Earlier this week, Chris and I headed to one of our local hospitals for a long awaited ultrasound fetal anatomy scan. This is a routine ultrasound typically done around the 20th week of pregnancy. It is often especially looked forward to because this is usually when people find out the gender of their baby.
Well, people not in India anyway.
As the sign clearly states, they will, under no circumstances, tell you the gender of your baby. Chris, of course, being Chris, asked the ultrasound technician about this in no uncertain terms. She verified that no, she would not disclose the baby’s gender and that it was a punishable offense.
Since the late 1970’s, when many new fetal gender determination technologies became widely available in India, the gender gap (ratio of male to female babies) has been increasing. In a country the size of India, based on the 2011 census data, this gender gap amounts to approximately 600,000 “missing” baby girls this year. I am choosing not going to get into the theoretical causes or implications of this problem, but I think that we can all agree that it is absolutely astonishing.
Of more immediate importance to me is my surprise at how disappointed I felt when I was not able to find out the baby’s gender. Chris, on the other hand, did not seem to care one bit. We both went into the experience saying that it was good to have a surprise, but I’m starting to change my mind. How is he not more curious?
Before heading into the ultrasound room, I was extremely interested to see what the equipment would look like. At our local hospital, it can be a mixed bag. There are some areas, mostly non-technical ones such as patient waiting areas, that are in serious need of renovation. From what I have seen technology-wise though, this hospital seems to be totally up to date.
They offered both the standard and 3D ultrasound technology, which Chris got to witness first hand. I was very disappointed that they positioned me such that I could not see the screen at all. Chris got to sit near the ultrasound technician and see the whole show. Before hand, I had him study “boy” and “girl” 21 week ultrasounds in hopes that he might be able to shed some light on the mystery, but no dice. He claims that he is not an ultrasound interpretation expert. Clearly he wasn’t trying hard enough!
I considered posting some of the 3D pictures on here, but decided against it. Looking at other people’s ultrasound pictures is kind of creepy.
I feel like I am finally starting to get a grip on the processes and procedures involved with visiting the doctor in India. I remember on my first visit that I was completely and utterly confused the entire time. My most recent visit was much more efficient, in large part because I am starting to understand how to navigate the hospital’s process.
All in all, it was a good experience. We were told that we have what appears to be a normal baby, although it is quite large for its age by Indian standards. Before this week, I was not aware that typical baby weight varies by race. Based on these norms, one would expect that I will ultimately have a baby approximately 9 oz heavier than a typical Indian baby. That’s quite a big difference!
Maybe we will have another ultrasound opportunity. If so, I will be sure to make Chris study harder beforehand!