Decades ago families had to wait 40 long weeks to hear the news — boy or girl.
But today, that answer for some families comes almost as soon as they discover they are pregnant. There are blood tests that can tell the baby’s (or babies’) gender, well before the standard 20-week mark.
And then there are all the old wives’ tales. Girls steal their mom’s beauty, boys do not. More morning sickness means girl, less means boy. If the baby’s heartbeat is fast it is a girl, slower it is a boy. Does the ring swing back and forth (boy) or in a circle? (girl) I’ve even had friends who peed on baking soda to try to figure out the gender; no idea what the science behind that is!
I’m not really into old wives’ tales and didn’t do anything out of the ordinary.
Don’t get me wrong, I was super-anxious to find out. But I didn’t want to spend the extra money on a test that would just tell me the baby’s sex or get my mind set on what the baby was based on some unscientific silly guess. I’m all for other people doing whatever makes them happy; it’s just not me.
And before we knew what Baby Doyle #2 was, everyone asked, “Do you want a boy or do you want a girl?” The answer I always gave, and really truly feel/believe/know is, “We want a healthy baby! It doesn’t matter if it is a boy or a girl.”
But, you know what? Deep down I always was kind of holding out hope for a girl. We will be a two-kid family; that is what works for us. So I knew that after this baby — boy or girl — our family would be complete. It won’t take a girl for our family to be complete, just two wonderful little kiddos, boys or girls. But I see the bond and relationship I have with my mom, even to this day.
I know mothers and sons can have that too and so much more. And it isn’t like I couldn’t teach little boys how to sew or make crafts and bake cupcakes together. Boys can totally rock those activities.
Secretly, I was certain this little active, flipping creature in my belly was a girl.
The biggest reason I was convinced was because Miles was calling the baby in my belly his sister. Kids are intuitive, right? They sense these things on another level. So, secretly, I was already convinced it was a girl. And Michael and I had some pretty amazing girl names picked out.
So the big day comes. In my head, we would as a family sit in the ultrasound room all looking at the television screen with quiet anticipation, waiting for the technician to type out “It’s a Girl!!” on the screen.
I need to learn not to envision things. We had to wait for about 30 minutes in the waiting room to even go back so my nearly 3-year-old son’s patience was gone. And then we go in this dimly-lit room and his mom is laying out on a table, and he’s not allowed to touch her as some stranger is jabbing her with a giant wand.
He kind of lost it. Poor Michael kept taking him in and out of the room trying to calm him down. But all the kid wanted to do was climb up on the table and sit with his momma. And the ultrasound tech was trying so hard to find out the gender (not the purpose of the 20-week anatomy scan at all by the way) so Michael and Miles could see it. But the situation was deteriorating fast. I knew it was time for them to go.
And just as Michael was packing up our failed attempts at distraction and calming my son she said, “Wait, wait, I think I have it.”
Clicketyclack, clicketyclack, she typed.
“It’s a …”
I was ready to see a big fat “G” come up next on the screen. I was certain.
Of course I was happy; of course I was overjoyed. But you know what, deep down I was a little sad too. Disappointed isn’t a word or a feeling that was ever there, but sad was. As I laid there (Michael had taken our son home to continue his lunchtime meltdown) on the table for the rest of the scan, I was elated when each and every one of my son’s organs and appendages were checked to be sure they were OK. And thankfully they were. But there was still a little tinge of sad.
My wonderful momma, who, like me was kind of secretly hoping for a little girl, had given me two gifts for Baby Doyle — one for a girl and one for a boy. I had them in my car and opened up the little boy one. It was an adorable little sock monkey romper. Next to it on the seat sat the little pink bag, unopened. I kind of rustled the tissue paper and then cried.
It was like I was grieving something I never had, something I never would have.
But I got it out. And you know what, that sad is gone. I’m not going to say that I won’t still go through the baby clothes section and not eye an adorable chevron printed jumper, because trust me, I will. I will also still eye the little hippie girl sandals or sparkly pink headbands too. I won’t be sad when I do it though!
Did you have any gender expectations with any of your pregnancies? If so, were you at all disappointed or sad with the outcomes? How did you make it through that?