17 Weeks: Surprise Unveiled

If you didn’t figure it out, our secret mission to Richmond this week was for a special ultrasound!

It's A Boy!

When I first heard about 3D ultrasounds, I researched them in my area, hoping to do one in the third trimester for those cool 3D photos. I was surprised to find that they’re not nearly as expensive as I imagined they would be, and also – that they do sex determination for a very reasonable price. That got my mind cranking, and when I realized the “20 week find-out-what-it is” ultrasound at my doctor’s office wouldn’t be until I was nearly 23 weeks, going down just shy of 17 weeks sounded like lots of fun. And we’d find out our surprise a month and a half earlier!

We scheduled an appointment at Inner Child Imaging for their gender determination package of $99. Upon arrival, the owner Dave was there to greet us. He was super nice and escorted us into the imaging room where I sat in a recliner with a nice view of the plasma TV in front of us. You can actually bring a crowd if you’d like, and in the third tri they can make a DVD for you to share as well. I think it’s so cool to have a video you can show your child one day of when he/she was inside of you. I know I’d love to see that of myself – my mom barely even has any photos of her pregnant with me!

We opted for the 2D since it was less expensive and Dave said the baby would look kind of weird in 3D since it didn’t have the fat stores of the third trimester, but he was nice enough to switch to 3D a few times for us and we got several pretty cool photos! They are a bit hard to see because he’s so young, but still neat:

Sucking thumb

Sucking Thumb

His face! [Although kind of obscured by hands!]


Dave had told me to hydrate well and eat something sugary before I got there – to ensure the baby was active. If I hadn’t been so full from lunch, I might have used that as a good excuse for an ice cream (!), but I settled on a piece of hard candy instead. The baby was quite active inside! Matt and I are always most amazed just watching the baby move around in there. So much personality comes to life!


The baby was sitting on his legs the whole first half of the scan. He had them tucked beneath him. Dave thought he saw a glimpse of what he was looking for in the first few minutes, but said he didn’t want to declare until he was sure. Matt and I both knew then that it was probably a BOY!

A little while later, after I drank some sugary juice and Dave wiggled the baby around a bit until his legs finally stretched out, until he suddenly declared: “YUP! You’re havin’ a boy!” He was sure of what he saw: little boy parts. He has only called the sex wrong on a boy once, and he was very sure this time, so we’re counting on it to be right.

Little legs

From Below

I can’t say that we were shocked – because we obviously knew that there was a 50% chance of boy or girl! But it was so weird to know and imagine a HIM in my head. The baby I had been imagining up until now -was genderless. Flip-flopping between boy and girl constantly. But once we knew, it was almost like I had a new baby to get to know, and it felt a little funny at first. Like he [the baby] knew more than I did. But by the end of the day, after pretty much non-stop thinking about him, he was mine again : ) And cuter than ever!

View from right profile, sitting up, arms wrapped around head: “No more photos, I’m not ready to come out!”

No Photos Please!

After we left the studio, we went shopping! Although we weren’t really hunting for anything in particular. We went to Baby GAP and I decided we should buy him something to celebrate the day when we first “met” him. All the clothes in Baby GAP were adorable!!! Little polo shirts and tons with little bears on the pockets. We decided on this silly knit bear hat – hopefully he can wear it home from the hospital and join his bear brothers!


We had lots of fun telling our families that evening. Multiple Skype sessions were involved, and we handed Karen the stack of images and put the “It’s a boy!” on the bottom. Everyone was excited to know, but we’re keeping the name zipped tight until he’s born (although we still haven’t even decided).


Lillian even got to get in a few excited meows! She is very excited to be an Aunt Kitty.


Matt’s dad is a radiologist and his wife, Cheryl, is in the medical field too, so we sent them the ultrasound photos, unlabeled, and had them guess the sex! They did a great job using medical terminology while reading the ultrasound photos over Skype, but it was a little hard to read a still photo 🙂 They were excited to see boy parts!

I know there are strong schools of thought about finding out versus waiting until the baby is born, but I am SO glad we did this. I don’t think it will change much about how we’re proceeding – the nursery colors will stay the same, and I like green and yellow and orange way more than I like pink or blue. But a bond has been created that wasn’t there before, and this makes the name decision much easier!


