As many of you know, we don’t know the gender of our soon-to-be child. It’s hard for some people to believe that, seeing that I have some slightly controlling tendencies, I am content to live in this kind of suspense. It’s so easy now, so common, to know whether your spawn is a he-baby or a she-baby it’s almost unthinkable to purposely leave yourself in the dark. But we did. We resisted the urge, we averted our eyes, and we will only know the answer to the pink or blue question at the end of what I can only imagine as a very strenuous process known as birth. And despite the 50/50 odds, I am pretty sure I’ll be shocked at the answer either way.
Maybe part of the reason I’m not sweating the answer is that I have become an expert in uncertainty. Don’t know where we’ll live next, don’t know if we’ll move again soon, don’t know when we’ll stop moving, don’t know if I’ll know anyone there, or if I’ll have a job, or if it will be easy to find my favorite foods or see my favorite shows. Everyone has their breaking point, and I have days when I seriously think I can’t take the generalized suspense of my life anymore, but for the most part I credit Dave and this transient lifestyle with making me into a more flexible person who can pack her life into two bags if needed, who can find a walking trail within 48 hours of arriving somewhere, who can make a friend anywhere and leave her old friends behind. I do it because I have to, because I chose to, because at this point the idea of settling down is just as terrifying as the idea of moving again. So the question of boy or girl, one or the other, seems easy to leave unanswered. When I move, I want to be with Dave and have my dogs at my side, the location is just a detail. When I have a kid, I want a healthy baby, like everyone else, and the gender is just a detail.
After deciding not to find out the gender of the baby, we sort of just moved on with our lives. Some nights we’d lie in bed speculating, and I take all guesses that anyone is willing to offer and weigh them against the majority opinion, but it wasn’t keeping me awake at night. However, a couple of unintended consequences have come to light, and in the hopes of swaying someone out in the vastness of the internet over to ‘Team Green’, I thought I’d share them with my blog readers.
1. Gender neutral gifts and gear. It seems obvious in retrospect, but before I had a baby of my own to think about, I never realized how crazy people go once they know the gender of the baby. It’s a blue or pink explosion. Parents of girls can expect to be bombarded with all hues of Pepto Bismol and any sort of floral/butterfly/princess motif. Those expecting a boy can expect the blues to be peppered with graphics of sports equipment, puppy dogs or automobiles. It’s a highly gendered world we live in, and it seems to be the natural inclination to make that distinction as soon as a baby has emerged from the womb. For us, people sorted through all the obviously boy/girl gear and we’re set with reds, whites, greens, yellows and browns. Ducks and frogs and giraffes. Once we know what he/she is, I’m sure the bows or the boy equivalent to bows (haven’t figured out what that is yet) will be purchased. But all the basics are neutral, meaning not only will our baby have some variety in its wardrobe, but our next kid will have a starter set of clothes, a stroller, a car seat, a bouncy chair and a baby carrier that can be used regardless of if it is a brother or a sister.
2. A secret I can’t let slip. Even though Dave and I are just as clueless as the general public when it comes to whether baby is a he or a she, there is something special to me about having that information so close to our vests. So close that we can’t even see it. No one is planning our baby’s future based on its gender, no one is overloading me with how to raise a boy/girl advice, I get to have all possibilities and potential and no one can burst my bubble. And for a few moments, until we’re ready to call and message our family and friends, the answer to the question of whether we have a son or a daughter will be ours and ours alone (the nurses and doctor who will presumably be there don’t count). A son. Or a daughter. What an amazing thing to be able to say to each other for the first time ever as we hold him or her in our arms.
3. 100% guarantee. In my weaker moments, when I considered giving in during an ultrasound and asking the tech to tell me the answer to the boy/girl dilemma, one thing that held me back is that chance, no matter how small, that they could be wrong when they answered. You hear about it, it happens, however rarely. They tell you it’s a girl, you get psyched up for it, you decorate the nursery and buy a layette according to societal norms in the proper color, name the little lady and then POW, out comes someone with a wiener! It’s not like it’s the worst thing that could happen, but it would be rather shocking! And disorienting! Once I have a plan in place, I love for that plan to go through. That kind of shock would really throw me for a loop, and I’m better off avoiding that scenario no matter how slim the odds. When he or she emerges, I want someone to take a close look at their private area, and then give me the accurate verdict. Case closed.
In roughly 5 more weeks the question will be answered, the tiny person will have a name, and I’ll be able to sleep lying down again instead of kind of propped up and tilted to the side. So many changes coming.