[Note from CCM: I wrote this ages ago, about a month ago, but since then we’ve been moving and organizing and…offline. It’s such a crazy experience that I had to include it after all.]

Now we know that we’re having a girl. But it wasn’t easy to find out.

Heading to Dr. Grimaldi’s office yesterday Paul and I were full of nerves. And excitement. We were the two people you see walking down the street with glazed eyes and a pair of unsure grins. During the second trimester ultrasound there would be careful screening of the baby to ensure that everything was developing properly and on track. But we’d also leave with a juicy piece of information: boy or girl?

We arrived at the office and found out that we wouldn’t be seeing our charming doctor who speaks perfect English (you’ll understand why I mention this in a second) but only the ultrasound technician who we’d never met before. Fine. I’d already had two ultrasounds, one in New York and one in Seattle, and both experiences were painless and pleasant. We left knowing a lot more about this little person and feeling relieved to see the baby again. So, after waiting the requisite ten minutes, we were shown into the exam room. I sat on the table and suddenly we were off! Without so much as a “Hello, I’m…” a man who I later learned was Egyptian squirted the jelly onto my stomach and started rolling the handset around. Abrupt but Okay. His facial expressions however were not. After the first grimace, Paul and I exchanged looks of our own but five minutes later (which seemed like twenty), we couldn’t take the continued frowning, pausing and squinting at the monitor. “Is something WRONG?”, Paul asked nervously.

Pause. Pause. Pause. Near heart attack. Pause.

“Eeet moves-a. Too much-a.”

He was just frustrated because he was trying to take exact measurements–in millimeters–of a squirming baby. A perfectly healthy baby. English is not his first nor second language which explains the lack of communication during the exam. Not certain that his bedside manners would’ve improved with better language skills but since our Italian is elementary at best, we weren’t in a position to judge.

A couple of glitches later (my favorite went like this: “See? There’s the cleft lip.” “Wait, what?!” “No, I’m checking for a cleft lip.” “Oh.” (Sigh.)) he asked us about the sex. A recap:

Technician: (Looking at the file.) You don’t want to know-a the sex.

Me: No, we…

Technician: You DO know the sex.

Me: No, we…

Technician: (Confused and starts blurting out) Boy, girl, boy…

Me: Wait. We don’t know the sex yet, but we’d LIKE to.

Technician:  Oh, eeets bambina. (Shrugs as though it’s the most obvious thing in the world.)

I immediately burst into tears. It was suddenly so real and so special. I am going to have a daughter. Plus, our nerves were shot.

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