless the baby keeps its legs crossed at the ultrasound. (Note to Piglet: PLEASE don't do that. Thank you.)
Oh! AND this past week the price of the crib we want dropped again, to $50 below the price it was listed at when we first selected it, so after some dithering, we bought it. And it's on its way to our house right now. A crib. For a BABY to sleep in. OMG.
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