According to my “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” manual, I’m 22 weeks along, but according to the doctor’s office, I’m 21 weeks. I have yet to comprehend the reason for this difference, since WTE breaks down each week of the pregnancy starting from the beginning of my last menstrual period, and the doctor’s office supposedly does the same. But then, I technically wasn’t pregnant in that first week after my last menstrual period, so maybe the difference is as simple as that. It messes with my head to keep two different numbers in mind, though — one for when I go in to the doctor’s office, and another for when I pick up WTE to read about the baby’s latest developments. My method of dealing with this is to write down both dates (WTE pregnancy week # and Doctor’s office pregnancy week #) for each new week in my dayplanner. I like being able to look out through the weeks and think about how far along I am.
According to the doctor’s office timeline, I had my 21-week pregnancy ultrasound yesterday. This is the big appointment everybody looks forward to. It’s the first time J has been present for any ultrasound, so that made it extra special.
Our appointment was at 9 in the morning, and we were a little late because it had snowed overnight, and traffic was crawling along through the stuff like the whole of Boise was a 10-mph ‘Slow Children at Play’ zone. (I always love seeing those ‘Slow Children’ signs… Are they saying we should slow down for playing children or are they actually saying there are slow children at play?) Luckily, everybody at the doctor’s office was running behind due to the weather.
So we made it to our appointment, and I found myself laying on a table with goo on my belly just like they show in the movies. The goo was warm, which was a nice surprise. Our ultrasound technician started her work, and there was baby, doing a headstand in my belly. He had an arm draped up around his head in a very non-cooperative way, so it took a while for our technician to get all the measurements she needed. But she managed in the end, and said that everything looked good and on target. She also told us to pick up a 1-lb container of butter the next time we go to the supermarket, because that’s what our baby weighs right now. (I’m assuming she had some sliding size vs. weight chart to tell us this.)
You may have caught my pronoun usage at this point: he, his. Yep, we’re having a boy! And since J and I already have names picked out, we can share that with everybody, too. Since this blog is anonymous (I like the feeling of not having to edit what I say based on my audience) I guess I won’t share the baby’s actual name here, but I will say that he is going to be named after three generations of people in my family — My grandpa, my dad, and my husband. For purposes of the blog, I’ll call our baby JC.
Which brings up something else I’ve been meaning to write about. It seems like everything these days comes back to J’s transgenderism and transitioning, but then again is that so surprising, considering the amount of change transition entails? …Our baby will share J’s middle name, but J himself will probably be changing his name in the coming year. As accepting as I am of this, it’s been a hard concept to get used to. While I don’t have the mental hangups about J’s transition that some spouses have, I struggle to cope with change as much as the next person, and the idea of J not being called J anymore has brought his transition home to me in a way that cross-dressing never did.
As regards the baby, I don’t think it matters. We’ll tell JC about J’s past, and his past names. The baby will still have that link with his father.
As regards name changing in general and the idea of ‘disowning’ the past, I don’t really feel like anything about the past is necessarily being disowned here. After all, I took my husband’s last name when I married him. That doesn’t mean I’ve disowned the entirety of my own past that went along with my maiden name. I think I would be a lot more disturbed by J’s name-change if he was actively talking about how horrible his life had been up until this point, and how he wanted to forget everything about his previous self and move on. That would have hurt. Luckily he isn’t approaching transition with this mindset. And I’m sure in time that I’ll connect with J’s new name as much as I did with his old one. It helps that J is letting me be a part of his search for a name replacement.