Womb with a view: ultrasound images

One of the amazing things about modern pregnancy is that you get to see sneak previews through ultrasound sonograms.

While pregnancy is anything but abstract to Ginette, in many ways, I’m on the outside looking in, which has made these in utero images all the more captivating.

Like many expectant parents, I’ve been collecting the views and have assembled them in an online gallery that’s embedded below.

Before Ginette was showing, these images were one of the only ways I could make the pregnancy real. Now, with a little more than two months to go until the due date, and Ginette’s belly seemingly swelling by the day, it’s much easier to visualize something growing and evolving inside her.

The image below was the first glimpse of the embryo and was taken about a month after conception.

7 weeks ultrasound photo

During the ultrasound, the technician or doctor will measure the little creature with a ruler tool on the screen, as shown below.

62 days ultrasound photo

The most recent ultrasound was more than two months ago, at the 20-week milestone that’s roughly the midway point of pregnancy. I was surprised by how developed the fetus’ head was in the image below.

20 weeks ultrasound

We know we’re expecting a girl, but I’ve had trouble finding the right words to describe the life growing inside of Ginette. “Fetus” is the technical term for an unborn, developing mammal that’s beyond the embryonic stage (see graphic below), but that instantly makes me think of the acrimonious abortion fight.

Prenatal development table
Source: Wikipedia

Part of the issue for me is not wanting to jinx the pregnancy. Traditionally, Jews wouldn’t buy anything for a baby or discuss names until it arrived out of fear it would cause a miscarriage. I’m a Jew by birth, devout atheist by choice, and only superstitious about the N.F.L., but it still feels a little like counting your chickens before they hatch to call a fetus a baby or daughter. Perhaps I’m sensitized to the risk because my father lost his first son and my half-brother, Mark, due to sudden infant death syndrome a half-century ago.

Whatever the cause, hopefully this prenatal syntax issue I’m having will become moot in a couple months when our daughter arrives. I’m not sure if we’ll have any more ultrasounds before then, so the next encounter may be in the flesh.

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