Well, since everyone else who is pregnant on the internet is talking about it (it being pregnancy in general, and the magical 20-week ultrasound specifically), I certainly don’t see why I shouldn’t talk about it as well because who do I think I am, exactly? A sheep, that’s who. BAAAAAAAA.
So, this 20-week ultrasound, which in my case is happening at 18 weeks (I don’t know, things are all sorts of strange around here in Southern California), is scheduled for this Friday, and in terms of general trends, we have decided to buck the system, in that we are choosing not to find out the sex of this fetus (sex? gender? I am pretty sure sex is right, what with all that “gender is a cultural construct” stuff from my women’s studies days, but I see them used interchangeably, so you tell me, Oh Wise Internet).
People we talk to are somewhat divided on the issue- mostly with J’s family wanting to know- my mother in law so she can shop appropriately, and my niece and nephew so they can JUST KNOW, ALREADY, and all the other random people we tell either saying they couldn’t possibly wait “that long” to know (Damn, y’all- I have to wait “that long” to meet the baby, you can wait to know what it is), and others encouraging us to “stay strong” as it is the last truly surprising thing left in life (I am not sure I agree with this point, because, you know. Say I won the lottery without even purchasing a ticket. Now THAT would be surprising).
I’m not 100% clear on what my own personal reasons for not wanting to find out in advance are, which sounds strange to say, but there it is. Part of it definitely that I have a preference, and I don’t want to be disappointed with the baby before it’s even here, you know? I figure by the time I get to the delivery, it won’t matter one whit either way. Another reason is that not knowing prevents me from going on an insane shopping bender, purchasing every blue or pink onesie Target throws my way and petitioning my landlord for permission to paint the second bedroom with some gender-specific motif (this would require me to develop artistic skills overnight, but that’s neither here nor there).
But I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t also a part of me that is very curious, and J and I have gone round and round the issue- should we find out? Should we put it in an envelope? Should we then send said envelope to a friend, and have her open it in case of a sex-determination emergency? Should we keep it a secret? Should we find out and not tell anyone? Should we just fucking rock-paper-scissors it already, and make up our damn minds?
And to be even more honest, a point in favor of finding out is the limitations of the English language. If I’d like to avoid referring to my child as “it” then English requires me to use a personal pronoun, and as of this writing there are only two. Furthermore, English being a generally accepted patriarchal language, the most commonly used pronoun for items of indeterminate or no gender is “he” and therefore that is how, in my quest to speak English properly, I am bound to refer to my fetus, even though there is an equal chance the appropriate pronoun is “she”. I know calling the fetus “he” when it might possibly be a “she” has no bearing on the final outcome, that having been decided long before I even knew I was pregnant. but it does get tiring to say “I say ‘he’ because that is how English works, not because I know it’s a boy.”
All that to say I’m conflicted, but I am pretty sure we are not going to find out, at least not at this particular ultrasound. We can always schedule another, should I buckle under the weight of not knowing.
PS. Coucou, Maman!