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48 thoughts on “17 Weeks: Surprise Unveiled”

  1. Congrats on a boy! That’s so exciting! I didn’t know with my first, did know with my second. Both had their perks, but each to their own. It’s an exciting adventure either way!

  2. Congrats on a boy! I have a son and he is so much fun-sweet and cuddly! That hat is just too cute. It would be perfect for those squishy sleeping newborn pics! We didn’t do those and I regret it later. This time around (I am15 weeks) we will probably have some done. Such great news and thanks for the whole story too.

  3. Congratulations on your baby boy!

    We also found out the sex of our baby (a girl) by doing an elective u/s at 17 weeks. I felt so much more bonded with her after that, especially considering that we thought she was a boy and had been calling her him the whole time! We are now 35+ weeks and I can’t imagine not knowing that we’re having a daughter. You will love “getting to know” your baby boy over these next months before he’s here!

  4. Congratulations Kath!!!! How exciting and good idea to keep the name a surprise until the end! We did the same and were very glad! I love the berf website- such a clever idea!!!

  5. yay! so cute 🙂 I loved the 3D ultrasond even though baby was a little small yet. We might go back in the recommended time frame to see him with some fat on him too!
    Our tech told us within the first 10 seconds “you have a boy!” so it was like “wow!!” I’m pretty sure with the 3D ultrasounds they are rarely wrong. We were also told our baby had long legs which I thought was so cool to hear. I can’t quit imagining what he’ll look like, what kind of personality he’ll have. It’s amazing!
    We also have a name chosen (before we knew the sex!) but we’re also keeping it a secret. We figured since we’re sharing the gender early we’ll keep a little surprise 🙂

  6. YAY It’s a boy!!! Congrats Kath, that’s so exciting! We just found out we’re having a girl, I completely relate to your feelings through the ultrasound and now feeling like you’re getting to know the baby. So much fun! And the hat is perfect 🙂

  7. Congratulations! I have one of each and we found out with both during routine ultrasounds.
    It was fun knowing and I’m very glad we found out before the babies were born. *IF* we have a third (husband is pushing for a third but I’m not on board yet) I’m hoping to wait until the baby is born to find out the sex.

  8. I had a 3D ultrasound at 16 weeks and bought a 3 series package..it was so reasonable that the next two visits were practically free and got to see my little peanut at 16w, about 22w, and again about 30w. Just for like 10 minutes or so after the initial gender screen, but they were worth their weight in gold just to SEE what she looked like, what she was doing…it was one of technology’s best gifts!

    Congrats on your little man!

  9. I can’t find anywhere around here that does the gender prediction ultrasounds until 18 weeks, boo. And our anatomy scan is right at 19 weeks, so it would be kind of silly for us to pay that much to just know a week sooner. I can’t wait–29 days to go!

  10. Kath (and Matt, too!): I am so excited for you guys. I don’t have kids right now… still a kid myself at almost 23 years old, but it’s so much fun watching you two and others go through the journey of parenthood. I am enjoying this journey you’ve shared with all of us on here so far and was actually dumbfounded when you first announced you were expecting! I just didn’t really think of you expecting before you announced unlike others on here, so oh boy was I surprised! Took some time to sink in, but now that it’s the norm, I make time to stop by every day like I did before the baby boy was even thought of just to see what you guys are up to. [: I have one thing you should go check out for diaper bags and what-not… http://www.kalencom.com/index.php?route=product/category&path=35_41&page=1 I worked for a family friend that had a moms-to-be and babies gift shop that had Kalencom diaper bags. I was 18 at the time and bought one because they’re HARD to come by where I’m from. I keep in in my closet in the mean time- it’s high quality and promising. [: If you have questions about it and want to know more about the quality, just let me know.

  11. So exciting and yes it does make it more real to see the ultrasound doesn’t it! I prefer to wait until birth to find out but I totally understand wanting to know ahead too. Little boys are amazing!!

  12. Hi Kath!

    I have loved reading your KERF site as it has given me so much inspiration in my meal preparations. Now that you are pregnant, I am even happier to have found BERF since I am also pregnant!! I’m 25 weeks now and also having a boy. Even though I’m not always the healthiest, it is nice being able to see someone who has been able to be pretty consistent and use that to get myself back on track!

