We visited the doctor this afternoon to have our first listen of the baby’s heartbeat. While not quite as dumb-founding as getting to see the first ultrasound, it was still really exciting. So much so that the nurse had to take the microphone (or transducer, whatever) off of Angela’s belly for a moment during a fit of the giggles on her part. The baby is still small enough that even through all of her guts, Angela’s heartbeat was nearly as audible as that of the baby’s. There was one clear difference between the two, though.
A human fetus, come to find out, has the heartrate of a rabbit.
"Woosh, woosh, woosh, woosh…"
About 150-170 bpm at roughly our point in pregnancy, or so I’ve read. Like you or me sprinting.
There are those who hope to use the heartrate to determine what the babies gender is, but that’s really not a valid method (the fetal heartrate varies, just as mine or yours does, regardless of gender). It was mentioned by the nurse that while a lot of people try to apply this-or-that to determine the gender, there’s really no point. At this stage, the fetus really doesn’t have a sex. Oh, sure, it has been predetermined genetically, but it’s not really manifested in any way that we can measure or observe. That comes in a couple more months and, believe me, we hope to determine what that is.1
Now, that being said, if we can determine the sex that does not give anyone license to douse a likely little girl in pink dresses nor a little boy in blue baseball gloves [?]. We aren’t the kind of parents who plan on raising our child in some sort of gender-neutral sort of way or anything like that. But at the same time, there’s no reason to torture our new family with a Pepto-Bismol-world for a little girl or a try to make a Charles Bronson man’s-man out of a infant boy.
Let’s just not get all carried away. That’s all I’m asking.
- As much crap as we’ve given our friends over their decision no to, we’ve already kind of forced our hand on that one. [↩]