I am the type of person who searches around the house in mid-December looking for my Christmas gifts. Once, when I was a teenager, I found some presents already wrapped and went so far as to peel a corner open to peek inside. When I suspected my husband was going to propose, I snooped around for a ring.
So it would make sense that when I got pregnant, I would find out the gender of the baby as soon as possible. I know a lot of people who are pregnant right now and every one of them found out if they are having a boy or girl. Everyone wants to know. They want to start picking names, buying clothes, painting the nursery.
But my late husband was old school. He loathed modern technology. And he loved surprises. He wanted this amazing moment in the delivering room when the doctor declared “It’s a boy!” or “It’s a girl!”
It was so important to him that I gave in. (I’m pretty sure I demanded something in return, like a foot massage once a week or something.) I went 10 whole months, (pregnancy being 9 months is such a lie!) TEN WHOLE MONTHS, 40 weeks, without knowing if the little being kicking the crap out of me was a he or a she.
I was at a loss for what to call the baby. The first ultrasound picture resembled a chickpea. So we went with that. Ultimately, it became Baby Cherry.
At first, I thought the suspense would kill me. But it actually became, well, kinda cool. People loved trying to guess. “You’re carrying high so it’s a boy” or “Your butt’s not that big, so it’s a girl.” Seriously, I heard that one.
People would ask “what are you having?” and I cracked myself up by saying “a baby.”
We painted Baby Cherry’s room yellow and went with sweet Pottery Barn Kids décor in moons, stars and sheep.
Everything in my being throughout most of my pregnancy told me I was having a boy. I just felt it. And then in the last couple weeks, I had an incredibly vivid dream that the baby was girl. And I knew. I just knew.
Problem was we were so convinced it was a boy, we hadn’t really nailed down a girl name. Would she be Lauren? Or Sophie? Or Caitlin? Or Madeline? Or Julia?
During an ultrasound when the tech knew the sex of the baby I thought I was going to burst. I thought about sneaking back in after my husband left to see if she would tell me. I remember inspecting the blob on sonogram picture with a magnifying glass searching for any clues.
But I only had a couple more months to go. I decided to suck it up.
And well, it was totally worth it. It was indeed an amazing moment when the doctor pronounced the baby a GIRL! A girl! Totally worth the hour or so of intense pushing and screaming and cursing. And so much fun calling all our friends and family to tell them the news. A few nurses even stayed past their shift to find out, because, well, apparently it’s rare for a new mom not to know what she’s having. In fact, I have only two other friends who didn’t find out the baby’s gender.
In this day and age, is it that odd? Does anyone wait anymore?