    Congrats on your 2D/3D ultrasound show! I especially liked the ultrasound since it helped me pinpoint his movement vs. my stomach growling! lol Have you felt any movement yet?

    I agree about bonding – it has been so much easier to bond now that we know the gender, but names…. at least hubby and I are arguing about only one gender of names now! ha 🙂

    Look forward to hearing more!

  13. I saw a blog header yesterday and thought of you (which I thought was kind of weird since I have never met you)! It was grey and yellow with accents of a super light baby blue. The colors were beautiful together.

  14. Congratulations!!!! Boys are awesome!!! I have two, and it is wicked! I did not find out what I was having with either, but it was because that is what we wanted to do…I love when my friends and family find out…it makes it so much easier to buy gifts for!!! :~) Love those sonogram pictures….(I did not have a sonogram with either of my boys…sometimes, when I see these, i wish I had!) You look amazing by the way too….absolutely adorable and glowing!!! enjoy!enjoy! these are the BEST times! aww heck it just gets better!!!! :~)

  15. I have a few more weeks to wait to find out if it is a boy or girl but I think it will be such a bonding experience to envision a future for him/her in our family! I just don’t think I could wait the whole term to find out! What a fun it must have been to share the news!

  16. Aww how special. We had a 3D scan done with our first son around 28-30 weeks and it was amazing. Seeing your little one move and bounce around is so special almost indescribable. It made that bond so much stronger. We’re having it done again with this pregnancy I can’t wait. I love reading about your experiences thanks for sharing!

  17. Congrats! But FYI, ultrasounds aren’t used exclusively to find out the gender. Your “20 week find out what it is u/s” is meant to confirm the HEALTH of the baby, not the gender.

  18. Congrats!! Now you can start shopping for clothes! 😉 I remember when we found out we thought “it” was an arm!!! Needless to say my husband was very proud!!!!! Lol!

  19. I’m sure you *know*, it just seemed like the health part was taken for granted. I know I was a nervous wreck before my ultrasounds, hoping everything would be ok…finding out the sex was a bonus.

  20. Being male or female is your sex, not your gender. Gender is a social construct or rather how you choose (or don’t choose) to display what sex you are. Could you please use them correctly?

    1. I know this and used sex in the beginning. The package we chose was called “gender determination,” correct or not.

      1. Actually, you referred to your fetus as previously genderless. You now know the sex of your fetus. Gender identification is still a toss up!

        1. Well I was thinking more about gender than sex parts there…one being more feminine and one being more masculine.

          1. Right…but that’s the part you still don’t know yet! You just know the sex parts. 🙂 The rest will happen over time and be a surprise.

  21. Totally agree with you about the new bond! When we found out Lucy was a girl I really felt like we started to get to know her as a person and new family member, instead of just an “it.” If you ask me there are plenty of surprises on the day of labor and childbirth – I was happy to have one of these come a lot earlier!

  22. I have found out the sex of all of our babies. This is my 4th pregnancy and I love knowing that the baby is a girl. I figure the technology is there, so why not use it. It’s a huge surprise either way.
    Congrats to you and your little growing boy.

  23. Yay! Congratulations on your boy!!

    My husband and I disagreed about whether or not to find out, so we defaulted to the person who didn’t want to know. IT WAS THE LONGEST NINE MONTHS OF MY LIFE, oh my goodness, I just wanted to know! My husband came home with this study to make me feel better where it talked about how women who don’t know have shorter labors because they’re so desperate to find out, but I was like “that’s nice of you to find your bogus studies, are you ready to schedule an ultrasound now?” LOL. In retrospect, I don’t think it mattered one way or the other for bonding or anything else – but it would have certainly made the name pick easier! We had a bitch of a time picking a boy name and then, look, we had a girl. We could have avoided all that stress! =P

  24. Not to dispute you or anything but I had a friend who did the exact same thing you did by getting the 3d ultrasound before their 20 week and they were told a boy too and once their regular appointment rolled around it was actually a girl! Hope you don’t get that surprise! Congrats! 🙂

    1. I have that in the back of my mind! It will still be early enough that I think we’d adjust to a change OK.

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