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The (Sealed) Sex Envelope

18w5d - The whole world is a marshmallow pie with a milkshake on the side. The happy in our house is still annoyingly high, because, hallelujah, this baby is fine. (Yes, yes, we only can know of now. But still!) The fetal anatomy scan was extraordinarily normal, though Tersh wouldn’t cooperate for much of the hour the sonographer spent squinting at the monitor, consulting her scavenger hunt list of limbs and organs, and huffing over the baby’s position. Every time she’d pause over another onscreen blot, I’d bark, “What? What’s wrong?” or make some joke about how four of five fingers was plenty for us, really, until she finally, half-annoyed, assured me that she sure would let us know if anything was amiss or missing.

Feeling scolded, I sheepishly admitted that our losses this year had us especially nervous about this test—something I wish I didn’t have to qualify for this degreed medical professional—but which buffed her edges immediately. “I lost two before I had my boys,” she said. “I get it.”

(I love it when people offer just that: An admission of solidarity, a quip of hope. I’ve spent this pregnancy fueled by the candor of strangers, wishing I had some geolocating device for the one in four among us women who have miscarried and made it through so that I could pelt them with inquiry as to how to calm-the-hell-down-and-get-composed-enough-to-heal/ TTC again/ endure, even enjoy, a pregnancy. Brave, forthcoming ladies of my world, I salute you!)

Anyway, after this 8-inch, 8-ounce child got a head-to-toe thumbs-up, the tech concluded, with a devious grin, “So you do want to know the sex, don’t you?” Which is how The Mister and I have come to be the owners of one business-size envelope containing the gender of our child scrawled on a printout of his or her fetal money shot.

The envelope is still sealed.

It lives on a shelf in our home office, and I can say with every pregnant pore of my being that I have no interest at all in seeing its contents anytime before this baby is squirming and screaming in my arms. The Mister is terribly curious, which is why we have the envelope in the first place—he wanted to have the option of knowing the gender before the baby was born, but didn’t want to find out in some glorified closet surrounded by perhaps the least significant people in our lives.

Now, we talk of sticking it to the fridge so that our progeny’s gender is just a seltzer or string cheese away, or opening it on our sometime-from-now babymoon, or sending it to faraway family or passing it off to friends so that people more dear, more invested than the sonographer alone are privy to our baby’s sex.

Today, we talked about letting this child, him- or herself, do the opening some years from now, as, in fairness, the contents are his (or hers), anyhow.

For now, The Mister and I just shake the envelope at one another when we pass it, incredulous that we’re nearing the halfway point of a place we couldn’t imagine ever actually getting to. And we smile: There’s a lot of smiling happening around here.

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