While waiting for my 20-week sonogram, I looked around the room at all the comfy shoes on the other expectant mamas. My own distressed gold leather Clarks flip-flops (thongs?) from my surprise trip to LA were serving me quite well, though my toenails were quite a sight. Behind me was a lady dressed in a pretty floral (still stylish) dress, holding her husband’s hand, exclaiming, “I am so excited, I am so excited!” She was very thin, not showing yet, visiting the water cooler multiple times to fill her bladder for the appointment. How precious – first time parents. Scrubs! Camcorders and suped up cameras all ready. I, on the other hand, was thinking, “I hope they KNOW the top of my water bottle that I just refilled SO didn’t go anywhere near the tip of the water dispenser spout! I wouldn’t do that!”
I also had time to reminisce a bit more about my first stroll down pregnancy lane. How we had arrived at the hospital shortly after midnight on Thanksgiving 2010 and immediately sent to triage. They gathered that I was, indeed, having contractions about five minutes apart. The medical student (I forget whether they are interns or residents) had to ask me a bunch of questions, as my contractions only intensified.
“Did you eat anything?”
“Yes. Dinner. A few hours ago. Wait, AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!”
“What did you eat?”
(Catching my breath. Eyes closed.) “Um, bean curd. I guess it’s called fermented bean curd? With bits of potato, zucchini, mushroom, and AHHHHHHHHH anchovies. Also a side of fried zucchini in egg and flour batter. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! OH MY GOD! AHHHHHHH! SOME PERILLA LEAVES TOOOOOOO!” (I had had dwenjang jigae, hobak-jun, and gget-neep, y’all. I have a fear of going hungry, even before what turned out to be labor and delivery).
“Oh, wow,” (looking at Kevin), “You gotta love her details!”
Kevin: “Yes, she is VERY detailed.”
Now I was about to go in and see my Belly Baby at 20 weeks along. Halfway mark. Feeling so very blessed that I get to do this all over again. I met my sonographer, a sweet, informative lady, who led me to my room. She began to check out the baby’s heart, abdomen, and limbs when I said, “Uh-oh. I’m so sorry but something is wrong with me.” I started sweating profusely, more than my usual.
“Are you going to be sick? Do you feel nauseous?”
“Not nauseous but like I’m getting stabbed in my lower back? I have a really bad back. It feels like it’s all tangled up in a weird kink.”
She let me shift about just a bit, but not too much because she had a really good angle to take pictures of the baby.
“Aww, I’m so sorry. I’ll turn on the A/C for you.”
I stopped sweating from the pain and my back worked itself out after shifting a bit.
“My back is better. Thanks so much for cooling down the room. Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry. I feel weird again.”
“Oh no, I’m so sorry. Is it your back again?” (She was so sweet. She kept cooing “aww” and “sorry” during the visit even though I’m sure she’s seen so many mamas and their belly babies.)
“I’m not sure what it is. I…Ow, my stomach hurts now. OMG, I know. I think I have to jump off and do a big poo, actually!”
Thankfully, the moment passed and I was able to stay put. I was able to see my baby playing with his/her umbilical cord and pat its head with a small fist. Also play with his/her knees. (Micah was mostly playing with his feet in Happy Baby Yoga Pose from what I recall.) The baby was VERY active, even more so than Micah. Moved around a lot like it’s his/her JOB! (This having to say “his/her” is annoying.)
For the reveal of the baby’s sex, the sonographer warned me and I looked away, very dramatically. I was SO very tempted to just say, “OH JUST TELL ME! This is crazy that YOU know and I don’t!” She had to leave the room for a second and I really had to keep myself from looking at her electronic report in touchable distance from my face!
She told me that I may have to come in the next week if the baby doesn’t get in a certain angle for some money shots. Oh no, I rarely have childcare. Please, please baby, spare me another visit. I only had five more minutes left in the appointment as the hospital tries to be very punctual to the other patients who had appointments after mine. She gave me a small box of cranberry juice and told me to cough a few times to get the baby to cooperate. Just in the nick of time, the baby rolled over to the side we needed and also unclenched his/her right fist so that the sonographer could get the last pictures she needed of the right hand and other parts.
Of course, after my sonogram and subsequent doctor’s visit, I read into everything as a sign revealing the sex of the baby. Hmm…whaddid I see when I got home? My Asian-American neighbor in her 30s walking the courtyard with her toddler boy and newborn boy, exactly 23 months apart JUST LIKE MINE WILL BE? Is that a sign? But really, truly…I am SO zen about not finding out. Gotta logout now so I can do the Needle Gender Predicting Test to see if the sex has changed since yesterday’s Needle Test. Google it.
love you writing! 2 boys would be wonderful! even when they are 8 years apart! good luck!
and we love your boys, mamaj!
hahaha jihee i’m so impressed with you knowing the translation of ggnen nnip – perilla leaves- that is my favorite banchan and i JUST learned the English translation a week ago!