Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Find out or wait? The Boy/Girl Surprise

Pregnancy Myths - Brought To You By California Cryobank

I knew as much about raising boys as I did about raising Shetland ponies or first-class marijuana. I grew up with a single mom. I didn't see my boy cousins much. And all I knew about men was from romantic involvement and marriage.  

And frankly, the thought of unleashing a son on any woman, or on the earth for that matter, terrified me.

We struggled with infertility, and I prayed for a healthy child.  But then, with my uneventful pregnancy, I got picky.  OF COURSE I would love my child no matter what.  He or she would be the fruit of my loins -- the result of thousands (millions if you count all the prior research) dollars worth of science, painful shots in the ass and enough tears to fill a Hummer's gas tank. But screw the health crap. 

I wanted a girl.  And I wanted to know ASAP. 

When shopping for cribs at a kids' furniture store, someone did the ring on a string test.

A boy.

Whatever. What year was this? 1570?  Gimme a break.

A friend of mine who claimed she had never been wrong in determining a baby's sex from the shape of the belly and a "feeling," also said she thought it was a boy.  

I shrugged my shoulders, although I gave her a bit more credence.  I was beginning to worry. "We'll see," I said.

I went to New York for my first baby shower, as well as to take some dance classes and to see some old chums.  Again, a former teacher of mine said she thought boy.  Why could no one say girl? Could I pay someone to give me a little bit of hope?  I told a friend of mine who had a year old son that everyone thought I was having a boy.  "I am a dance teacher -- little girls in pink is what I know," I lamented. "What am I going to do with a boy?"

"When I found out I was having a boy," she confided in me, "I was devastated.  But I adore him.  Couldn't imagine anything else.  And boys love their mamas."

Our 20 week visit was in a little more than a week from my NYC trip. I couldn't wait.  I kind of understood people waiting to be surprised by the gender, but that was not a surprise I wanted.  I was DYING to know!

Our 20 week scan came.  Boy.  Unmistakably.  Not a maybe, not tucked between the legs. All boy.

Slowly I got used to the idea. And at least I didn't have to have anymore showers where people gave mystery-gender-neutral gifts.  And when my son arrived I was instantly head-over-heels in love.  All that I-don't-want-a-boy jazz was gone.  

The second time around, I didn't care as much.  Neither did Hubby. Naturally, I was hoping for a girl, not to be the only woman in the house, for some symmetry and hopefully (perhaps) to have someone to do girly stuff with. But if I had a boy, I already knew what to do.  And I had the clothes and the stuff.  If I had a girl, bonus.  

I was nauseated all the time. People who had not been paid to do so said they thought I was having a girl.

I thought I was having a girl too.

And the 20-week visit confirmed that I was.

It is amazing how we get pregnancy gender myths on the brain, how crazy we get over "what it's going to be," even though we love whatever we get more than we'd ever thought possible.  In our case at least, most of what they say has proved true.  Boys really do love their mamas.  And man, are girls sassy.  I have about three weeks before my almost three year old daughter begins rolling her eyes at me.  But in other ways they are just kids, who do the things they do because of their spunky, curious natures, not because of their gender.

But would I go crazy wondering what we were having if for some way-out-there reason, one which I cannot for the life think of now, we were preggers again?  

Hell yeah.  And I would find out again.  Because the boy or a girl thing, that's not a surprise.

The baby coming out looking like Tony Soprano and dropping f-bombs by the dozen?  Now, that would be a surprise!


  1. I did not find out for either of mine. Number 1 was a boy as I expected and hoped. For number 2, I was determined to have a girl. Number 2 was a boy as well. I've always regretted not finding out the sex beforehand.

    1. How interesting that you regret not finding out, Vanessa! A part of me wishes I had had the ability to wait, but there was no way in hell I could have. I didn't want to have an expectation/hope and then have that moment of slight shock or disappointment at the birth. That must happen right?

  2. With my son, we found out at 12 weeks during a routine ultrasound. We were about to move cross-country, I was leaving my career behind, and the thought of having something concrete to hold on to was too powerful when faced with the question "do you want to know the gender?" I'm not a "we'll see" kind of gal. I'm a planner. And I'm with you. It's a surprise either way, but I'd rather be surprised earlier than later.

    1. I like that, Gina... The idea of something to hold onto about your baby. Very well said.

  3. I just have to tell you how much I loved your chapter in the book - one of my absolute favorite essays. The line about the pig nails had me in stitches. So funny. So true. Great job!

    1. Thank you so much for such a sweet comment. Definitely made my day! And night too!


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