Thursday, March 15, 2007


Infertiles often speak of the fact that once pregnant, they feel a pressure to revel in their good fortune, and keep their mouths closed. This means no complaining about morning sickness, exhaustion, aches and pains. And god forbid, no talk of gender preference.

When I was pregnant with Chloe, I tried to keep my mouth shut. But when I indulged a secret wish in those early months, it was to have a son. Readers of this blog will be familiar with my husband worship of sorts, and I longed for a little clone of him. Wanting a little boy seemed natural to me - since I had been longing for male company in one way or another since early adolescence.

But then I started really thinking about my husband, and the adoration that comes from little girls. I thought of dresses and braids and ballet. I considered my own penchant for all things pink, and my husbands ignorance of sports. So when the technician announced "It's a girl" without any great fanfare, we were thrilled.

And it has been one of those things that turned out to be only better than expected. There is hair to ribbon, never ending dance recitals on our hardwood floor and clomping around in my stilettos. She is star struck around my husband, whispering "Dada" with unrestrained delight whenever her ears capture the "ding" of an elevator. She announces his presence on our walls, pointing to his photos and asking to hold one while she eats when he is traveling. He has learned to create almost symmetrical pigtails and choose outfits that blend, if not match. She is sugar and spice with a dash of tomboy. It's sublime.

As the taffetta burst from my every closet, I could not imagine having a son. Two sisters, giggling and sharing and wearing matching outfits. Tea parties and tap dancing and of course -- wedding dress shopping. I was so sure that my next child would be a girl, that I did not even wonder of boys names, baseball gloves or peeing while standing up.

Almost two years later, another technician stood over my same belly, smeared with the same warm goo and announced "It's a boy!", but this time, with real excitement. There was no denying it - as a very perceptible nub was viewable between two very immodestly spread legs. We were shocked. And again, a shift in fantasy. The ruffled socks and canopy beds were replaced with dirty overalls and matchbox cars. And while these are all gender stereotypes, as my friend whose son loves show tunes and barrettes readily reminds me, when you are imagining, it is often in broad strokes with little nuance. I expected my heart to tug, at least a little, at the loss of ten additional fingers to polish.

But as soon as I saw him, wiggling unhelpfully in skeletal black and white as the technician tried to capture a shot of his heart, the details of my dreams evaporated, and I wanted only for healthy, for happy, for ours. In that immediate moment, he was nothing less than my child -- my son -- my very first choice for my likely last child.


At 12:00 PM PDT, Anonymous gila said...

SO happy for you! Can't stop thinking about it. So exciting!

At 12:10 PM PDT, Anonymous Leigh said...

I have been waiting for this post! One of your best yet. :)

PS: Leigh is a gender neutral name, should you need any suggestions for great names! ;)

At 8:51 PM PDT, Anonymous Janya said...

What a wonderful, honest post. Your son sounds a lot like mine, striking a "look at my penis!" spread eagle pose. Sure is nice having an unambiguous ultrasound photo.

I wish you and your family the best. Keep up the great writing.


Post a Comment

<< Home