I've been thinking a lot about the gender of this next babe, mostly because our 20 week ultrasound is Thursday (6 days away!). We aren't totally convinced we want to find out if we're having a girl or a boy, and if we do find out, we're not sure we're going to share with anyone else.
Part of me would love for baby's sex to be a birth day surprise. I love the old-fashioned approach to welcoming a baby, not necessarily a boy or girl, but a baby. Part of me also wants to rebel against the rest of the world's expectations that we'll be disappointed if we have another girl- all those people who have the nerve to say, "Oh, another girl? That's too bad, I'm sure you were wishing it was going to be a boy." What if Tye hears that over and over again? Will she think we always wanted a boy and there's something wrong with being a girl? I would do anything to protect her from that, even wait another 20 weeks to find out if we're having a boy or girl. And what if the ultrasound technician is wrong about the gender?
Still another part of me wants to know. I'm a little scared that if I don't find out, the lack of such an intimate detail may keep me from bonding as closely with this baby before the birth. Remember our nickname for Tye, Baby Girl? As generic as it sounds, it was said (and often sung) so lovingly, so frequently, that it was part of Tye's identity when she was born and is still a common nickname for her in our house. And then there's the practical angle- I would love to know if I should get rid of Tye's baby clothes to make way for boy items, or if I should unpack and wash all our gorgeous girls' clothes and be all set for a sister. And, I could start shopping for baby.... We have time to decide, and if we aren't sure, we can always have the ultrasound tech write the gender on a piece of paper and seal it in an envelope for us for a later reveal, should we choose (if we could hold that envelope without tearing it open).
I've also been thinking a lot about this baby's gender recently because at the beginning of the pregnancy, I was pretty certain I was carrying a girl. It was the same mother's intuition I felt with Tye, when I kept seeing little girls and thinking immediately, "I'm going to have one of those." Add to that the timing of conception, which was the same as Tye's, and the similar morning sickness patterns, and I was pretty sure this heartbeat belongs to a girl.
More recently, though (as in, once I woke up from the first trimester haze of nonstop nausea), I've been noticing all the ways this pregnancy is so very different from mine with Tye. Most notably, my complexion looks great right now- if anything, it's clearer than before I was pregnant (thank you, God!). During my first pregnancy, I broke out horribly from the moment we conceived and had pimples covering my face, chest, back, and neck through the delivery. This time I have, however, noticed dark pigmentation on my mustache area after a day in the sun, a normal hormonal pregnancy reaction but one I never saw on myself before. Also this time around, I didn't notice in myself the same first trimester puffy stage, when my face, especially, looked round and puffy as happened with Tye. I've also noticed that during this pregnancy, I pretty much don't have to shave my legs at all any more. I could go two weeks sans razor and still wear a dress. I don't remember that at all from my first pregnancy, and leg hair growth is one of those tell-tale signs according to many beliefs. (In case you're keeping track, yes, I'm loving this pregnancy right now- the clear, non-puffy skin and hairless legs far outweigh the tiny brown mustache spots.) Oh, and those feelings that I'm definitely having a girl have disappeared, whether on their own or because of all these inconsistencies.
I don't know yet if we'll find out what all this means on Thursday or 20 weeks from now, but either way, the results won't matter much to me. I would love to have a son and experience parenting a boy, for Tye to have a brother (because I adore mine), and for Tyler to have a son. But I would also love for Tye grow up with a sister, something I never had myself, to be able to watch their relationship over the years, and for Tyler to have two Daddy's Girls at home. Either way, I am beyond excited to welcome a new life into our family, to hold our little one close, to share the joy of a sibling with Tye, and to grow simultaneously bigger and closer as a family unit. Whether we find out or not, Thursday will be a joyful first glimpse at the new life joining ours.
I can't wait to peek at you, little one. I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you!