Tag Archives: Babyology

Thoughts on the Five-Month Ultrasound

baby ultrasound

We had our second, possibly final, ultrasound on Friday. (More precisely, Betsy got an ultrasound and I watched.) The kid is a boy, as I mentioned Saturday.

It’s strange. The whole thing is strange.

First of all, ultrasounds are magic, it’s that simple. It’s technology and science that causes the magic, to be sure, but that doesn’t make it any less wizardlike. Think about it: they can pulse sound waves into a woman’s abdomen and create a three-dimensional real-time moving picture of an unborn human. We are living in the future, there’s no other explanation.

Surprisingly, though, the picture at 21 weeks is not as good as the picture at 10 weeks. There’s a lot more information, yes (gender, for instance), but because each picture is a cross section, and the baby is so much bigger now, it’s hard to get a single snapshot that shows you the whole kid at once. The one above isn’t bad, though.

The ultrasound took about an hour, and the nurse was great. There are a million things they have to check for, and she explained it all as she went: making sure the hands open sometimes (non-opening hands are a sign of Down syndrome), measuring the femur, counting bones in the hands and feet, and so on. I’m sure she’s done this a thousand times before, but she still made it sound like it was interesting to her (and hey, maybe it was). And she answered all our questions.

It’s weird knowing it’s a boy. On the one hand, it makes the kid seem more like a real person, which is good. On the other hand, it makes the kid seem more like a real person, which is bizarre. This is actually going to happen, evidently.

Also, for some reason, we’re finding it much, much harder to pick a name for a boy. There are a zillion girl names we like, but our shortlist (read: full list) for boy names only has four possibilities. And one of them is a long shot.

What are they? Well, I suppose I could share:

  • Agamemnon
  • Radagast
  • Jα§ρer
  • Palpatine Iscariot III, Jr.

Five months down, four to go.


Additional Data

miniBuckley.Gender = "male"; //visual confirmation

Babies and the English Language

As a father-to-be, you get excited and nervous, but there are also some real frustrations and challenges to deal with.

I’m talking, of course, about grammar.

The hoi polloi have never needed an excuse to mangle sentences, but during pregnancy and beyond, the offenses seem to multiply. I’ve noticed three big ones so far.

Who’s Pregnant, Anyway?

“We’re pregnant.” You hear that a lot. Or “You and Betsy are pregnant.” I knew about this construction before, of course, but it’s different when you’re at the center of it.

And I get the sentiment, I really do. It’s a nice thought. It’s emphasizing that the husband and wife are a team, that she’s not on her own. Pregnancy is a situation that encompasses both of us.

But really? “We’re pregnant”? Really?

If Betsy said, “Brian is pregnant,” no one would believe her without some convincing (and improbable) medical test results. If I said, “I’m pregnant,” I might be pregnant with meaning, but I would qualify for zero health insurance coverage. So we’re meant to understand, evidently, that Betsy is pregnant but I am not pregnant but we are pregnant together.

Look, nobody said English was logical, I understand that. But in this case there’s a perfect solution: expecting. As in, “We are expecting a baby, because Betsy is pregnant.”

So About This Baby

The normal way to talk about babies – or so I used to believe – was to say things like “their baby” or “our baby” or “the baby” or “this baby.” You know – standard English.

But as you begin to enter the vortex I am tentatively calling the Baby Dimension, a curious shift occurs. All extra words are dropped, and you simply have “baby.”

“Take good care of the baby” becomes “Take good care of baby.” “Your baby’s heartbeat is strong” becomes “Baby’s heartbeat is strong.” As if “baby” is now a generic, uncapitalized proper name.

It saves you a word, and it’s unambiguous, so I ought to love it. But it just sounds weird.

I wonder what wife thinks about that?

Baby Talk

I understand why babies talk wrong. They’re babies. If they know any words at all, it’s a staggering accomplishment. Good pronunciation and grammar are further down the road.

What’s less clear to me is why adults talk to babies as if they themselves are babies. Grown men and women will pick up a toy locomotive and ask their toddler, “What sound does the choo-choo make?” like some temporary trauma has erased their memory of the word train.

This would make slightly more sense if babies learned words independently, from some external source beyond parental control. But in fact, scientists are pretty damn sure that kids learn language from people who speak it, which is largely the kids’ parents. So if you’re already fuzzy on this whole English thing, it probably doesn’t help if your role model does it wrong on purpose.

I know it doesn’t matter. I’m just grouchy.

What I really don’t understand is when adults use baby talk when speaking about babies to each other. (I’ve seen it happen. And I’ve seen it happen in print.) I mean, at some point you just wonder if they know what the grown-up words are.

Parenting, I’m told, is all about being flexible and going with the flow, and having your priorities in the right place. Pretty sure I’m going to nail it.



new Buckley miniBuckley;

miniBuckley.Age.Months = -6;

miniBuckley.Name = ""; //tbd

miniBuckley.Gender = ""; //tbd

miniBuckley.ArrivalDate = "09/30/2016"; //projected

//Set parent objects////////////////////////

miniBuckley.Mother = Buckley.Betsy;

Buckley.Betsy.Pregnant = true;

miniBuckley.Father = Buckley.Brian;

//conservative estimate
miniBuckley.Paternity.Probability = 0.76;

//Miscellaneous properties/////////////////////

miniBuckley.Intelligence.Projected = 94; //0-100 scale

miniBuckley.Intelligence.Current = 6;

//within acceptable parameters
miniBuckley.Attractiveness.Projected = 65;

miniBuckley.Attractiveness.Current = -8;

miniBuckley.NerdQuotient.Projected = 91;

//lives with mom, antisocial, never goes outside,
//lots of "potential"
miniBuckley.NerdQuotient.Current = 100;

//don't set, will cause integer overflow