I didn’t admit to it then …

boy:girl“Turn away,” said the ultrasound tech. “It has its hand on its gender.”

We were at my 20-week scan, a two-hour appointment where they looked at everything from the valves on the heart to the length of the pinky fingers and thigh bone.

This was also the appointment where we could learn the gender. We’d known since the day the little plus sign appeared on the stick we weren’t going to find out if we were having a boy or a girl. I’d made that clear to the tech before she squirted the gel on my abdomen.

Now she’d ruined the surprise.

You don’t say a girl has its hand on its gender. You just don’t. I was overcome with disappointment.

I’d been saying I didn’t care if we had a boy or a girl. I just wanted a healthy baby. In reality, I was hoping for a healthy girl.

As a female, a girl was someone I could understand. I “got” emotional ups and downs, had plenty of experience with tea parties and Barbie dolls and I really loved pink. I figured I could better parent a girl for my first pass at motherhood.

Plus, after hearing about how R was with his sister who is nine years younger, I imagined R being amazing with a little girl.

I didn’t admit this to anyone. Doing so seemed selfish, and misguided. Not to mention, my son would one day know I wished for something else. That would be hurtful.

I tried telling myself “maybe I am reading too much into her comment” but, as my pregnancy continued, everyone from strangers to readers to the owner of a local Japanese restaurant “diagnosed” me with a boy, referring to things like “you’re carrying just in the front” or “you’re nauseated all the time.”

The more I heard “boy” the more my hope for a girl diminished.

Only R and my sister said “I still think it could be a girl.”

Their uncertainty gave me hope.

Then I had an ultrasound at 41 weeks (standard if you’re overdue) and I saw his/her face. The nose and eyes were so clear.

I said to that R, and pointed to the screen.

“Oh, um, no, that’s something else,” said the tech, moving her wand over my bulbous belly.

Two eyes and a nose could only be mistaken for one thing.

That afternoon, I went on babyGap.com and loaded my cart with overalls, plaid shirts and dark-colored corduroy.

A week later, before R and I left for the hospital for my induction, he asked “are we set on the names?”

“All we need is a boy’s name,” I said, getting in the car. “You know we’re having a boy.”

The next evening, as I pushed — and clung to Super Nurse Emily — Dr. Coluccio asked R if he wanted to announce the gender (instead of her).

He did.

When the baby popped out, Dr. Coluccio held it up for everyone to see.

“It’s a … girl,” R said, the pitch of his voice rising with “girl.”

“What,” I asked.

“It’s a girl,” he repeated, kissing me.

“Are you sure,” I challenged, convinced either the Pitocin had messed with my mind or R was confused from being sleep-deprived after spending the night in a chair.

“He’s sure,” said Dr. Coluccio.

At that moment, I not only experienced a surge of happiness, but also the most sensational surprise of my 35 years.


14 thoughts on “I didn’t admit to it then …

    1. wendi

      So maybe it was a nose and eyes after all? When I saw Luke’s “nose and eyes” there was no mistaking what they were or what he was:-) Really blessed to have both…unique in their own ways and not sure I could handle two of either!

  1. Tedi

    Wonderful story! Unfortunately, most parents don’t experience these emotions and memories today. I applaud you and Daddy “R” for the decision to be gender surprised-more parents should do it. Today’s babies are named, have wardrobes and gender specific personalities when mom is 8 weeks along! Convenient? Sure-if you really don’t have the time for incidental things like being surprised and receiving those “generic” gifts of neutral colors and such like your parents did. Bringing a baby into your heart and home is a fine balance of love, joy and complete disorganization! My son wasn’t born with pre-monogrammed clothing and blankets and he seems to have done just fine for 26 years. Thanks for not caving in, Kristi! A+ in Parenting 101, Chapter 1 of thousands to come.

  2. Susan Bardack

    I’m with you Kristi, I really, really hoped for a girl. My reasons were similar to yours. Of course I hoped for a healthy baby… but my preference was girl. I’m not sure if I’ve ever told anyone, but your post just allowed me to admit that. BTW – Dr. Coluccio is awesome! Very cool person.

