Seventeen years ago. I was a nine year old little girl unbelievably excited about something special. My Mom was having another baby.
I was much older than Cameron was so I understood that it would take time for this new little baby to grow inside my mother. I knew when she was due and I counted down the days. I could tell my friends that there was going to be a new baby in our family, and because I was the oldest, I would be able to help out a lot. I was so excited and unbelievably proud.
But I had no idea if I would be having a little brother or a little sister.
I remember going to an ultrasound and seeing the jumbled black and white image on the small computer screen. Even at nine, that image didn’t mean much to me. But I could watch my mother’s belly grow. I could feel the baby kick when my Mom placed my hand on her womb. And I could tell people enthusiastically about all of the preparations we were making to welcome this new baby into the world.
But I did not have an answer when asked if I was having a little brother or a little sister.
I had a hard time understanding why my parents chose to not find out the sex of this little baby. Nine months is a long time to not know something, especially for a nine year old. Nine months represented a full 10 percent of my life. There were already so many surprises involved with having a baby; What the baby would look like, how the baby would act, what the baby would be named… Nine months is a long time to wait for a surprise you know is coming.
The baby was born – late (which I was sure at the time was worse torture for me than it was for my mother). As my father walked in our front door the morning after the baby was born, my sister and I stood in the living room and held our breaths to find out if we had another sister or a brother. “It’s…. a….. bbbbbbbbbbGIRL!”
My littlest sister Molly, sixteen and a half years later holding our other sister‘s new baby, Ella.
Finally. I had waited so long to find out. Thankfully, this experience had taught me a valuable lesson: When I grew up and had my own children, I would definitely be finding out the sex.
So now, here I am seventeen years later and (still) pregnant with my second child. A second pregnancy where we did not find out the baby’s sex. And now, seventeen years later, it is almost weirder to meet people who choose not to find out. Finding out the baby’s sex in utero is just so normal now.
Neither my husband or I really had firm convictions about finding out the sex either way. With Cameron’s pregnancy, I really wanted to know, especially in the first trimester. Everything was new and unexpected and I had a hard time really feeling pregnant. I believed that knowing whether I was having a boy or girl would help me visualize this child inside of me and start to bond. But, as the pregnancy progressed and as the time for our 3-D ultrasound drew nearer, I realized I really didn’t need to know. In fact, I didn’t really want to know.
Knowing the sex certainly would make things easier. Gender neutral clothes are surprisingly hard to find these days. And it would cut our name choices in half.
But we wait for so little these days. And sometimes, waiting can enhance a journey. For my husband and I, being able to bond with our unborn child despite knowing much about him or her is important. We do not know whether this baby will wear pink or blue, we do not know what name this baby will carry through life, we do not know if this baby will look mostly like my husband or mostly like myself. We don’t know these things… and we don’t need to know these things. We have slowly, over the last nine months, grown closer to this baby in my womb knowing little else other than this baby is entirely ours, made completely with love.
And when I finally manage to expel this baby from my body, I will listen eagerly to hear whether we had a boy or girl, but I won’t care.
I’ll have my baby.
Plus, not knowing the gender brings on months of guesses from everyone. It is like a nine month guessing game. So thrilling. So how about it? Since I am still pregnant, you still have your chance to get your guesses in. Do you think I will be having a boy or a girl?
To get you started, here are our predictions:
Dan: Girl (although he is no where near as certain as he was saying Cameron would be a boy)
You’ve seen the belly pictures, now get guessing!