It’s a boy! Or a girl!

I think it’s a boy.  I used to think I was having a girl.  Before I even got pregnant I thought my first would be a girl.  It wasn’t a matter of preference- it was just how I envisioned my child.  Most people have guessed it’s a girl.  But now I think it’s a boy.  It’s a clinical opinion, though.  Renal problems and clubbed feet are more common in boys than girls at a rate of 2:1 or greater.  So combined, I feel like the signs are pointing to boy.

People are surprised we have not chosen to find out the gender.

We had a CVS which means buried somewhere deep in my chart is either a “47XY” or 47XX”.  (47 refers to the number chromosomes in Down Syndrome, XX is a girl, XY is a boy).  We could have chosen to know at 13 weeks.  We’ve had 8 ultrasounds since and people are amazed we haven’t succumbed to finding out.  I don’t think we will.  First, every ultrasound I am so focused on the issues we are looking for, that it usually doesn’t even cross my mind once we get going (I usually start off each ultrasound reminding the sonographer we don’t know the gender).  And second, my vision for finding out gender was in the delivery room with the baby plopped on my belly, with me or Chris or my midwife saying “It’s a …!”  It was supposed to be a moment of joy.  Then with the diagnosis of Down Syndrome, finding out the gender at birth was one thing that kept the whole pregnancy normal.  And now, I still want to find out gender in a fun way if possible. I know that the birth of my baby may be sad and tearful, but that moment of “it’s a …!” will still be something to look forward to.

There are times when I reconsider. If we are talking about a premature baby, gender does make a difference.  Apparently premature girls do better than boys, so when predicting survival rates and what not, knowing gender can help.  But I figure that’s something the specialist can know and not tell us- just tell us the rates associated with the gender of our baby.   Knowing the gender might also help me bond with the baby more.  It’s hard to bond with a baby you might lose.  I often feel pregnant- as in the physically pregnant. Hiking the other day, I felt pregnant because it was harder to bend my knees up high climbing the rocks and I was easily short of breath.  But I wasn’t thinking there is a baby inside of me- a real human.  The new complications we face with our baby have encouraged us the settle on some names- something we were procrastinating doing.  We are keeping the names under wraps, in the same way we are waiting about gender.  Revealing the name our child will also be special.

Not knowing the gender is hard for others- friends and family.  Earlier, I went browsing in a baby clothing store and the store was divided- boy clothes on the right, girl clothes on the left.  There was no gender neutral section.  The best you could do is shop in the boys section for something that could go both ways.  We were given a few baby clothes over thanksgiving- some cute onesies and sleepers.  The sleepers were nice and roomy, and I thought about how nicely our baby would fit with his or her casts for the clubbed feet.  Now my visions are different.  We’ve put away the baby clothes.  It hurts to see them because its hard to envision our baby at home in them.  If we are fortunate enough to bring our baby home, out of the box those sleepers will come and won’t my baby be the cutest?

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One thought on “It’s a boy! Or a girl!

  1. I’ve noticed that people can be really judgmental when you don’t know the gender of your baby! I am constantly irritated by people asking me (especially when I have to go to other appointments, like to get my Rhogam, or have to get something maternity-related at a store). One lady hassled my husband and me for nearly 5 minutes about why in the world we wouldn’t find out the gender of our first child. I told her I have no amniotic fluid and they can’t even see many of the internal organs, let alone the gender. My husband and I didn’t want to find out, but that’s not good enough for anyone. Apparently you HAVE to know or else you’re not doing it right. Ugh.

    One of the first things I did after my second 20-week ultrasound was put away the baby things we’d acquired. We didn’t have very many, but some folks had just started finding out we were having a baby and gave us some things. I couldn’t stand looking at them and thinking that we wouldn’t get to take our baby home and s/he wouldn’t get to use them. It made me feel a lot better (emotionally stable at least) when I put them in a box. If this baby can’t use them, I obviously intend to keep them in case the next baby can, but I just can’t emotionally handle looking at them every day and thinking about everything we planned for the baby before we knew about the problems s/he has. Even if baby survives, it’s going to be a much different life at least the first few months/year than we ever envisioned.

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