You may have already had your mid-pregnancy ultrasound (often called a Level II Ultrasound, Fetal Anatomy Survey or a Fetal Anomaly Screen) because you generally have it between 18 – 22 weeks.
They are checking out the size of your baby, the development of your baby’s stomach, urinary tract, kidneys, spine and brain. They will also measure the baby’s heart rate and look for defects in the ventricles and other heart anomalies.
The size and placement of your placenta is also on tap to make sure your placenta isn’t blocking your cervix (called placenta previa) although, even if this does turn up, 90% – 95% of the cases resolve themselves before you deliver so don’t panic. It just means it’s blocking the exit, and it can get a little complicated if it doesn’t smarten up and move.
This is also the scan that may be able to tell you if you’re having a girl or a boy if the weeble cooperates. Some technicians won’t tell you but will note it in your file if your doctor wants to spill the beans. Others will blurt it out so let them know if you’re keeping it a surprise. Personally, I think there are benefits to both:
Pros of Finding Out:
- Finding out the sex of your baby is always a surprise whether it’s at 20 weeks or when you deliver
- Gender neutral stuff can get tiresome if you really want to go nuts.
- You have just eliminated 50% of the naming arguments.
- You can start grooving on the hand-me-down hoarding if you care about colors.
- It sometimes feels nice to say “he” or “she” instead of “he or she” (make sense?).
- I was convinced I was having a boy and couldn’t picture having a girl so I wanted time to wrap my head around it if that was going to be the case. I don’t think I would have reacted weirdly if they had shouted: “it’s a girl” when I delivered, but I would have felt like a complete turd if I’d even hesitated for a second at her awesomeness.
Pros of Not Finding Out:
- Ultrasounds have been wrong.
- It will drive people nuts and that shit is fun.
- It gives you something to keep guessing about. I wonder if it’s a boy because I’m craving lemons. I wonder if I’m having a girl because of how everyone’s been kind enough to tell me how tired I look?
- It puts off the gender stereotyping for a while.
- Gender neutral stuff is gorgeous and you can use it for subsequent babies.
- It’s the ultimate reveal after going through labor, after all, movies NEVER find out.
Two great reads are It's a What!? My Experience with Gender Disappointment and In Defense of the Gender Reveal.
19 Weeks Pregnant Cheat Sheet:
- Vernix caseosa begins to cover your baby which helps protect skin from the amniotic fluid. Many sites refer to this as a greasy cheese coating but I prefer to think of it as body butter.
- Your baby has “start lungs” on their to-do list this week.
- Your baby is about 6 inches long (15 cm) and weighs about half a pound or 8 ounces (226 grams).
- You have around 147 days before you give birth.
How many months is 19 weeks pregnant?
Nineteen weeks is four months and three weeks pregnant. (Almost five months.)
This week's to do:
Pick a pediatrician. You can ask your medical practitioner if they have any recommendations. I went the family doctor route vs. pediatrician but it's totally your call.
Prep for mat leave. Check in with HR to figure out what you're entitled to in regards to paid and unpaid leave. Save all documents in one spot online or in a folder. If statements have been made verbally, send a follow-up email that has a friendly recap so you have it in writing – "Here's an outline of what we talked about today." Start prepping files to hand over to coworkers (or get a post-it note ready that reads, 'figure it out, fuckers".)
How are you feeling this week? Let me know here.
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