When a woman becomes pregnant she wonders who is coming into being inside of her. She talks and sings to her belly. She tracks the movements. She wonders if the baby will have her eyes or the father’s.
My husband and I would ruminate on our growing fetus. Our Saturday nights in used to be social nights with friends talking, listening to good music, and sharing food. Now I was napping on the couch completely preoccupied with what our baby would look like.
I opted to find out the sex of our daughter. It seemed valuable knowledge – a commodity to share with interested relatives and complete strangers making small talk in supermarket line-ups.
The second time around I wanted the experience of not knowing. It was agonizing. I counted the keystrokes of the ultrasound technician typing “G-E-N-D-E-R” (she let me know this so I wouldn’t suspect she had typed “F-E-M-A-L-E”). I looked at Chinese birth charts. I assessed the heart rate at check ups. Why do we feel like we know our child that much more if we know its sex?
When I delivered our second child, my husband held our child in his hands with complete awe. The child was born sooner than we expected. We were both so over the moon seeing this child that it didn’t even occur to us that this child was a boy or a girl. It was a beautiful couple of minutes.
Everything is a surprise with a new child. The unique smell. The coo, the growl, or the mousey wheeze. And so it will be all through this child’s life, right? I have never been able to sum up my children by describing a few of his or her traits. And when I try, my children will be on the cusp of some new change in personality or appearance.
Enjoy your pregnancy at this very moment. You are creating life – a beautiful new expression of universal individuality. And if you don’t want to answer the question, “Are you having a boy or a girl?” then just answer, “Yes.”