I think the top two questions that people ask a newly pregnant mom are “What names do you like?” and “Do you want a boy or a girl?” I decided to address these in a new blog post.
As I sit here writing, I can hear my daughter in her room, jabbering to my husband, as he rocks her to sleep. Her voice is tinkling and squeaky, musical, and slightly husky, in that sweet sleepy-toddler way. She says “hiee…hiee” to him, and I can imagine that she is reaching up and touching him tenderly on the cheek as she says “hi” to him, as she does with me on the nights that I put her down. I think to myself; is there really anything sweeter in this world than little girls?
Of course not.
Just like there is nothing sweeter in this world than little boys.
These little human beings that we create through love, biology, and pure chance are special beyond definition. Some pretty impressive genetic switcheroos happen when sperm and eggs are created. No two are exactly alike. Combine that crazy uniqueness with the randomness of fertilization (which of the 200 millionish sperm will get to the egg first, and which egg was released that month?), the embryo that results is an estimated one in seventy trillion possible combinations of genes. You’re not really “one in a million”…you’re actually “one in seventy trillion”. Wow.
I’d say that makes for a pretty special person, regardless of the equipment that is featured between their legs.
So why is there such a focus on the gender of the child? I’m guilty of this myself, and I have a tremendous admiration for the folks that are able to dampen their curiosity and wait until the epic moment of delivery to find out if they have a son or a daughter. Can you imagine a more thrilling moment? I should also take the time to note that I’m not judging parents for having a gender preference. Everyone has a preference or at least thinks they have one at some point in their pregnancy, even if it is only fleeting. Everyone fantasizes about what they will do with their son or their daughter, for a myriad of reasons that are personal to them as individuals and as implications for how it will affect the family dynamic. For most people, this preference evaporates either before or after the gender of the child is known. What makes me genuinely sad is when parents deal with gender disappointment, which is, unfortunately, a real thing and largely an emotional and psychological thing beyond their control; but a subject of another blog post entirely, if I ever even write about it at all.
Anyway. Ultrasounds have really only been on the scene for the last thirty years or so. Before my generation, every mama and papa was surprised in the delivery room. Even today, millions of moms in the world give birth in countries that don’t utilize ultrasounds (or epidurals, or birthing balls, or even sanitary conditions…) In just a very short time they have become the norm during pregnancy, and it is expected in the United States that most pregnant women will have the gender of their baby revealed during the standard second trimester “anatomy” ultrasound. I’ve been counting the days until ours, which will be in three days. Thursday of this week. Saint Patrick’s day. 11:00 am.
At first when people asked the old “What gender do you want?” question, I answered mostly truthfully, “I really don’t have a preference”, but a small part of my heart and mind hoped for another little girl. I thought it would be really neato for Pumpkin to have a sister. We know girls. The Captain and I do girl-babies really well; the Pumpkin is terrifyingly smart, brave, sweet, and so darn lovely. Our dogs are even girls. What in the world would we do with a little boy?
Well, duh. We would simply love him, just as we do Pumpkin.
I’ve been convinced that this baby is a little boy, simply because of how different this pregnancy has been than my pregnancy with Pumpkin. As I have started to feel the thrilling thumps and bumps of movement over the last few weeks, I’ve been identifying with this baby as an individual. As a person. I am crazy-in-love with him. I am crazy-in-love with her. Our baby, our person, I want you for who you already are, and what you will become. For being the newest member of our innermost circle. For who you and your sister will be to each other, and for the way you shape the world, and how it shapes you.
As for what names we are thinking of…I’m not going to spill those beans yet. I need to keep some secrets!