  3. Katie

    That’s awesome, Kristi! I can relate to this. Even though I found out what I was having, I was completely convinced I was having a boy all the way up to the day of my ultrasound. I convinced myself so that I would not be disappointed if I were having a boy, but I secretly hoped for a girl. I just would not allow myself to consider it being a girl so I didn’t get my hopes up.. I was so amazed and excited to find out it was a girl, though!!!

  4. Alyssa

    I love this! I so badly wish I could do this but I know that even if I attemped it with my next child I would eventually cheat. This is coming from someone who would hunt for my xmas presents and if they were wrapped I would slice the tape on the end to see what they were. I am not good with surprises!

    PS. Dr. Coluccio is awesome! I secretly hoped for her or Dr. Goyer and Dr. Goyer ended up delivering my son 🙂

  5. Melissa

    Hah, I am at 36 weeks feeling we are having a boy for a very similar reason. At two ultrasounds the techs said, rather abruptly, “oh don’t look now” when the nurse was manning the conductor. I assume, there isn’t an urgency to turn away from legs, it must be a boy. My husband isn’t convinced. We’ll see…

  6. Melissa

    When I was pregnant with my first, we were adamant about not knowing the gender before the baby was born. We told the ultrasound tech as much, and we stuck to it for the whole 40 weeks. One reason for the choice was that my husband wanted to have the moment in the delivery room when the doctor would say, “It’s a…” and we thought it would be this dramatic, emotional event.

    What happened, though, was that I ended up having an emergency C-section. The baby was delivered, we heard him cry, and the doctor called out his weight, etc. All good. Except… everyone seemed to assume that we would already know the baby’s sex, and no big announcement was made!

    So, there I am on the OR table getting stitched up, my husband’s standing beside me, the baby is on the table getting checked out (they do that after a C-section, rather than handing the baby to you immediately) and we still don’t know if it’s a boy or a girl. Finally, I said to the nurse, “Excuse me, can you tell me if the baby is a boy or a girl?”

    The nurse says (of all things), “Hold on, let me check.” Awesome. She goes to the baby table and calls over her shoulder, “It’s a boy.”

    It doesn’t and didn’t diminish the excitement and thrill of the day, but the “moment” wasn’t what we anticipated. Good story, though… because we ended up with a wonderful baby boy (and a girl, a few years later).

  7. Christine

    What a beautiful post! I really thought I wanted a girl, as the aunt of 2 beautiful nieces and since I knew we could have only one child we found out the gender. I was disappointed, I admit, when we found out it was a boy, but I am convinced I was meant to be the mother of a boy!

  8. Tina

    I’m going to admit that I got all choked up. I remember wanting girls…for the same reasons. I wish every Mom could have a girl. I have two. Now that they are grown, we are best friends. It’s really awesome. So happy for you. 🙂

  9. Montreal Photo Chick

    I felt just like you did, and wanted a girl more than anything in the world. We did not find out with the first baby and I got my wonderful boy but I also continued to waNt a girl. by the second kid I knew I would just die if there was not a girl in there. Husband didn’t want to know that sex but after feeling miserably sick for months at the midway ultrasound I asked for the technician to tell me the gender but that I didn’t want to know if it was a boy. In other words if it was a boy she was supposed to tell me she couldn’t see anything or any other kind of lame answer to throw me off but not tell me there was a boy. I laid there and thought I was going to die with anticipation. I told her that I wouldn’t blame her if she didn’t want to play my silly games. you can certainly imagine my joy and excitement when I learned that in fact Laura was there and growing in going to be joining the world soon. The only problem then was that I was out of my mind happy perhaps happier than one would normally leave a doctors appointment but I could never let on my secret until she was born. I bought pink onesie that Walmart but told husband they were on sale and it didn’t matter what the kid was for a onesie. I’m glad you got your girl and I hope that your next baby is a wonderful girl or boy. Take lots of pictures these moments happen far too fast. Take the video too it wasn is common to make movies when David was born and even Laura for that matter and now I regret that I don’t have more solid memories of them being little but I have so many still pictures of them I guess I shouldn’t worry. Hugs to your beautiful girl.


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