CONT from Part one which you can read here: http://wp.me/p22U3W-1P
But, I have several reasons for not finding out the gender of our next baby.
Firstly, we have an amazing, healthy little boy. I am so, so grateful for that, my heart nearly jumps out when I see him, even now, nearly two and half years later. When he was born I didn’t know how I was going to handle ‘one of them’, and there are bits of him that even now I don’t quite get. But that’s why I have a big boy beside me to point out what I don’t know. In his case, we did find out what he was, for two reasons. One, I was so convinced he was a boy from the moment I found out, that the shock would just about have killed me. Two, we were told that he had a high risk for down’s syndrome, so we had an amnio test which looks at the chromosomes to determine what is happening down there. And, on the sonograph, he showed us very clearly that he was a boy (the sonographer drew an arrow for use on a 21st birthday). So, for us, if it is a boy, brilliant, I have the start of a pack. We will have a playmate for my boy. If it’s a girl, brilliant. We get to mix and match. I get to buy tutu’s and go to dance classes. But basically, I’m just grateful. The suffering of wanting and not having a child is so hard that nothing can convince me that just having one, let alone two, healthy little people by your side is one of the most amazing gifts we can receive.
Secondly, there are very few occasions as an adult, when you get to have a truly great surprise, that will be good, no matter what. The anticipation and expectation that I sometimes have, wondering what I will get, is quite thrilling, and I can’t think of many of my adult experiences that compare.
Thirdly, my husband is a little nervous of girls. Well, babies in general, but mainly girls. By not finding out, I’m saving him 9 months of stress of wondering how he would deal with a girl. If it is one, it’ll be too late now, he’ll just have to get on with it. If it’s a boy, well, we’ve done this before. Plus, he comes from a very boy-led family. A girl is much more anticipated. My family is very female. We could do with a few more stout men. Especially if they are of the 6’3 well-built-kind of my husband, to add to our great, but maybe a little short, gene pool.
Fourthly, and tongue in cheek, I kinda like going against the grain. People have called us old-fashioned for this and I’ve been told “it’s not done that way in America”. Well, I’m ok with that. In the same way as choosing a name that is not too common is fashionable now, I am doing the pregnancy equivalent of calling my baby ‘Apple’ or ‘Caribbean’ . And despite the naysayers and the horrified looks, we have had some genuinely well intended “Good for yous” along the way.
I revel in the freedoms we have in our generation. Half of these I don’t fully understand as I’ve never had to do without them. And I do live in a time and place where a baby’s gender does not mean their life is planned out, or that the challenges they face will be inevitable. I also fully appreciate the advances in science are by and large good and to our benefit.
But really, can’t we have one last surprise?