Monday, August 16, 2010

Sex

When LL was just a few months old, we had a big playdate with several friends in the area who all have children around the same age (give or take 18 months or so), most of whom are girls. On the way home, S said, "Let's have a girl next." And I laughed, for many many reasons. LL was still so little, it seemed ridiculous to even be talking about the "next" one. Also, it's hard to ignore that we would be lucky to get pregnant again with any child, much less being picky about the sex. And even if we wanted to be picky, it's not like we had any control over it. But, S had made his point: he loves LL, but he also wanted the experience of raising a little girl.

In the months since then, S has mentioned several times that he thinks it would be fun to have a little girl. And while I agreed with him a bit, mostly just for the variety of it, it has never been as important to me as it obviously was to him.

When I got pregnant with the Frog, S admitted that he really wanted it to be a girl. And I started getting worried about dealing with his disappointment if it wasn't. I've spent the last two months playing up the advantages of having another boy. Brothers close in age are more likely to play together! Both me and S grew up in older-brother-younger-sister families and we didn't get along with our siblings at all; wouldn't brothers be fun?! If we had a girly-girl, neither one of us would have any idea how to relate to her! Boys are so much easier during the teen years! And we can reuse all of LL's infant clothes! If we were royalty, you'd be thrilled with having boys!

Meanwhile, I started to chat with friends who have multiple boys. (Statistically, half of our friends with 2+ kids should have boy-girl combos, but in reality, less than a third of them do. Almost every single one of our friends has either girl-girl or boy-boy children, leaning heavily towards boy-boy.) Most of them admitted that they had a mild preference for a girl the second time around, but their husbands were much more invested in the outcome. One of my friends put it this way: "When we found out our second was a boy, my husband was visibly disappointed. He came around by the time our son was born, but it took a month or two."

Today was our big fetal ultrasound. While we waited for the exam, I reminded S that the most important thing was that the baby be healthy. And he acted a little defensive and told me that of course that's most important, and he wasn't going to be upset no matter what the sex turned out to be. And besides, we'd always said that we might maybe possibly consider trying to have a third child, so it's not like this is our definitive last chance for a girl.

So, the results of our ultrasound: the Frog is healthy. Strong heartbeat, measuring one day ahead of the estimated due date. Scarily for me, this baby is measuring smaller than LL did in all measurements (length, weight, abdominal circumference, femur length) with the glaring exception of head circumference, which is noticeably bigger. (I ended up with a c-section with LL after 23 hours of labor because of a rare condition called CPD, in which his gigantic head was demonstrably too big to fit through my pelvic bone. We still have several months of growth ahead of us, and a lot can change, but an even larger head doesn't exactly support my odds of a successful VBAC.) I'm doing the ostrich head-in-the-sand thing about the head size, so ignoring that little tidbit, we can see that everything looks great.

And then S, who had been standing at the foot of the bed, stumbled a bit and had to sit down. Because he had seen the same thing that the ultrasound tech had seen: an unmistakable little penis. We're having a boy!

S was quiet for the rest of the exam. (Actually, first he held up three fingers and whispered, "Ready for number three?" with a small wry smile, but after that he stayed quiet.) He says that he just needs a few days to get used to the idea, which is fair. And I pulled out every gender stereotype I could think of in an attempt to get him excited. You know you would much rather go to football games than dance recitals -- we might have just dodged a bullet! But I should probably just give him time to get used to the fact that we're not going to have the boy-girl family that he grew up with, that I grew up with, that his cousins all grew up with, and that he had always pictured for us.

In the mean time, I have to go plan another bris!

6 comments:

  1. Yeah! Boys are one of my two favorite kinds of babies!

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  2. I'm glad that Frog is healthy! You seemed a bit worried in your last post (I'm catching up in between bouts of writing). Also, it does seem that same-sex siblings seem to get along better. My little brother and I didn't get along until after we were both in high school.

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  3. So glad to hear that Frog is healthy and well, and also that you and your husband are adjusting to the big news. I hope that in worrying about your husband you haven't lost sight of whatever haphazard daydreams you might have had about gender. I am completely ambivalent about gender, but if I was sure that this was our last addition to the family, I think that I would be much more invested either way. So who knows, this may be the perfect excuse to consider growing your family again, as your husband suggested.

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  4. Hooray for a healthy baby boy! I love my girl-girl combo, and I just picture them growing up to be the best of friends. We'll see if that actually happens :)

    I think we are two and done for various reasons. People are always telling us to try for #3 to get a boy but I just hate that mentality. If I went for a third it would be because I want another baby not because I want a boy. While I think my DH would like a boy, he adores his girls. He didn't express any disappointment because all along we both just somehow knew it was a girl.

    Congrats again! I can't believe you are halfway done!

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  5. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!! I'm sorry for your husband that it's not a girl, but I am thrilled for a healthy little froggy in there. My hubby kinda wanted a girl, too. Personally, I love having all boys, but I'm a bit insane that way. :)

    And thank you, I completely agree, my overworked breasts (as well as the overworked rest of my body) totally deserve that woven wrap. If you are in the market for something cute for Frog's arrival, I just got this and it has quickly become one of the great loves of my life: http://www.granolababies.com/sakura-bloom-kiwi/prod_178.html

    And look! It's green!

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  6. My friend who is an economist says that people whose first two kids are the same sex are much more likely to have a third child than people who have one of each. You aren't alone :-)

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