What Happened

Or, “Fatty Knows!”

On Tuesday Joshua and I went to another baby doctor appointment. I’d be lying if I said we were expecting anything other than the usual–a quick listen in on the baby’s heart rate, a few hard pushes on my stomach to see how the baby is positioned, and a measurement of my uterus with that little white tape measure. If all went according to plan, my baby doctor should ask me if I have any questions for her, then disappear until our next appointment.

But while she was measuring my uterus and while she should have been asking me, “How are your bowel movements?” in the soft Russian accent that always makes me feel like that’s a normal question between friends, Dr. S said something different. “The baby seems quite small for this stage. Of course, this is not a very accurate way to judge. I think we will do an ultrasound today to get more exact ideas.”

Which didn’t surprise me that much. I mean, for the first six and a half months of my pregnancy I couldn’t keep down anything but the occasional cheese sandwich and even now I can’t eat before three in the afternoon without throwing up. And let’s not forget those times I forgot to take my prenatal vitamins. But before either me or Joshua could wonder whether this meant Enis was a sickly little thing, we were swept into another room and my stomach was covered in warm green jelly for the ultrasound.

As she ultrasounded (or whatever), Dr. S explained the measurements she was taking, then showed us little computer charts with lines on them like those exponential growth charts you study in junior high math. (Turns out Enis is small, but not what’s considered too small by baby standards–about 4 lbs and growing right now.) Then she went back to the black and white screen that’s supposed to show you the baby, but that always looks like a film negative of smoke.

“There is the heart,” she pointed to a pulsing black spot, “and the ribs,” some gray-white lines, “and that is the thigh bone,” stopping for a quick measurement, “and the bladder,” just another oblong shape. “Oh. And there is, of course…” She hesitated. Not from trying to translate from Russian to English, but from trying to cope with suddenly having a giant wang on the screen and absolutely no recognition on my face that could save her from having to say it out loud.

Next to me, Joshua was grinning like a man who just saw the funniest thing in the world happen, but who was told beforehand that if he laughed, he got shot.

I didn’t see it. Dr. S struggled on.

“His…boy parts. Between his legs,” she said.

“Oh,” I said. Nodding. Trying to play it cool. Not under any circumstances looking at my husband who was on the verge of laughing at the most immature thing (some pun intended) ever.

“He’s certainly not shy,” she said.

I heard Joshua make a sound in his throat. I stared at the grainy package on the screen and dug my fingernails into my palms. Somehow I managed to ask a question about the baby’s size without choking. She answered it in a businesslike tone, printed us off a picture–just one this time–then helped me wipe off the ultrasound gel and sit up.

“I will see you again in two weeks,” she said, and disappeared like nothing hilarious had happened.

As soon as the door closed behind her, Joshua took the ultrasound photo and said, “That’s my boy.”

We couldn’t leave the room for another several minutes because we were giggling like freshman boys who just translated “boner” from English to Spanish.

Now, for those of you keeping score at home, it’s true, our plan wasn’t to find out what Enis was until the day he popped out. That was part of the questionnaire we filled out when we first started going to the baby doctor, but I guess Dr. S didn’t see any use in trying to pretend like it wasn’t incredibly obvious to anyone who knew what a penis looked like.

Why couldn’t I see it? Probably because I don’t have training in reading ultrasounds or spend as much time thinking about penises as boys do. If it makes you feel any better, I can see it now that it’s been pointed out to me and when I’m holding the ultrasound photo right side up.

So, we’re having a boy. My intuition was right all along. And we’re not upset that we found out (although now that I think about it, that’s probably the kind of thing douches sue their doctors over). We’re ecstatic. All because our baby thought it would be funny to flaunt his package like Babies Gone Wild on the only media outlet he knows so far.

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