*this is not my baby, or my belly.
I'll upload the real deal when I get the pictures scanned.
To address my fears, this is what I know:
Baby is NOT molar or malignant.
Baby is NOT ectopic.
Baby is NOT twins.
Baby is NOT triplets.
Baby has two arms and two legs, but I forgot to ask about the ears.
The technician did NOT say "Hmmmm, that's strange...," nor did he summon a radiologist.
There IS a baby.
The placenta is well placed on the front of my abdomen (except it cushions the baby's movements, so I don't feel it moving as much as I would if the placenta were in a different spot. But this is a good thing, because if there's any future problems with the placenta they will be very easily spotted by ultrasound).
The placenta is growing fine - It's bigger and softer-looking and more pillowy-like than I expected.
Baby's heart IS beating, at 144bpm
Baby doesn't exactly breath yet, but he or she IS swallowing/hiccuping as it should be.
The ultrasound machine worked just fine.
The ultrasound tech HAD the swine flu two weeks ago. My appointment was right on time.
Until my doctor gets the detailed report from the radiologist, I won't know about other rare and not-so-rare things that may be wrong. I've got 3 more days to wait, but I'm feeling pretty good.
So THAT part of being a mom is a little easier now. The worry-about-Baby part.
The worry-about-paying-for-Baby is a whole different story.
I mean, how do people DO it? I'm fortunate in that I will be able to collect maternity benefits at 55 per cent of my salary, plus an additional $100 (approximately) per month as the child tax benefit. All of that will add up to about half of what I make now when you take away taxes. I barely scrape by as it is. Some bills will be less costly, like gas and entertainment, but the essential ones - mortgage, telephone, light, insurance - will all stay the same. In fact, insurance will go UP a little bit thanks to Baby. I must look into this.
Man is around in body and spirit, but he has precious little money of his own to help out with Baby. On top of that, there is the small matter of my fierce independence, especially when it comes to moolah. I bought my own house at 24, didn't I? My older sister still gets an allowance of sorts from my parents, but I haven't asked for a dime in more than two years. This is a matter of pride, and a matter of my own peace-of-mind. I can look after myself, thank you very much. I understand that if ever there was a time to ask for help, this would be it, but I'm trying to do everything I can to get my finances in line before I put a hand out.
For example, I applied for interest-relief on my student loan. Three and a half months ago. By phone, they told I was approved and would have to make no payments for the next six months. Awesome. Last week, I get a "You are $600 past due" notice from the collections agency! So I got on the phone and I got frustrated, and the best answer I got was to pay the outstanding interest and suck it up. This month I've already bought a new water pump and paid for routine car maintenance - I just don't HAVE $150 in un-earmarked cash to pay to the government that already told me I wouldn't have to pay! I could take it out of Baby's account, but I'm very reluctant to do that.
I've also set up Baby's account to put aside money ever paycheck, so I can have SOME kind of cushion when Baby is born. In fact, the bank was the second person I told the News to, when I went to set up that account.
Problem is, while I'm busy worrying about ectopic pregnancies and ohmygodwhatwasthatshootingpaininmyabdomen?, I'm ALSO worrying about money. And the books say that's the dad's job. Actually, the books say it's an equal worry, but that men tend to do more thinking than women in this department because women are too preoccupied with having a baby in their tummy. So not only do I have all the typical worries of health and stretch marks, I'm purely panicking over the money tree that hasn't flowered in my backyard yet, despite all my watering and prayers. I know Man shares many of these worries. I just wish he could do something about them. Basically, anything we do when it comes to Baby, we have to do on my budget.
In the grocery store line up, I picked up one of the colourful celebrity magazines to pass the time. Apparently, Katie Holmes got $3 million for giving birth to their first child. She's asking for $10 million to get pregnant a second time. My womb is worth at least that, being young and healthy and cared for with so much fresh air and home-grown produce:
Now all I need is the cash. I'm auctioning off these strawberries, starting bid $100,000. Anyone? Anyone?