June 01, 2006

Back to work

Last week I was in Toronto for a conference, so I could blame my lack of posting on that — though I’ve been home for 5 days now… anyway, I do have a few things to report, so I’ll get started.

First, I’m thrilled to report that I think I will soon have solved the faceless sheep dilemma, thanks in part to the valuable comments left by you, my lovely readers, but particularly thanks to Kathleen, who braved the horrors of intimate sheep anatomy to give me some wonderful pictures of her daughter’s sheep, clearly made from the same pattern, though store-bought. Check them out here. I haven’t actually got around to using them to finish off my sheep, but I’m confident that with those pictures to guide me, I’ll achieve something sheep-like. What a difference some finished-object pictures make, eh? One almost thinks there might be a lesson in that for pattern publishers…

In other baby-related news, we had our 20-week ultrasound yesterday. The good (wonderful, actually) news is that everything seems fine, the little critter was twisting and turning and making life difficult for the technician, but it warmed my heart. And Mark got a peek at it too. The annoying news (though hardly bad, in the grand scheme of things) is that a) the hospital can’t print out the ultrasound scan, so we couldn’t take anything away with us, and b) they seem reluctant to tell us the sex of the baby, or even whether they can tell from the pictures. The radiologist was frustratingly vague (“Oh, I don’t know whether we’re allowed to tell you that… it’s hard to tell sometimes, you know… um…”) and it seems that the most the hospital will say is that the radiologist will mark the sex on the ultrasound report IF she felt comfortable making a decision (though they don’t actually look for it — it’s only if they happen to notice) and then my doctor (in this case the pre-natal clinic doctor, since I don’t have a family doctor) will tell me next time I see him/her. What really surprised me is that everyone I spoke to at the hospital seemed confused and surprised to be asked about this — I would have though that finding out the baby’s sex would be a major issue for most parents, even if it’s because they don’t want to know.

Anyway, it’s a little annoying not to have found out, or even to know if we can know; while it’s not crucial, of course, we would like to be able, among other things, to put a name to the little one. Given that it’s possible now to find out with non-invasive, low-risk methods that they’re using anyway (i.e. ultrasound) why shouldn’t we know, if the knowledge is available? It seems particularly unfair that a random doctor at the hospital may know, and we don’t. Bah.

Still, the main thing is that the baby appears healthy, so I’ll hold on to that most important fact.

And I am still knitting baby things; right now I’m finishing up a sweater (I hope — I’m getting very close to running out of yarn) which I’ll show you when it’s completed.

Posted by Aven at June 1, 2006 12:57 PM

Humbug indeed!! After all there are only three genders available! Love anyway to the little swimming tadpole, not so little now.

Posted by: Mom at June 1, 2006 01:34 PM

I’m glad the baby is fine. But too bad you don’t know if you can knit blue things or pink things. Oh well, it’ll have to be yellow (ha ha)!

Posted by: Maria at June 1, 2006 01:37 PM

They wouldn’t tell us, either! our technician said it was “hard to tell” at that stage, which I knew wasn’t true — everyone else says if the baby cooperates, it’s glaringly obvious.

We were just as annoyed as you. But as you say — more important the wee one is well! I’m so happy to hear it! :)

Posted by: Jeannie at June 1, 2006 03:30 PM

I’m afraid this might another NB peccadillo. Although most people want to know, I’ve heard that several of the hospitals in the province (i.e. the one I expect you visited, and the one I’d go to here) have a ‘don’t tell’ policy. I don’t know if it’s a written policy or not, but they won’t. Some doctors will hint, and some claim to guess with great accuracy, but most just won’t tell. Get checked in Saint John, though, and I hear they’re an open book.

Posted by: canknitian at June 1, 2006 06:07 PM

Pooh! I remember the ultrasound technician being reluctant but then I said, “How about you just nod your head when I say the right one?” That seemed to do the trick!
Pity you couldn’t have a record to take home. I did get a picture although I hear they are doing videos now.

Posted by: elizabeth at June 1, 2006 06:24 PM

That’s weird. As long as you don’t get too attached to “Critter” in the meantime, although that really does go well with “Tigger”.

Posted by: Carrie K at June 1, 2006 07:36 PM

Yippee! Happy healthy baby! For myself, I would prefer it to be a surprise. It is the only true natural surprise you ever get in your life!

Posted by: Dani at June 1, 2006 10:27 PM

You are very, very welcome. :) Hey, I had the sheep, I had the camera…it was the logical thing to do. It was only when I started posing the thing for the more intimate shots that I thought, hm…should I be creeped out about this? ;) Can’t wait to see the pix of your finished sheep.

Posted by: Kathleen at June 1, 2006 11:31 PM

The hospital not telling you, while annoying, probably has solid grounds in medicine and/or law. Ultrasound is not a 100% accurate way of determining sex — and between sex-linked medical conditions and the extreme gender preferences that some people have, I can see an administrator deciding that it’s just not worth it to open that particular Pandora’s box.

I know, I know, it’s exciting and fun and traditional and your baby not the hospital’s and we can’t live our lives according to extreme cases and you’re already reconciling yourselves in a very gender-positive way and I’m generally being a spoilsport. ;)

But since Em isn’t here to quote precidents of hospitals being sued by parents who painted the nursery the wrong colour, I though I’d jump in.

Maybe to distract ourselves we can try to determine the sex of Kathleen’s sheep instead? We certainly got a close enough look!

Posted by: Tyla at June 2, 2006 12:08 AM

I know down here it’s a GIVEN that parents will be told the sex if they want to, and frankly the techs seem weirded out if you DON’T want to know!…but I get the impression that Canadian law or custom differs some. My friend in Vancouver thinks it may have to do with yes, those unfortunate gender preferences that could lead to some…unpleasant decisions maybe being made. Sorry it was vague :( We are currently using “Peabo” until such a time as we can find out (though admittedly we are the weird parents and may not find out this time either)—-feel free to adopt it!
So glad to hear everything is going well. Take care.

Posted by: Heather at June 2, 2006 09:19 PM