I like to know things.
I’m not sure if it’s because I value knowledge over ignorance in general, or if it’s because I’m a type A personality and I want to be able to plan and control things, but I want to know all the things. When we were faced with the option to do early genetic screening even though we had no risk factors for any genetic abnormalities, I was unsure at first because of the anxiety it created, but eventually ended up deciding to do it because I like to know things. (I’m so glad we did, by the way. Our risk factors ended up being super low and the piece of mind was well worth a few weeks of anxiety.)
So when people asked us if we were going to find out the sex of the baby, the answer was a resounding YES. Knowing you could know, how could you go a whole nine months without knowing?! And I’m not even talking about planning for nursery colors here, I’m talking about just the sheer curiosity.
In fact, when I found out that there were 3D ultrasound places that could tell you the sex of your baby for $60 at 15 weeks – a full 5 weeks before the 20-week diagnostic ultrasound, I plunked down my credit card and all but put the goo on my belly myself. (Well, I asked my doctor if those places were safe first, and then I scheduled the appointment. Whatever.)
People don’t like to admit they have a preference when it comes to the sex of their baby, but I think almost everyone does. Of course, having a healthy baby of any sex is top priority, and we would have been happy with either outcome. But we really wanted a girl.
No one has a hard time believing that I wanted a girl. Feminist,women’s rights activist, girly-girl; of course I wanted a little fearless female to wear those darling hair bows and crush gender norms. But some people have a hard time believing that Tim wanted a girl. All men want sons, right? Something about patriarchal lineage and carrying on the family name and tossing a ball around the back yard. I don’t really understand it, not being a man and all, but apparently it’s a thing. Tim, though, was excited about the possibility of women’s sports, daddy-daughter dances, and fighting the good feminist fight. And lineage? Not an issue and never was. It was Tim who insisted on our child – girl or boy – having a hyphenated name. I suggested it, but quickly decided I really didn’t care; Tim was the one who argued for Baby Samberts to officially be Baby Samsa-Roberts.
So, we found out a week ago the sex of the baby, and we wanted it to be a girl. I honestly expected it to be a boy, but I wanted a girl. When the ultrasound tech finally got a good picture and told us, I cried. I was so incredibly happy and excited and relieved that I cried. And then I felt this immense pressure to be a good mother, to raise this kid right, because life is hard enough, but when you’re born as a member of this gender, you’re at a disadvantage from day one (arguably from the womb based on some of the things I’ve been told lately, but that’s another post for another time). Because….
IT’S A GIRL! Future fearless female comin’ atcha, November 2014.
The very first decision I made as the parent of a girl was to show all of our friends and family exactly how excited we are with a gender reveal party. I always thought these things were stupid, but now I see how fun they can be. We had pink and blue utensils, plates, and punch. I made cupcakes with pink frosting concealed in the middle. I cut out a banner (from Pinterest, obviously). And we wrapped a box in pink and blue paper and stuffed pink balloons in the middle to release as the “reveal.” It was so much fun having everyone together and having them share in our joy. It felt like our personal joy was also political, too, as we talked about all of our hopes and dreams and ideas for raising this little girl into a wonderful woman.
More later on how weird some people are when we tell them we’re having a girl. For now, happiness.