it’s a BOY.
For Ever-Patient’s feelings on the matter, please visit his blog.
I still can’t wrap my head around carrying a baby with a penis inside me…and for those of you who may doubt the accuracy of the ultrasound, we have a very graphic photo of the little guy, spread eagle.
Ever-Patient and I had planned to go to the ultrasound together. He was going to videotape the whole experience and be there for the big news…but life happened, as usual, and the girls got sick. He had to stay home with them and I went alone, trying to decide if I actually did want to know and if so, whether or not I would tell him or let him sweat it out like he did for #4.
Before leaving the house, we took a poll:
#1: It’s a girl.
#2: It’s a girl.
#4: It’s a boy-girl.
Ever-Patient: I know it’s a girl.
Me: It’s a girl…(although something was telling me this pregnancy didn’t quite feel the same, I didn’t want to get his hopes up…)
#3: It’s a giraffe…but definitely a BOY giraffe.
So I went and the ultrasound technician did her thing…checked the vital organs and took all the measurements. She told me to go pee because she needed the baby to change position and apparently, relieving fluid sometimes does that. As I left the room, clutching the back of my gown to avoid an indecent public display, she asked, “Did you want to know the sex?”
The big question. Did it really matter to me? Then I thought of all those girl baby clothes in bins at home waiting in a form of limbo…will they be donated or kept for another round of wear? Then I thought of the girls at home awaiting news of who to welcome – another sister to put nail polish on or a brother…to also put nail polish on? Then I thought of Ever-Patient and his reassurances that it really doesn’t matter if it’s another girl and his acceptance of his destiny as a father of daughters…and then I would notice his subtle expression of longing when he would see a father and son play catch in the park. Then I thought, what about me? How many times did I hear mothers of sons say that there was a special bond between a mother and her boy and how I secretly was a little sad at weddings when I saw the groom dance with his mother? What if this was a boy…
I turn to the technician and say, “Yes, I want to find out…but do your thing, and then try to see if it’s a boy or girl.” She turns to me and says matter-of-factly, “Oh, I know already. It’s a boy.” I stop in my tracks, throw my hands up, forgetting that I am now exposing my backside to the rest of the waiting room, and I say, “What?” She repeats, “It’s a boy. You seem shocked.” I stare at her and tell her, “I have 4 girls.” She then participates in my shock and awe and says, “When you told me you had 4 kids, I assumed you had a mix of boys and girls….quickly, go pee! We have lots of photos to print for your husband!” …which included the now infamous “hammer” shot, proudly named by Ever-Patient.
Throughout the rest of the appointment and on the drive home, I try to figure out if I keep this news to myself or announce it to the anxious 5 at home. How do I tell them? Can I even keep it from them? I’m pretty sure that I won’t be able to keep my mouth shut because since the appointment, I have told the receptionist, the people in the waiting area, and the parking attendant.
I arrive home and the house is quiet. The 4 girls and Ever-Patient are sound asleep in our bed. I creep back downstairs and try to channel my nervous excited energy into something productive but instead end up lying down on the sofa. I hear footsteps come down the stairs. Groggy and half-awake, Ever-Patient, in an effort not to wake up the sleeping beauties, whispers, “So??” I whisper back, “The baby is healthy..very strong heartbeat…2 hands, 2 legs, 10 fingers, 10 toes…everything’s fine.” He glares at me, still conscious of the volume of his voice, he whispers, “And…could they tell?” “Oh, yeah,” I say with an annoying nonchalance, like a kid who is relishing in the fact that they know something you don’t. I stretch out the game as long as possible until Ever-Patient starts to turn into Ever-Impatient while I say things like, “As long as the baby is healthy right?” “It doesn’t matter in the end, really?” I finally pull out the million ultrasound pictures and he looks at each as if he is watching a television re-run…until his eye focuses on a certain photo in the middle of the bunch. He squints and rubs his eyes as if he is seeing a mirage or some sort of optical illusion. He stutters, “Is..is…that what I…I… think it is?” I grin from ear to ear and nod and whisper, “It’s a boy…you are looking at your son and his penis.” Like an already proud father he says, “Impressive.” He gives me a hug that speaks a thousand emotions and a million words he won’t be able to find in the weeks to come. I just whisper back, “I know.”
One by one, the girls awaken from their slumber. We don’t say anything, waiting for the girls to slowly remember where mom went and why. Of course, #2 makes the connection first and with eyes wide open says, “Is it a boy or girl?” We show them the photos and point out the one in the middle. #3 gasps and says, “It IS a giraffe!” We all roll our eyes and #1 says, “Oh, gross. Ewwwww.” #2 and #3 look closer at the photo. I ask them what they see and they’re not sure until I ask, “What do boys have that girls don’t?” The light bulb goes on for #2 and she starts grinning. #3, still confused, says, “I just see a giraffe.” And we all say to her, “It’s a boy!”
It’s been about a week since we found out. #3 is all about names for the boy including: Friday (because he’s the fifth like the fifth day), Jimmy, Rocky Mountain, Nacho, and of course, her reigning favourite name, Ring Toss Ricky. #2 is all about shopping for the boy, constantly picking out outfits that Ever-patient vetoes….apparently, no cardigans are allowed. #4 is slowly becoming aware that something is living in mama’s tummy and alternates between kissing my belly and smacking it. Ever-Patient is perma-smile and is already using the terms “my son” and “my boy” ad nausaeum : “What are you feeding my son?” “How is my boy today?” “That’s my son in there…” etc. etc. #1 has been enjoying telling her grandparents and our extended family the news…but when it’s just us at home and we start discussing welcoming the “boy,” she’s a bit quieter than usual and I can almost sense melancholy as if she is prepping herself to lose something. She puts on a happy face but I know my children. I know there is a part of her that is disappointed it is a boy. I know that she sees this boy as her biggest competition because up to this point, she has assumed the role of “son” for her father. Their bond has been forged through sport and athletics, shopping in the boys section, and everything non-girly. I know she may not even be aware of her feelings or be able to name what it is she is feeling but I can sense her apprehension and unease. I can only give her the space to feel that way and reassure her that our love does not come in a finite amount. There is room for 5 in our hearts…even if one of them is a giraffe.
As for me, I am feeling great. The nausea is gone and besides the backaches associated with being pregnant while looking after 4 kids, I am enjoying this pregnancy. Even the summer heat is bearable this time around. I think it’s the feeling of relief at the fact that I am sure that this is the last one and that it happens to be a boy. The politically correct thing to say is that boy or girl, it doesn’t matter, as long as they’re healthy. Easy for anyone to say who has a boy and a girl. I can imagine feeling just as Ever-Patient has been feeling if I had four boys up to this point. Of course, I would have been happy with 5 girls but the fact that Ever-Patient has the opportunity to raise a boy into a good man (and I have one less child to take to the washroom later on and not worry about a hairstyle), I couldn’t be more thrilled. And with five over-protective and strong-willed females in this house, I can guarantee that this boy will know how to treat a woman….if a woman ever makes it past the front door.