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Finding The Happy

Looking for joy in all the right places

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gender

About the blob

There are 11 of us in my mother’s group, and I’m number 10 of 11 to be pregnant with #2. (#11 is preggers too.) The first time ’round, we all had a pretty even split of boys and girls – 6 and 5 respectively.

But the second time ’round, everyone started getting boys. And the more boys we got as our Number Twos, the more we marvelled over the math. Because that’s like flipping a coin n number of times, and getting Heads n times in a row. That’s pretty spesh.

Which is why I think I’ve been suspecting that New Blob (for want of a better name) is going to be a Girl Blob. Law of averages and all that. Because what is the likelihood that there would be 10 little boys in a row, right?

Turns out, the probability is 0.0009765625.

Yes, we are proud and shiny to announce that New Blob is a Boy Blob! Which means we now have what Australians charmingly refer to as a Pigeon Pair – one of each. I should have known better than to trust my gut on this one, because the last time I hazarded a guess for Arddun, I was wrong too.

Our ultrasound technician this time has over 30 years’ experience, and was adamant about his sex. (“Definitely a boy. Loooots of photos of his penis.”) Except of course, all we saw were shadows amidst constantly moving legs, and had to take her word for it. I found myself laughing. At the math. At the fact that I know so very little about little boys. At the realisation that Arddun is going to be a big sister to a little brother. At the sheer and utter joy of knowing I am going to have a son. I have a son.

That was almost 2 weeks ago. A few things since then…

  • At my MIL’s clever suggestion, we have been gently reminding Arddun that the baby is her little brother. And that she is like Peppa Pig, about to have a little baby brother, George. Except that his name won’t be George, any more than her name is Peppa. It gets confusing for 3-year-olds.
  • Arddun still seems more thrilled about cats and dogs.
  • Because we are packing to move eventually – and to de-clutter the house so we can give the illusion of living splendidly organised lives during any open houses we might be giving in the near future – we have been sorting through Arddun’s baby clothes. Omigoodness, so gobsmackingly cute and tiny they are! And there are so many pieces I can never throw away because they were all from my mother. The trouble is… even though we had assiduously stayed away from Too Much Pinky Pink Pink clothes… Arddun’s clothes are still decidedly girly. We salvaged quite a few tights and socks and some tops, but the rest are going to good homes one day. IF I ever get my butt in gear to sell them at a Baby & Kids’ market.
  • We found a name for Boy Blob! Which just means we might change our minds a few times more before we actually meet Boy Blob. Which is why we aren’t telling anyone his name yet.
  • I bought my first piece of baby boy clothing… which turned out to be this cream onesie with a faux cotton Mandarin-collar shirt over the top. For $6! How not to buy???
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“Luuuucy! I’m ‘ome!”

So as it turns out. Arddun’s wearing a lot of pink.

See, I started out with every intention of not girlifying my daughter too much. Made sure that I got some gender-neutral pieces in her wardrobe so that I get her on the straight and narrow early – no sequins, no insipid butterflies, no tutus, no fairy dust. As a name, “Arddun” sounds pretty strong and that was deliberate. We wanted our girl to be proud of her sex, but we didn’t want to live with a human candy floss either.

All well and good, until you go out into the Big Bad World, and everyone starts referring to your gorgeous girl as a Beautiful Baby Boy.

Related this tale of woe to several friends, as follows:

Me: Perfect strangers keep asking me how old my son is!

Friend: What was Arddun wearing at the time?

Me: Purple, mostly. Oh, and her onesie was white with polka dots – purple, red and blue.

Friend: Ah. There’s your problem. The outfit wasn’t girly enough.

Me: Well, what self-respecting man wears polka dots!

But point taken – “neutral” somehow translates to “male” more often than not. So we tried other things. But I still ended up with a similar result. When a stranger – an older man – referred to Arddun as my precious baby boy the other day, I admit it took some measure of self-control not to snap back the obvious:

“The child is wearing a hot-pink onesie. With bunny rabbits. Each sporting a hideous fringe of eyelashes that would make any Patpong lady-boy weep with delight and envy. If that baby is indeed a boy after all that, what are you trying to tell me exactly?

I wonder why I’m so deeply affected. It’s not like a loathe little boys – far from it. But it does strike at some core, some fundamental truth when your offspring cannot be recognised for who she actually is. It feels as ridiculous and offensive as if someone came right up to me and insisted I wasn’t Chinese but Indian. NOTHING against Indians. I’m just not one, that’s all.

