“Look, the penis is here”
On Monday I had the prenatal check-up for the 24th week and one of the tests was a fancy 3D ultrasound in which the doctor checks that the baby has all the expected body parts. Normally, husbands are not allowed to be present during any test, ultrasounds included, in Chinese public hospitals, but we got lucky and as C. knows the head nurse in the VIP section of the hospital we are going to, she offered him the chance to book a VIP ultrasound which he would be able to attend.
I wasn’t sure if they would tell us the sex because in China it is illegal for doctors to reveal it, as some people have abortions when the baby is not of the gender they want it to be. However, the doctor said that this law only applies to mainland Chinese and that he is allowed to tell Hong Kongese, Taiwanese and foreign people. So he obviated the fact that C. is Chinese and bluntly told us that… it is a boy! Even thought we had not even asked yet.
For some mysterious reason (maternal intuition, maybe, if such a thing exists), I had suspected from the beginning that it was a boy and the doctor just confirmed it. To prove that he was right, he zoomed at the baby’s penis in the screen and happily said: “Look! The penis is here! This will be very important when he grows up, if he didn’t have one he would have problems!”. Such a cheerful doctor, hahaha. He also said some things in English and showed me the translation app he uses with foreigners that don’t understand Chinese: he says something in Chinese and the app says it back in English.
This doctor was talking during the whole ultrasound and listing the things he was seeing: two eyes, lips without any visible gap, heart movement ok, etc. It’s not always like this. The hospital we are going to is the best maternity hospital in Suzhou, the one all the locals want to give birth in, and even in the VIP section there is always quite a lot of people. Every time I go for a test I get the feeling that I am in an assembly line! No one tells me anything when they check my weight, blood pressure, fundal height, etc. Is everything ok or not? You have to assume that it is, and if there was any problem then they would tell you. All the pregnancy and childbirth books I’m reading are American, and every time I read things like “Call your obstetrician if you have any doubts” I can’t help but laugh! That’s not how things are done in China. But I feel quite safe in this hospital as they have a lot of experience. They see more births in a month than my hometown’s hospital in a year!