In previous fantasies about having my own child, I had always said “I want a girl”. What young girl wouldn’t want a little mini me to dress up? As I got older, I deduced that if I did take that path in life, I’d want multiple children. Still, I would want my first child to be a girl. Why? Having seen mothers with young boys and the terrors they could be, I had convinced myself that if I had a boy first it would literally discourage me from having anymore children.
That was until I took care of Aava and realised they were pretty much one and the same by a certain age.
When I learnt I was expecting my first child, immediately I knew I wanted a boy. Having been there with Jade with Aava and then taking care of Aava for the past eight months, I felt like I had already raised a girl and I wanted to experience something different.
But there was more to it.
I never knew my father. Don’t worry. I’m not sentimental about it. However, apart from my grandfather, who was the best father figure I could ever have asked for, my immediate family was predominantly female. Let me rephrase that. Growing up, I felt like there was a lot of female influence in my life, more so than male. As one could expect, this was cause for a lot of butting of heads once I became more mature and independent. I lived with my grandmother majority of my young to adolescent life and it was difficult for her to understand or accept that as Jade and I got older, we’d want to hang out with our friends, begin partying and just be teenagers. As for our mother, her presence was more prevalent in our post adolescent years when our grandmother had become more lenient. Needless to say, the relationship was far from a close one. The relationship between my mother and grandmother hadn’t exactly been smooth sailing either and remnants of this were witnessed as I grew up. I came to the conclusion that there was a curse of the females in my direct family. From my grandmother to my mother to Jade and I, the mother-daughter relationships appeared to be melancholy. When Jade became pregnant and announced she was having a girl, my mother actually cried. And they weren’t happy tears either. That simply solidified my belief. Whenever I voice my fears to people around me, they always retort with “You can be the change, or you can create the change.” True. But do I want to gamble with those odds right now? No, not really.
Ok, enough of the Series of Unfortunate Events.
I had plenty of ultrasounds in my first few weeks of pregnancy because my doctor suspected the pregnancy might be ectopic. Luckily, this was not the case and my pregnancy continued as normal. Or normal enough. When I had my sex determining ultrasound, bumpkin refused to keep still. It had already been figured out that the baby hated when I was lying down. If I was too flat on my back, the baby’s movements would become more vigorous; aggressive almost. I could concur because lying down had to be the most uncomfortable position EVER to lie in. Imagine my despair, when I realised that once I start to get bigger I will no longer be able to lie on my stomach, which happened to be my sleeping position. Bring on the insomnia. Needless to say, when I left the diagnostic center that day, I was no closer to knowing the sex of my baby.
Around a certain time, people around me began to question what the sex of the baby was. Once I disclosed that I did not yet know, many of them tried to dissuade me from finding out. One mother explained to me that leaving it until the birth actually increased the excitement of the experience. She said she didn’t find out until the end and as her baby continued to grow and develop, she chose a name and it was just more of a delight to see her baby’s nuances and behaviours having not known beforehand what she was having. Personally, I wasn’t that sentimental about it. I knew I would never want the sex of my baby to be surprise.
I have absolutely no patience.
Or very little, rather. I had already compromised enough in agreeing to a huge change in my life that took nine to ten entire months before it came into fruition. There was no way I was waiting that long to find out the sex as well. Maybe a part of it was the control freak in me. Not knowing what I was having didn’t give me any time to prepare myself for it. Not physically or materialistically, but mentally. My conclusion of the family curse kind of contributed to this too. If I was carrying a girl, I wanted the thought to marinate with me, so to speak, and I felt like I would need the time to let the reality settle with me. As I mentioned in my previous post, I had already set it up in my mind I was having a boy simply because I felt like my experience was just too easy for me to be carrying a girl. Although I really wanted to know, I actually considered not scheduling another ultrasound as I wasn’t due for anymore after my final one.
John wasn’t having it.
John is also a bit of a control freak. “A bit” is putting it lightly. At first, he was leaning towards leaving it until closer to the end of the pregnancy to have it done, but he never considered NOT having it done. Eventually, he became adamant that it be done around mid- or end of June. Although we had begun our shopping and had picked some neutral items, John, believe it or not, really wanted to shop for the cute little themed onesies with the footballs and the animals in the blues and the greens and the stripes. Eventually, I agreed. As soon as I lay on the examination bed, the technician placed the transducer on my stomach and then she quickly removed it.
“What are you hoping for?”
The transducer hadn’t been on my stomach for more than two seconds before she replied, “Well, that’s what you’re having.”
Oh, hallelujah! She showed me the testes and penis to prove her diagnosis and I couldn’t help but smile. It was a “he”. I couldn’t have been happier. The rest of the ultrasound was pretty incredible, too, as by this time, my baby would’ve developed quite a lot. Not to mention, he was also moving a lot less. Then she showed me his face. It was surreal. He was gorgeous; he looked so peaceful and innocent. He appeared to be “drinking water”, as suggested by the technician, so his little mouth was opening and closing. I kept saying “Aww, so cute”, “Aww, what’s he doing now?”. At this point, I felt like my connection to the baby strengthened. I felt closer to my baby than ever before and was even more anxious to have him out and in my arms.
When I told John, he didn’t exactly give the reaction I had hoped for.
I mean, talk about lack of emotion.
His response was “Really?” As I’m gushing over everything I saw and how the sex was revealed, I’m slowly beginning to feel like the giddy school girl proclaiming my crush on the unimpressed college jock. Then I came to accept that I had ingrained it so much in his head that it was definitely a boy, that this news wasn’t exactly of any surprise to him. Although John wanted a boy as well, I know he would’ve been just as perfect with a girl as well, as he was with Aava who adored him. His main concern about the sex was that we had already cemented a name for a boy, but struggled to agree on a name for a girl. Go figure. However, I too, couldn’t be bothered to decide on a girls name because I, too, loved the name we had chosen for a boy.
Once I began telling everyone the news, it really became more real for me, as it also did for John. It really hit home with me that I was giving John a son. But it was more than that. I often spoke about my decision not to have children in the past. However, once John and I became more serious, I began to say “If I could have a child with even half of Johns character, I would be lucky.” As I gazed at the ultrasound image of the babys face and made jokes with John about the likeliness of the babys head to his, I had hope that my desire would be fulfilled.
What’s more, this baby boy would be the end of the family curse.