Anyway – strike one on the trendy girl-dots. Strike two on the hot-pink rabbit-haunted onesie. After a particularly galling outing at Woden Mall the other day where four – four – strangers referred to Arddun as a boy, I marched into David Jones and bought the third-girliest hairband I could find.

Result: a mini rendition of Lucille Ball.

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My bump, my bump, my lovely Lady Bump

So as it turns out, Blob is actually Blobette. Little Miss Blobette to you. 

That’s right, folks! We’re going to have a girl. While some friends and family who were personally told the news figuratively punched the air and yelled, “I knew it!”, Tony and I kinda leaned forward and went, “Uh… what?”

See, the ultrasound technician didn’t give us any warning. Little Miss Blobette had once again gone camera-shy, and had spent the bulk of the $235 session burrowing her head into my pelvis so we had lots of difficulty getting quality shots of her bones and brain and what have yous. We kept having to go back and forth, hoping that we could get a better angle later.

By the nth minute, I was actually stifling a very unmaternal yawn as the dulcet tones of the nice ultrasound technician crooned,

… one hand… <click> <click>… other hand… fingers all there… <click> <click> … thigh bone… <click>… one foot… <click> <click> <click>… other foot… <click> <refresh>… legs… ooh, three stripes – it’s a girl… <click><click> <refresh>… back to head…

 Girl? Girl? I looked over at Tony and shot him a quick grin, and he looked about as stunned as I felt. And that’s when it hit me that we’d both been calling Blob an ‘it’ and a ‘he’ for so many weeks, that we had unintentionally assumed Blob was going to be Meester Blob.

We left the ultrasound clinic grinning uncertainly, laughter in our throats, utterly gobsmacked.

What is it about expecting mothers? Almost all I’ve talked to have some kind of gut feel about what they’re having. I’ve met mothers who’ve guessed wrong on most of their pregnancies – but that isn’t even the question. Because the bigger question, the real question is: why do we fixate on a gender in the first place? What makes us even HAVE a gut feeling? Why can’t most of us just chill and go, “it’ll be right?” Secretly, secretly – hush hush, mind you. Deep deep down in our guts and our most secret place, we all wonder, imagine, have a hunch. We all have a clue. Or we think we do.

For some bizarre reason, I thought Blob’s a boy. I wasn’t 100% sure of course… but I was about 75% there. There was NOTHING to indicate the gender. I’m really not into the swinging rings test, or the carry high / carry low theories. But on hindsight, I was ridiculously sure I was having a boy. It wasn’t even a case of some self-inflicted reverse psychology voodoo, where I was secretly hoping for a girl and telling myself that I’m having a boy just in case I got disappointed. Nup. Saw a boy. Knew his name. Loved him.

But then… a girl!

Words are failing me. It’s so hard to articulate the breadth and depth, the absolute schmozzle of feelings without sounding like I prefer one gender over the other. I don’t. How can I – I was born a girl. I loved being a girl. And Tony was a boy. And he’s now a gorgeous man. And I heart him to pieces. Either would be such a delight to behold. But we spent the next half hour in a cafe, holding hands and just soaking it all in. Adjusting the colour scheme in the fictitious bedrooom. Lengthening the hair on the child of our imagination. Adding a skirt. Changing her voice. But she is still learning to play softball with her daddy. And she now accompanies her mommy at the shops.

And I love her.

Let’s talk about sex, baby

Was talking to my pregger colleague about the whole to-do regarding Week 20. (Read: Finding Out Baby’s Gender.)

I was asking her if she wants to find out the sex of her child, and she said she couldn’t because her husband wants to be surprised, and she’s absolutely terrible at keeping this sort of thing secret from him.

Then she told me about her pregnant friend who had decided to learn the sex of her baby, while her husband opted to be kept in the dark.

Said friend then happily swanned home the next day with a pink dress, looked at her chagrined husband, and said, “What?”

Priceless.

Gender candor

Lots of thoughts swirling around the head today, particularly after I heard about someone’s near death-at-childbirth, and subsequent hysterectomy. She’s only young, too.

It got me thinking about lots of things, like unconditional love, and family planning, and the futility of thinking we can ever  plan anything, really. It also got me thinking about the sex of Blob. I keep trying to imagine Future Offspring as either a boy or a girl and I don’t feel crazy-hopeful about one over the other. Most pregnant women I’ve met seem to really root for having their first be a girl rather than a boy, although they’re invariably pleased anyway if it turns out the other way around. But I’ve been trying to figure out if I cared deeply either way, and I really think I don’t. Not yet, anyway.

Right now, I’d just be thankful if Blob makes it past week 12.

And that I’d be alive to meet him or her.

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