I lay on the examining table. My underwear and pants are bundled at my ankles so they won’t get gooed by the ultrasound gel. My boots are still on. A paper blanket covers my legs, and my tummy is smothered in clear jelly. Tim sits in a chair to my left, the ultrasound machine and monitor to my right. The technician leaves the room to show our 20-week ultrasound images to the doctor.
Up to this point the ultrasound technician has been unable to get views that reveal our baby’s gender. Tim and I discuss the possibility that we may not be able to find out until the baby’s born, and we talk about whether we want a boy or girl.
“I just love our girl’s name so much, I would be sad if we don’t get to use it,” I say. “Plus, that just means another few years of worrying every time a friend gets pregnant and hoping no one else uses it.”
“No one else will use it,” Tim says. “It’s not like it’s popular.”
“It’s sort of popular.”
“No it’s not.”
“Well it should be.”
We also talk about how raising boys might be easier in the long run. “Girls can be so caddy and mean. Junior high girls have to deal with so many self esteem issues. Boys probably have some of that, but not as much.”
“Yeah, not as much,” Tim says.
“We’ll just get our son contacts when he goes into high school. He’ll be fine.”
Tim laughs. He has told me about how he got contacts the summer before his sophomore year and how suddenly his status on the social ladder improved. It was your stereotypical high school movie.
When I return home that night I see the Facebook status of a high school friend. She says her five-year-old daughter refuses to wear any of the jeans in her closet. She only wants to wear skinny jeans from now on. “Oh boy…,” the status says. Oh boy is right.
There is a part of me that doesn’t want to open the envelope revealing our baby’s gender. Once we know, I will look at baby clothes more one sided–the adorable little dresses, the cute baby bow ties. It will be exciting to know, and it may make things feel more real–especially for Tim, for him I imagine this whole pregnancy is still somewhat abstract. Still, until that telling moment, there is only possibility.