Last weekend, I was introduced as my husband’s “very pregnant wife” (lots of emphasis on “very”). That was a new one. The next comment directed my way, however, was far from unusual: “Are you having a boy or a girl?”
This is, by far, the most common question I’m asked. I couldn’t begin to guess how many times I’ve said, “I don’t know. We’re trying to wait.” I say, “trying” because, for me, waiting is not easy. I feel like I could crack at any moment and call my doctor on the sly to beg for some information.
My husband has no such temptation. While I’m consulting ancient Chinese gender predictors (girl) and trying to figure out if my belly looks like a basketball or a watermelon (boy, maybe?), he seems perfectly content to wait for the big day (but does refer to the baby constantly as, “he”).
I’ve had so many people say to me that they couldn’t possibly wait to find out their baby’s gender. “I could never do that,” these people say to me, “I’m way too much of a planner.” In a way I understand this, but I’m also a little baffled by it. Is there some special equipment I need to have on hand for a boy? Will I be deemed a bad parent if I don’t have a pink onesie ready to slap onto a baby girl?
Naturally, there’s a part of me that’s dying to deck the nursery in bright pink and orange, and hang little white butterflies from every inch of ceiling space. Instead, I’ve had to stretch my creative muscles and force myself to go beyond my initial instincts. Decorating a nursery to suit a boy or a girl is definitely a challenge, but it’s been interesting and fun too.
One frustration I’ve come up against several times is how limited the options are when shopping for gender-neutral items. Apparently, so few people wait for the news anymore that companies don’t bother offering options that aren’t tailored specifically to a boy or a girl. But this too has encouraged me to take the road less traveled, resulting in an eclectic blend of apple green, ocean blue, orange and fuchsia. (If this baby is a boy, I hope the fuchsia is his favorite part.)
Saving the big gender reveal for the delivery room just feels right to me. I find it strangely comforting to relinquish control over an issue I have no control over anyway. There are so many things to do during a pregnancy, and so many things I should be doing better. I should be exercising more; I should be eating less sugar. I should have made more progress on the nursery by now and done some research on how I’m supposed to get this baby out. I should have skipped that milkshake I had at lunchtime. I should know more about how to be a mom.
To have one thing I can just throw my hands in the air over is oddly freeing.
When you’re pregnant, there’s no shortage of things to worry about. I may not have a perfect stockpile of baby gear. I may not have all the answers I need. I may not be able to plan for every little detail. But can anyone?
I’ll make sure I have a couple Pee-pee Teepees™ on hand, just in case.
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One final note: you’ve been wonderful company throughout my journey, but there’s one person who has had to listen to all my complaining, worrying and angst over developing cankles. Happy Father’s Day to my husband, scheduled to be the world’s newest dad in late September.