The 20-week ultrasound is a pretty big deal. It is a chance for the technician to measure everything that needs measured, like head size, and to check for all necessary things to be there, such as the right number of bones in legs, arms, fingers, (Sonographer:"You can see he has three bones in each finger." Me: "wait- where do you see them?? WHAT?! I cannot believe you're counting each of those little things! But I'm glad you are!") and toes.
They count the chambers in the heart and make sure blood flow is good. They check for holes. They confirm that kidneys/bladder/lungs are all working. Confirm normal umbilical chord flow. Check for brain cavity development and cysts. Count every little bone in each finger!? Look to make sure there is no cleft lip and a normal nasal cavity. I mean, seriously- it's not a simple "Oh yeah, his heart is beating" kind of check-up! (Liam's heart rate is 155, he has no heart murmur, and no, she said, there is no weight to the old wives' tale of heart rate revealing boy or girl.)
I think, with Roman's 20-week ultrasound, I didn't understand just how serious a check this was. Last time I was just excited to see my baby on the screen. Then we walked out saying, "Whoa- they can see all of that?!" This time, though I was still excited to see Liam hanging out, I understood the heaviness of the ultrasound. I walked in praying that all would be flawless and hoped to walk out relaxed and relived that a little boy was growing perfect and healthy inside me. But I was aware that not everyone has that experience, and just because we had one healthy baby doesn't mean we would have a second one. Can you imagine how much your life would change if the technician found something seriously wrong with your baby?
I also find it to be...at the risk of over-dramatizing it...a profound experience. It makes me feel so close to God. Because when you see that little baby in the womb- all 12 ounces and 10" of them- you feel like you're seeing something only God gets to see. And with every "the kidneys are functioning perfectly" or "his ankles are perfectly formed" comment, I breathe a "Thank you, God." It's just amazing.
But the results of yesterday were great! We have a perfect, healthy, growing baby boy with no physical concerns at this point. He is 3 days bigger than normal- not enough to change a due date for. And the highlights of the appointment: we got to see him 1)swallow, 2)stick his tongue out, 3)flex his bicep (I think that was a warning for Roman!) and 4)suck his thumb. His profile already looks different that Roman's did "in utero." And it took my mild freak out session yesterday morning and made me realize that I was, in fact, ready to love and raise another little boy. I'll still enjoy these next 20 weeks with our family of three, but I'm no longer as worried to become a family of four. :) All in all, a good day.