Peanut in 3-D (and the middle-name fiasco)

Here are some new ultrasound pics of Peanut at just over 12 weeks. They gave us 6 but this is the only one that looks like anything:

That’s the profile of the head. Check out those lips!

It was a very cool experience. This was our first time with an ultrasound expert (the first was with my ob-gyn) and in addition to the these black-and-white-negative-type images (I don’t know the technical term–one of the drawbacks of doing all this in a second language), we also got to see Peanut in 3-D! Though unfortunately we didn’t get a print-out of that. We saw the little creature moving around in there, bouncing up and down when I laughed. A wee hand reached up to the head a couple times. Andrea has since enjoyed joking that Peanut does not take after daddy since s/he seemed to be combing her/his hair (Andrea is, um, hair-challenged. maybe funnier in Italian?).

We did the ultrasound as part of a test to gage Peanut’s risk of birth defects. Thankfully, despite my being 35, there’s only a 1 in 7300 chance, so we’ve decided to opt out of a risky amniocentesis (the invasive way to find out for sure).

We also got to hear the heartbeat for the first time, which was really intense. Tears sprang at once to both our eyes. Somehow the furious rhythm of that sound made it more real than anything else has yet. It’s life! Pumping at this crazy pace, and working on its own, without much help from me. It’s hard not to think in cliches about the miracle of nature, etc.

The heartbeat was recorded here:

In case anyone is wondering why my first name is recorded as Raissa:

This is one of my pet peeves about living in Italy. Italians don’t seem to know how to handle the whole concept of the middle name. Back home, I can’t remember ever having to use it, besides for my passport application. I was actually profoundly embarrassed by it growing up, though I’ve come to love it. Anyway, here, because it’s on my passport, it also has to be on every other identifying document I have. I have to constantly remind myself to use it now everywhere, or else I could suffer the exquisite torture that is Italian bureaucracy and cause who knows how many problems. At the same time, no official seems to know how to handle my full name when they see it. It’s like they think, Whoa–too many letters to process at once. I’ll just take the easier, more Italian-sounding of the two and use that one. The registry office called my mother-in-law to verify my residency here (long story) and asked for Raissa and she said there was no one there by that name. Fortunately things got cleared up.

But I don’t think we’ll be giving Peanut a middle name.