13 October 2009

Snips and snails

Last Thursday we went to our 22-week midwife appointment and ultrasound, eager to know what variety of human we would be having in February, eager to have a pronoun to use when referring to this child of ours, eager to narrow down our name speculation by half. The Mister had a feeling that it would be a boy, while I had absolutely no intuition in one direction or another.

As the technician rolled the rolly ultrasound thing over my belly, she pointed out kidneys and brain hemispheres and heart chambers, a nose and fingers and toes, femurs and ribs and the umbilical cord. At last, hovering over another grainy image of round shapes, she typed BOY in big yellow letters on the screen. The Mister was right! It only sunk in, a few tears escaping of their own accord, when the technician started talking about "his legs" and the way "he's kicking." And kick he did! It was rather wild to watch him kick and feel it at the same time, hard enough that the little ultrasound wand bobbed up and down too. We watched him (him!) swallow amniotic fluid, we admired his little feet waving around, and found his little curled fist tucked under his jaw.

We were able to tell all four grandparents in person, since they were all in town over the weekend. As the Mister's only sister does not plan to have any more kids in addition to her two girls, the news was greeted with special joy by the Catalan family. But a new baby is always joyful, and since my parents adore their three grandsons (and surely have quite a few more grandchildren on the horizon--there are five of us, after all), they were just as thrilled with the boy-baby news as all of us.

I surprised myself by feeling both thrilled and a little let down, too, sad about the girl that we don't have, even though I had no preference one way or the other and was equally excited about the possibility of both. I was puzzling over this to my friend, and she told me: until now, it was like I had two imaginary babies, and both were equally present in my mind's eye. Now there's just one, so it makes sense that I would feel a tiny bit of loss for the other. If it were the day of birth, the emotions of meeting our son would probably wipe away any lingering regret about a daughter, but since it's all still so abstract, I've lost one world of possibility, one of tiny dresses and a mother-daughter relationship.

But those feelings were short-lived. After all, I may still have that daughter some day. And for now, we are looking forward to *this* kid, the one who will wear stripes and gurgle and fit into the crook of our arms.


Sarah said...

Oh, hurrah, and congratulations about the boy!!! We can't wait to meet him. I loved your post title. The Rosemary Wells Mother Goose switches the traditional rhyme so the boys are made of sugar and spice. The illustration shows a row of little boy bakers- I love that. Lots of love to you!

Sara said...

yay! little boys are so nice. i felt the same when we found out because i was POSITIVE we were having a girl. i cried for an hour... it was as if i had lost this daughter i htought i had...(although now i DO have her ha ha!) i felt boy for you too!! yay! such fun...