My eighteen-week belly pictures are on the camera, but I'm currently feeling totally unmotivated to go find the camera, so I'll update with the pictures sometime later when I get a chance. There's not much to see, anyway: even though I feel a lot bigger than I did two weeks ago, the pictures (at least on the little screen on the camera) look exactly like my sixteen-week pictures. Go back and look at those and you'll know what to expect.
I am proud to announce that I am feeling much, much better - it seems that in terms of pregnancy yuckiness, eighteen weeks was my magic mark. Although I don't really think it's appropriate to use that word. Feeling better at twelve weeks or even fourteen would have been magic; feeling better at eighteen weeks is just pathetic and cheap. Whenever I read in a pregnancy book something like "you may experience nausea and discomfort in the first trimester" I want to grab a red marker and scratch "LIES!" in the margin. Or just cross out the "first trimester" part. I mean, come on, my freaking pregnancy is almost half over by now.
Speaking of which, I called the radiology center today to schedule our twenty-week scan. When my sister had hers a few months ago (oddly enough, just two days after I found out I was pregnant) her husband couldn't go and so I got to go with her, and it was great. I mean, it is a diagnostic procedure, and it takes a long time because they take so many detailed pictures of the various body parts to find out if there's anything wrong. (According to our doctor, there are actually conditions they can find with this scan that can be fixed before birth, or directly after, and so knowing about them ahead of time is useful.) But despite it taking so long, I really enjoyed being at my sister's, and seeing all those beautiful shots of the baby, and I know it will be even better when it's our own baby.
I've already been asked more times than I can count if we're planning on "finding out" the sex of the baby. (I always think of it as "finding out" because ultrasounds are not 100% reliable in that area, as our friends who brought their newborn girl home to a blue room filled with boy stuff can attest.) The answer is that we've decided not to.
It's not primarily because we're afraid that we'll be told the wrong gender. (Although I was royally freaked out when that happened to our friends. I'm not sure why it freaked me out so much; the thought that they were calling their baby girl "Ethan" all those months was just really upsetting to me.) And I certainly don't think it's somehow lesser or wrong to find out the baby's gender - we might conceivably decide to do so with later children. Since Bryan and I do have a (very) slight gender preference in this case - oddly enough, we lean the same way - I think it will be better for us to find out the sex of the baby when we're holding him/her rather than now. But that's not our main reason either.
I guess it has to do with practicality. Since we hope to have a lot of children if we can, it makes sense that all our big purchases - stroller, carseat, furniture - should be gender-neutral. We're planning on buying all that stuff ourselves but the fact remains that people do buy stuff as gifts, sometimes very expensive stuff, and if they know the sex of your baby they buy gender-specific stuff. Especially, it seems to me, with girls. One of my friends told me that she bought her sister-in-law a yellow dress for her still-in-utero baby girl, and the SIL was thrilled because it wasn't pink - all she'd been getting was pink stuff. I like pink just fine, but the idea of a closet full of pink clothes kind of makes me shiver. If we have a daughter I will of course dress her in pink, but also in green and blue and yellow and red and any other color that appeals. And the baby's room is going to be light green and blue at any rate, because we like those colors.
We actually considered finding out the gender of the baby and then just not telling anyone, but that seemed too hard - better just not to know. Plus, it's kind of fun not knowing, and playing endless guessing games. Bryan has a co-worker who swears she can tell the sex of the baby if she sees the pregnant woman in the seventh month of pregnancy, so maybe I'll go see her just for kicks.
Meanwhile, we're still thinking of names. Or, rather, not thinking of names, since we have agreed on only one so far and we reached that decision a couple months ago. (And I'd really like to have more than one name for each sex so that we have options when the baby is born.) I think I've mentally set the bar in a very difficult place, actually. I've always loved having an unusual name, so I'd like it to be something not hugely common. (I check the stats on the Social Security page for every name I think of - as my dear friend Jen says so eloquently, "Knowledge is power, people.") I also want it to have some sort of background or history, so that the kid can tell people where the name is from instead of having to say "uh, my parents just liked the sound of it." Which means we can't make names up, not that we were planning on doing that anyway. I also (and I'm not criticizing people who choose otherwise; it's just a personal preference) am not a huge fan of gender-neutral names, especially for girls. Needless to say, all these requirements make the process of name-picking tedious. But hey, we've still got months. I'm sure we'll come up with something.
Meanwhile, it's pushing four o'clock and I'm still wearing pajamas. Which, granted, I often wear the entire day through, but since Bryan and I are going out to dinner and a movie, I'd probably better get dressed. (The date night is compensation for the fact that he's got a huge deadline next week and has to work both tomorrow and Monday. Elsewhere, I've heard, this is a holiday weekend, but not here. There is a pretty little silver lining, though: he gets paid overtime, plus he'll have a three-day weekend next week, when the deadline has passed. So all is not as bad as it seems.) It's seventy degrees out, so I'd like to wear a skirt and sandals, but it is also raining, so I'm thinking jeans and tennis shoes it is. Ah, pregnancy is such a romantic time.