It’s a Boy!

I can’t believe it’s been 14 weeks since I last posted! Here is a blog I wrote two months ago and kept forgetting to post:

It’s a boy! I can’t believe we’ve come this far. After the ultrasound Neil kept asking what I thought and
how I felt about it being a boy. Maybe he was worried that I wasn’t as excited as he was. But I was just so relieved, I couldn’t get over the fact that our baby was alive and healthy!

I did some brief but thorough worrying the night before. For the most part I “procrastinated worrying” until then, trying to be excited and not anxious in the weeks before the big day. Procrastinated worrying is my best approximation at “be anxious for nothing” so far. But the night before, I made a mental list of the problems the ultrasound might reveal. Incompetent cervix, placenta previa, Down’s syndrome, spina bifida, or trisomy 18 all made the list. People talk about checking for ten fingers and toes (even in the ultrasound), but appendages are the least of my worries. I’m much more concerned that all the major organs are present.

That’s the blessing after two miscarriages: it puts problems in perspective, and it helps me to appreciate when things go right. Murphy’s Law ignores all the things that go right, and so do I. If everything had gone perfectly with my first pregnancy, I would already have a baby and I’m sure I’d be in love with him or her. But I probably would have taken for granted a healthy pregnancy and baby more than I will ever be able to now. The losses have made me realize just how miraculous the whole process is, and have increased my capacity for appreciating and enjoying every stepping stone I cross.

I reached a milestone, and my favorite part of being pregnant thus far, around 17 or 18 weeks when I first felt the baby move. By the time I was sure that’s what those light, muscle-spasm-like sensations were, I was ecstatic. Every time I feel the baby move it’s like he’s saying, “Don’t worry, mom, I’m alive.” Sometimes it makes me want to cry. Starting with those first felt movements, I feel so much more connected to the baby and to the reality of pregnancy. It’s less abstract, and almost feels okay to hope I’ll really meet this baby sometime toward the end of summer. Neil feeling the baby move was another exciting milestone. Knowing the gender and starting to show a bit also makes it more real and I think it’s helped Neil as well as me bond more with the baby.

The night before the ultrasound Neil and I both dreamed the baby turned out to be a fish! But in my dream I didn’t even care. I thought, “I guess it would be nice if our baby was a human, but I love our little fish baby.” (It didn’t actually look like a fish in the dream, I just knew it was a fish. I’m not sure what it looked like. It was a boy fish, though.) Also at another point in the dream, they somehow took the baby out to look at it during the ultrasound. I was wondering, “How are they going to get it back in?” But then the baby was there with just Neil and me, and it was really skinny and pathetic-looking since it was only 20 weeks old, but again I didn’t care. I just started kissing it and I was so happy and loved it so much. And then I stopped worrying about why it was with us already and just enjoyed being with it. For the next couple days I just thought about this vision of holding and kissing our baby and I could hardly wait. I went from being so tentative and trying to be so patient for a date that felt like it would never come (I had been pregnant a total of 34 weeks by then, only counting the 2 free weeks once) to feeling like I would die waiting another 4.5 months.

So it’s not a fish, but it is a boy, with all organs and limbs accounted for. I’m happy to be having a boy for the following reasons, among others:
1. So many of my friends had boys recently, including my bff who lives just down the street, so they can grow up together.
2. I’m not good when it comes to “girly” things like hair, make-up, nail polish, etc. I was never a tomboy but I wasn’t a girly girl, either. For example, the other day my sister asked, “When did this happen?” while gesturing to my person, but she wasn’t looking for a number of months or a refresher on the birds and the bees. She was referring to me looking slightly fashionable because I had basically been dressed by Fashion Sister.
3. Raising a son seems like a special privilege in a culture that’s forgetting what it means to be a man (although the same is true of girls/women, too). I hope we can raise him to be a spiritual leader, although I’m not really sure how to do that.
4. I grew up with mostly girls (three sisters and then finally one brother), so I don’t know exactly what to do with boys. But I’m the active type so hopefully I can hang for at least a while, which brings me to the next point:
5. My son will never be a teenage girl! Yay!!! Actually I would like to have a girl one day, too, but I hear “Dad” takes over in a large way with boys as they grow older. Of course I still want to have a close relationship with him but I don’t have to tell him about the aforementioned birds and bees, or model how to be a man, or any number of other things only a dad can do.
6. Neil also pointed out that we don’t have to give him away in marriage or pay for his wedding (according to tradition). Cheapskate—j/k, he’s already talking college fund, although one mom friend recommends a counseling fund instead.
7. Neil is also very excited about an excuse to get a basketball hoop, although he really just wants one and could have justified it with a girl, too. UPDATE: he got one off a friend’s neighbor’s tree lawn, saving hundreds of dollars. I love my cheapskate husband.

The only real drawback is that we have to think of a boy name (we already had a girl name). We haven’t devoted much effort to this cause yet but hopefully we can have some fun with it.

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