Yesterday I was re-organizing my room when I came across some stuff that made my heart flutter all over. I came across the ultrasounds I had when Kitty was in my womb. I have kept them all neatly in an envelope, and since I hadn’t expected to come across them yesterday as I was reorganizing my stuff, seeing them again made me cry a little bit. But not cry as in ‘cry’ like ‘cry’, but cry as in like getting wet eyes and allowing the tears to freely fall down my cheeks.
I shed those tears of happiness remembering the moments I had when undertaking those ultrasounds. I had ultrasounds at week 8, week 9, week 20, and at week 36.
The one at week 8 was mainly to check for the fetal heartbeat. But the place I went to was to a radiologist –who I understand did not have the upgraded equipment for proper abdominal ultrasounds. Explains why he didn’t detect a heartbeat.
So my gynaecologist advised me to go for another ultrasound the following week. And for sure the place he referred me to this time had some serious ‘state-of-the-art’ ultrasound machines – I don’t know what they are called. Listening to kitty’s heartbeat for the first time was an experience I’ll never forget. It served as more than a confirmation that he was there – alive and well (though the image of Kitty then looked more like a tadpole than anything else). It confirmed that I was in the process of becoming a mother. Memorable too because the experience of listening to that first heartbeat together with the hubby was just something of an invaluable experience.
Then at week 20 I had another ultrasound, which I did for two main reasons: First, to check if the baby was developing normally –they check among others; the head, the heart, the limbs, the kidney and the position of the placenta. I understand if there were any abnormalities, then they would have been detected at this stage, and any necessary interventions undertaken then.
The second reason was naturally, we wanted to know the sex of the baby. Curiosity was more like it. Now, many parents say they weren’t able to tell the sex of the baby during an ultrasound because the baby’s position was not cooperative enough. But this did not happen in our case, for at first glance, the doctor was 150% sure of the baby’s sex. He didn’t need two seconds to check and re-check and check again. And when he told the hubby and I to look at the screen and pointed to whatever it is he was looking at to determine the sex, there was no doubt that it was a little boy. We didn’t need to check and re-check and check again. The evidence was right there staring in our faces. Literally.
But knowing I was carrying a boy was no surprise for me because judging by the amount of food I had been consuming right from the first days of my pregnancy (especially ugali), I instinctively knew it was a boy. Miss Babes used to describe me as ‘That chic who is always eating one thing or another’.
The fourth time I went for an ultrasound was at week 36. I wanted this ultrasound done because I needed to know the weight of my baby. I needed to know the weight so that I could plan for his birth –specifically to know if I would need a caesarean section (CS). Now, I was huge. Like really HUGE. And my body frame is not all that big, so I was quite a spectacle. At month 7, people would stop me along the street and tell me (with great concern) that I’m due any moment and therefore I shouldn’t be walking around ovyo ovyo and that if I wanted, they can take me to hospital at that very moment. And I used to go like ‘dude, I have 2 more months to go!’
So by week 36, I was practically bulging out of myself. And I needed to know if I would have the CS because seeing as I wear shoe size 3.5, the odds were that I would have a CS. So I just wanted to be clear and besides, I didn’t want to have to go through an arduous labor before eventually undergoing an emergency CS. So the ultrasound we took week revealed that the baby was 3.2 kg’s. Considering that the last weeks of pregnancy when the baby is all formed and is only adding weight, I wondered how much more weight the baby would put on by the time he was due. And yet I had four weeks to go.
Then when I took the pelvic exam, it revealed that that the largest size of baby I could push was 2.5kg. Inevitably, it was going to be a CS. At least it gave us enough time to prepare and pick the day of Kitty’s birth. I picked the Easter holiday, and specifically Good Friday, 22nd April. I wanted my baby to grow up to become a good Christian, and what better way than to start off on a Christian holiday? No kidding.
Anyway Kitty didn’t come on Good Friday as planned. My waters broke five days before that, in week 38. And he came out 3.7 kgs. If I had reached week 40, I wonder how big he would’ve been.
Now back to the ultrasounds that got me all teary yesterday. Looking at them from the time he was a tadpole, to the time he had visible human-like features in week 36, to where he is now –kicking his legs in the air with supersonic speed and nibbling on his toes and yapping like a parrot, I couldn’t help but marvel at how far we’ve come. I look at Kitty now and can only say “Kweli ya Mungu ni mengi”.