So, yesterday we went for an ultrasound. Correction: we went for THE ultrasound. The ultrasound I wait for from the minute that stick shows two lines. The one that will tell me what kind of thing is growing inside me and made me want to stop eating McDonald’s for the past eighteen weeks or so. Some people enjoy the suspense of waiting nine whole months before they find out if their baby is a boy or a girl. You know what I say to that? FUCK THAT with a capital F. Maybe that’s just gratuitous swearing on my part, but I really, truly mean that F-bomb.
Don’t get me wrong: I love surprises. A lot. I get really, truly angry when people ruin them for me. Which is ironic, because I’ve actually ruined surprise parties before (on ACCIDENT, people; I’m not a total dick). I used to get mad at my brother when we were kids when we went in search of our Easter baskets and he found mine first. I’ve never had any desire to go looking for my Christmas presents, either as a child or adult. However, this is the one area where I need to have my “surprise” early. I do NOT enjoy the suspense of waiting over four months to find out whether I’m cohabitating with a boy or girl baby. Here are the reasons why:
1) The first 12-14 weeks of pregnancy are pretty damn miserable for me. This winter I spent at least two straight weeks not getting dressed, barfing every few hours, not showering, not bathing/dressing/feeding my children, crying, barfing, laying on the couch, sleeping, barfing, and then, for good measure, yelling at my kids to the point where my husband was concerned about my temper. My husband. The man who punched a wall in our basement one New Year’s Eve so hard that he most likely broke some sort of bone in his hand (and at the minimum earned himself one hell of a bruise).
This is also the guy that once slammed his fist down on a Taco Bell burrito because they screwed up his order and got burrito guts all over the walls of our apartment (OK, that one was pretty funny). Granted, he has never shown that sort of temper with our girls; but, then again, I’ve never shown the kind of temper I showed the last three months with our girls, either. My point: I did not take an unguided tour through Pregnancy Vietnam and become a real-life Mommy Dearest for nothing. I’ve earned a reward. If I want to know the sex of my baby a full six months before I meet it in person, then I deserve to find out.
2) When people try to make the argument that waiting until the baby is actually born to find out the sex “is a great surprise” or that it’s one of life’s last little mysteries, I always want to laugh in their face, or at the very least give a smug smile. Anyone who has given birth knows that there are actually no end to the, uh, surprises that one experiences. Like, for instance, surprise! Your doctor’s on vacation! I’m Dr. Bunsen Honeydew; I’ll be delivering your baby today! Or, surprise! You just shit yourself and didn’t even know it! HOW EXCITING FOR YOU!!!
I could go on, but you get my drift. There are enough surprises and unexpected events during labor and delivery. I really don’t need another variable to contend with at that point; what I need is some stability. I need to at least be on a first-name basis with the human being coming out of my whoo-whoo, which means I need to know the gender. If that’s lame, then how about this: I don’t know what the baby actually looks like, or how big it is. So, surprise?
Anyways, suffice it to say that I can’t stand the period of pregnancy where everything is up in the air. I need to plan. I need to figure out details. I need to wrap my head around who this new baby is. You can’t do that with an “it”. I had a few relatives who weren’t able to find out the sex of their baby because the baby wouldn’t “cooperate”. Let me tell you: this aggression will not stand, man. With my second daughter, the ultrasound tech tried to pull something like that; she was all, “I think it’s a girl, I’m pretty sure…” I looked her in the eye and said, “You’re pretty sure, or you’re sure?” She hemmed and hawed, and I said, “Look, I’m not rolling off this table until you can tell me for sure if this baby is a boy or a girl, so you better keep looking or ask someone else.” She asked someone else, who confirmed that it was indeed a girl they were looking at. See, ladies? A little motivation was all you needed. I’m more than happy to provide it.
Since this tactic worked in the past, I fully intended on using it again if the tech tried to pull this stunt on me again. However, I could tell right away that I was not going to be able to bully this woman around. This tech was one tough broad; she’d most likely throw me out on my (relatively speaking) skinny ass if I pulled a stunt like that. Or, more likely, just tell me to go fuck myself and keep on conducting her scan. Either approach seemed likely. So, I was a little worried. Before the scan, though, she looks up from her clipboard of questions and says, “So, first baby, right?” Now, I’m not a drinker, but I’m guessing this is the equivalent of getting carded for beer when you’re 75 years old. I wanted to hug her and buy her a Mrs. Field’s cookie from the snack machine. Instead, I just said, “No, my third.” Her look of surprise was beautiful. “You just have that excited look, as if it’s your first one.” BECAUSE I NEED TO KNOW, LADY. Stop with your flattering questions and get down to business.
So, her and her student are taking their time studying the anatomy of the baby, checking the heart, legs, brain, blah blah blah. BORING. Let’s get down to what’s really important. Finally, she says, “Well, I think I can definitely see the gender!……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….huh, that’s a nice shot of the umbilical cord. Maybe I can get a better angle…”
Now, at this point, my husband says he could tell on the screen that we were having another girl. He’s an artist. He is very good at looking at things that are abstract, or not represented in a realistic, everyday fashion, and figuring out what it means or what he should be seeing. For example, he can see the man in the moon. He sees the eyes, the mouth, the face that people talk about when they say “the man in the moon”. Me? I have no clue what he’s talking about. I see the moon. There’s some dark splotches on it. Sometimes it’s not all there. The end. So, when I’m looking at an ultrasound image, about 75% of the time, I have no clue what I’m seeing. I just sat there thinking “OH MY GOD JUST TELL ME IF THERE’S A WEINER UP IN THERE OR NOT!”