Sunday, October 07, 2012

Schrödinger's baby

Schrödinger's baby*

Tomorrow I will hit (achieve? unlock? become mayor of?) 20 weeks and we're scheduled to find out the sex of the baby (assuming fetal cooperation) right after lunch. I realized earlier that this will almost certainly end up being the last time I have this day - the last day before I am aware of the girl- or boy-ness of a baby I am gestating. I am not a person who has strong intuition of any kind about the parts her fetuses are packing. With Nico, I had absolutely zero feeling one way or another. MB was absolutely convinced that N was a girl and eventually I decided maybe he was right. I ended up trusting his gut feeling to the point where I was legitimately shocked when Nico turned out to be a boy. I did have two dreams in the week before our ultrasound that I had a little boy, so maybe my subconscious was trying to tell me something. This time the only person who's had any baby-related dreams is my mom, who dreamed TWICE the other night that I was having triplets. No, no, and definitely no. I was assured that this one is a singleton, and while we could probably manage to keep twins clothed and fed, I cannot even begin to imagine what we'd do with three babies at once.

Of course, people have asked if we're hoping for a girl or a boy this time around pretty much since the day we started admitting to the pregnancy. MB initially seemed quite keen on having a girl, but the last time I asked him he was less committed. I can't decide if I have a preference, so I think that means I don't. Early on, I wanted a boy because (a) the boy I have is awesome, (b) I am already schooled in dealing with boy parts, and (c) we have SO MANY boy clothes. SO MANY. I suspect with either I'll be mostly happy but a tiny bit sad. I think with Nico, I talked myself into believing I preferred a girl because I was kind of terrified to have a girl, and I thought somehow if I talked myself into how much I wanted one, I'd be less worried / feel less guilty if the baby did turn out to be a girl. And then he was a boy and is a boy and I could NOT be more thrilled to be mother to a boy. I'm sure I'd be writing the same thing if he had been a girl, but I just adore having a boy. So if I have another boy, I'll be so happy for the chance to raise another boy, though I'll be a little sad that I most likely will never get to have a girl. If I have a girl, I'll be excited to have one of each (and to use the beloved girl name that we picked out more than five years ago), but I'll be a little bit sad that I don't get to have another boy. So either way I win, I think.

In a way, I'm a little sad for the mystery to end, just because once I let go of the not-knowing, that's it. If this baby is a boy, my chance of having a girl baby is most likely gone forever, and the other way around. It's almost enough to make me consider not finding out the sex, but not quite. First of all, that would only delay the inevitable, and second I'm too nosy to wait another 20 weeks to find out, and third with Nico I definitely started bonding with him more after I knew he was a boy. He just felt more real once I could start imagining him as one or the other, I guess. I've always said I might be willing to not find out if I had two kids already and they were one of each, but I couldn't imagine not finding out with the second. Today I can actually kind of imagine it, but I think my curiosity is definitely going to get the better of me. (And wouldn't the joke be on me if after writing this, the baby turns out to be unwilling to reveal his or her secrets?) In the interest of full disclosure, when I talk about this one, I tend to refer to it as "she" without really thinking about it. I don't know if that's a big mystical sign of something or just my brain assigning a pronoun at random or if I think of the baby as a she because it's a mystery and having a girl is still an unknown. Probably it doesn't mean anything at all, but if it does turn out that the baby is a girl, I can be smug about "just knowing" what she was, right?

* Now that I've written this whole thing, I realize the title is a little morbid / creepifying. I think I'm going to keep it, though, if only because it's such an apt analogy for so much of what goes on with pregnancy. It's so bizarre to have an entire other person inside your body that you can't see, check up on, or really know anything about for almost a year.


  1. You might have a boy who turns out to be a lot shorter than Nico and maybe a bigger butt or chunky thighs or something and then you won't be able to use those all those MANY boy clothes and you'll have to go out and buy an entirely new wardrobe for the second boy which you will mention only once a day until he gets the idea that he is all wrong and elves can't be dentists and then he will grow up and need therapy with someone lighting sage and intoning Repetez apres moi It's okay that I am not the same shape as my brother it's okay that I am not the same shape as my brother there is no truth to the family story that not being able to re-use her MANY boy clothes drove my mother to spending the rest of her life in the asylum in scenic St. Peter Minnesota.

    Just saying.

  2. I love this post. It really brings back to me what that "just before finding out" time is like!

    With the second child, especially, I didn't know what I wanted. On one hand, a boy and a girl is so classically appreciated. On the other hand, BROTHERS! And handmedowns!

  3. I had these exact feelings about finding out about my second baby. I was excited about either possibility, but also prepared to be sad. Sad that my boy wouldn't get a brother, or sad that I wouldn't ever have my girl. The thing is, with my second, I knew for CERTAIN that she was a girl, so those feelings were kind of crazy, anyway. My husband didn't really believe me, and when I was proved right, he just went with the fact that I had a 50/50 chance anyway. You can TOTALLY be smug.

  4. Well, I'm so old that my kids were born before ultrasound, so I had 2 surprises.

    Luckily I had saved a lot of the boy clothes and baby girl spent a lot of time in her brother's blue jeans and superhero sweatshirts.She even wore his dinosaur pajamas and some of his shoes. My Mom knitted an equal amount of pink sweaters and I had a good collection of cute dresses from the consignment shop.

    I didn't have an inkling over the sex of either one. The second boy could be a complete different type of kid or a girl could be a total tomboy.

  5. Love this post for the title and also for the "unlocked" at the beginning. Cracked me the hell up.
    I was convinced that kid2 was a girl..trusted my instincts & dreams & everything Boy. I was shocked.