We had our scheduled checkup with the doctor late last week and managed to convince the ultrasound tech to get a couple good shots in hopes that we could print them out and share them. The 10 minutes with Maggie’s womb on the screen gave me lots to look at (while Maggie just sorta stared at the ceiling), but didn’t yield fantastically clear pics.
Nor did the tech print them out much larger than a thumbnail. It’s sort of funny putting our experience up beside friends and family who have gone through all this and come out of it with large images burned to CD, DVDs, 3D ultrasounds, life-like action figures… and we get blurry ultrasound photos. I guess you get what you pay for, and at like $60 for the full ultrasound (and that’s the 2x VIP price) even the fancy foreigner wing is pretty inexpensive. We were told that if we bring in a disc they’ll burn some images for us if we slip the tech a few kuai.
We finally approached the topic of finding out the sex of the baby. As most know, but some might not, revealing the sex of the baby before birth is illegal in China. The law is a reaction to the traditional preference for boys, and resultant aborting of female fetuses (fetii?). For us, and I imagine most city-bred Chinese, it is an inconvenience.
The doctor told us that it depended on who the tech was and whether we could find out or not. At first it seemed like we’d find out, but then we were told that it’s too early and the ultrasound wasn’t clear. We believe that to be Chinese doctor code for, “You should have brought a hong bao“. We may just slip into an ultrasound clinic while we’re in Canada and find out there, saving ourselves the awkwardness of bribing.
A damn cool part of this checkup was that we got to hear the baby’s heartbeat. The doctor cautioned us that if the heartbeat wasn’t loud or immediately distinguishable that we shouldn’t be alarmed, as it’s normal for it to be quiet at this stage. It was a boomin’, so much so that we got a nice loud “tÃ i hÇŽo le! from the doctor.
Here are the ultrasound pics: