Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Blissful Baby-Gender Ignorance

Next week we have an ultrasound to verify that the baby is in the optimal head-down position for birth (to encourage the baby to assume "the position," I have recently taken to chanting "Dive, baby - DIVE!" at my uterus. I'm quite sure it's helping). The prospect of another ultrasound is both exciting and unexpected, as my midwives group practices a rather hands-off approach to prenatal care in which women generally only get the two big ultrasounds - at 12 and 20 weeks. However, at my last appointment (only one week ago - I go in every two weeks at this stage, and the reassuring thwack-thwack-thwack of our baby's heartbeat on the Doppler is music to my paranoid hypochondriac ears) it was determined that the baby is most likely head down, but in the interest of certainty another ultrasound would be done.

As excited as we are to see little LOOL's face again, this new development brings with it a significant quandary - do we find out the sex??

As you may recall, at our 20-week appointment, we thought we may have seen boy parts, but refused to allow the tech to divulge the sex. Instead, she wrote it on a little green slip of paper, which was then folded up and thrust deep into no-man's-land, AKA my husband's pocket. You see, my husband insists on using one pants pocket as a wallet in which he shoves wads of bills and loose change, and the other as a pseudo recycling center/scrap paper receptacle, complete with business cards, receipts, handwritten notes, and apparently, the sex of his future offspring. When I first became aware of his method, I immediately became a nagging harpy (surprisingly, this is rare for me): Why don't you use a wallet like a normal person? How can you carry loose bills around like that? You could be pickpocketed! Money could fall out of your pants at any moment! However, he repeatedly assured me that he had NEVER lost a thing from his pockets, so I shut up.

My friends, in possibly the biggest "I told you so" of the century (we're only nine years into it, after all) the man lost our baby's sex. The little green slip of paper was wedged in the paper-pocket, hanging out with Trader Joe's receipts and various lawyer-y business cards, and - poof! - the damn thing vanished like a thief in the night. We realized this about two weeks after our 20-week ultrasound on a particularly celebratory night when we briefly considered opening the paper to reveal LOOL's gender. My husband reached into his pocket to pull it out so that we could masochistically do what we normally did during that two week period - place the paper in the middle of the table and stare at it as it silently taunted us. Yet suddenly it was nowhere to be found.

He swears that he really did lose it and that it was not deviously hidden in order to force us into patient gender-ignorance until the birth, as some friends have suggested. I believe him (I may have gone through all his pockets to be sure), and not knowing has ultimately proved not nearly as torturous as one might think. However, this could be due to the fact that we've managed to essentially convince ourselves that LOOL is male. After the great possible-boy-part-spotting on the fuzzy ultrasound at 20 weeks, we told ourselves that we were 75% sure it was a boy, yet in subsequent weeks that number has somehow shifted to near-100% certainty. While the fact remains that we still do not know the sex, it would now be the biggest shock of my life if LOOL were female.

Given our predicament, the impending advent of another ultrasound is particularly intriguing. Will we find out? Or will we close our eyes and relish our ignorance until D-day? After all, we've come this far, and at this point the prospect of finding out in the delivery room is much more romantic than flat on my back in the doctor's office. Still, part of me wants to keep my eyes open and see what there is to see. If LOOL is female, at least it would end the Great Name Debate (we have a girl's name, and the boy's list is narrowed down to four or five, but little progress has been made).

Stay tuned.

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