I can tell you that the baby in my belly weighs about 4 pounds, has an average heart rate of 139 and gets the hiccups every night around 11 o’clock. But I can’t tell you if Bean is a boy or a girl. We’ve decided not to find out the gender, and it’s been interesting to watch people’s reactions to us being not on Team Pink or Team Blue, but proud members of Team Green.
I’m such a planner and like to have my “I’s” dotted and “T’s” crossed, so it surprises many that this Type A doesn’t want to know the gender. It’s because my love of control is outweighed only by my love of surprises. I know, I know. I’m an oxymoron, deal with it. But I do love happy surprises, and I can’t think of a bigger surprise than the gender of your baby. (Well, other than the surprising fact that you’re having a baby, but that’s another story.)
We already know so much. We’ve been in the Information Age for years. I’m in an industry founded on informing the masses. We frequent blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and all the other usual social-networking suspects. We’re all about knowing more, more, more, more. So why not have the gender as a surprise? After Bean is born, everyone will know, but for these months, a little mystery is fun. And as far as planning, there’s plenty of cute hues of greens and yellows and other gender-neutral colors to get us through.
When people find out that we don’t know Bean’s gender, their reactions vary. Most think it’s fun, though many say they couldn’t stand not knowing. A few of friends have tried to bribe me to find out, and at least one pool was started to collect money on whether I was having a boy or a girl.
Then they start trotting out the old wives tales, which are always entertaining. If you’re carrying high it’s a boy, carrying low, it’s a girl. Bad acne? Girl. Great skin? Boy.
Some couples have shared their stories about how they were split, and somehow managed to have one parent know the gender and keep it secret from the other parent. That’d never fly in our house. There have also been one or two interestingly negative reactions, where it genuinely frustrates people. But I have to dismiss them -- it’s our child, our choice, the world will know soon enough.
Though for a friend of mine, her hand was forced. She wanted so passionately to be on Team Green and at an early second trimester ultrasound, she told the technician they wanted to be surprised at the birth. After the ultrasound, the tech said: “Well, it’s a little early to tell, but if you want my opinion, I think it’s a boy.” … My friend was livid. The stenographer was right though -- she had a boy.
The same woman is pregnant now and tried again for Team Green and again, told that to the tech. This time at the end of the ultrasound, the tech held the thingymabob on the spot on her belly so that it showed her baby, in 4D, spread eagle. The tech kept the “viewfinder” there and stared at my friend. It apparently was quite the awkward moment, but it’s unmistakable what she’s having.
At least she’s not freaking out over it, which is good. We, like all moms, really just want a healthy baby, and the rest -- whether you are pink, blue or green -- is simply having a little fun.
She’sWrite is the pen name of a journalist who commutes daily into the Loop from the home she shares in the northwest suburbs with her charming, 3-year-old son and endearing Norwegian husband. Every Wednesday on Go West Young Mom, you’ll find her musings about being a mom, career woman, wife and friend, and the crazy juggling act in this curious circus that we call life. She publishes several times a week on her own blog, also called She'sWrite, and you can subscribe there to get email notifications of new posts.