Wanting a Girl, Having a Boy
How one mom dealt with wanting a girl, but having a boy
The Moment Of Truth
"Do you want to know the sex?" the technician asked, rolling the wand over my belly like it was a Ouija board, something to predict the future. We did. My husband, having no particular preference, was simply curious. I happen to be intolerant of secrets. Besides, I reasoned, if the baby was in fact a boy, I didn't want the birth itself to be tainted with disappointment. I wanted, as much as possible, to get that part out of the way.
The fetus looked fine, the technician was telling us. There were hands and feet, she said, there were kidneys and a liver, and there was a heart that had four chambers.
"That's the umbilical cord," she said, pointing with her cursor. "And that dot just below it -- that's a winkie." She tapped on her keyboard, moved in for a close-up, click click. "Yup," she nodded, "that's a winkie, all right."
"Wow," I said. I tried to smile. I didn't want the technician to think I was ungrateful, or just crazy. "Wow," I heard myself say again.
On the drive back home, I was in tears. "Healthy is what I want," I had heard other pregnant women say. "Beyond that, I don't care." I envied them. I felt guilty, too, having hoped so hard for a particular outcome, having taken the baby's apparent health for granted. So many women struggle to get pregnant; so many times, the joy of pregnancy is shadowed by confusing test results or, worse, confirmed health problems.
"It'll be okay," my husband said. "You'll love him anyway. You'll love him so much you won't even believe it."
But I couldn't keep my disappointment in check. And I was a little afraid, too, fearful of all the wild energy I assumed -- rightly or wrongly -- that this thing growing inside of me possessed.