In case you do not follow me on Twitter (@BehindTheEars) or my Facebook Fan Page, let this serve as your final warning: I am bringing a second edition of Yours Truly into existence. (Take cover.) Meaning, I can make girl parts as well as boy parts. Meaning, I am pregnant with a little girl this time in case you have no patience for snarkiness.
We went into the perinatologist’s office last Friday morning with the feeling you get before opening a college admissions letter or appearing at traffic court. Both Gordon and I were hoping for a girl for many reasons: so we would have one of each, so we would have one of each, so we would have one of each, and finally so we would have one of each. The second child is really the arbiter of future children. If you have the second of the same gender, then family and friends will no doubt pressure you to continue reproducing until the opposite gender is achieved or until they themselves get a new puppy. But if your second is of the opposite gender, well then, there’s no wondering what a “little Julie” would look like or what a giant expensive wedding would cost. Not that we don’t want more children after this. It’s just that no matter what, we’ll have one of each, which is very comforting for a great lover of symmetry (especially for the one, namely me, who is currently outnumbered).
I know girls are more drama. And more money. And more stress-inducing. But oh! The clothes! The pigtails! The pink-ness of it all! I could just vomit I’m so happy. Drew, if you read this eons from now, please know I was also vomiting of happiness when I knew you were a boy — simply because you were real and had a gender and were the First — and it’s not that you were such a bad boy that you made me want a girl, it’s just that I wanted to register at Zoe and Jack. And your gender does not have nearly the fashion selection.
Our perinatologist is from Jamaica. He told Gordon, “You are the best-dressed man I’ve seen in this office in five years,” which made me snicker a little bit and then wonder if he would charge us more.
But before the doctor made his appearance, his nurse had come in to do a preliminary screen of the baby with the sonogram machine and deliver The Big News. She was wearing orange UT scrubs that Gordon made a joke about – she didn’t laugh really – and when she sat down and squeezed the warm goop on my belly, I could feel red blood rising in my neck. She swirled the sono wand around a few times to get the lay of the land, and then suddenly our Pat appeared on the Big Screen. Pat was wiggling around and looking very human with a recognizable skeleton and profile in focus. I gasped. I could see Pat’s nose! The last time I had seen Pat was at 8 weeks when he/she was an oval mass with a quivering heart. But this Pat had really been busy, growing limbs and a brain and fingers and toes.
The Nurse looked at Pat from a variety of angles and then focused in between the legs. She had a very slight, very professional smile on her face and said, “and this is the gender.” She drew a little arrow on the screen. She looked at me like they do at Six Flags while strapping you into the Shock Wave, as if to say, there’s no turning back from this point on.
“And?” I said, my heart radiating and bursting with some sort of cold fire.
“It’s a girl,” she said quickly, definitively.
I can’t remember exactly what I said, only that I was crying and Gordon was looking at me in awe and delight and terror.
“I take it that’s what you wanted,” the nurse commented.
Yes. Yes it was.
When the doctor came in, he put our little girl back up on the Big Screen and was measuring the diameter of her ventricles. Then he began talking the stock market with Gordon. Now I appreciate my husband’s line of work, but can we please stay focused? He was measuring her femurs and her skull and her arms and belly and spine, just like his nurse had done, all while she kicked and shifted and tried her best to avoid this strange uncomfortable pressure from the Outside.
“She is very active,” he said, sounding like how Bob Marley would sound if he wasn’t singing. Yes, I said. I knew she was. I had been feeling her since week 16 which my regular OB had balked at.
So. We will have our Madeline Mae. That’s Pat’s new name, by the way. And yes, for those of you who know me personally, I realize that her initials will be “MMR” which is the abbreviation for the Mumps, Measles and Rubella vaccination, but let me argue the point that her actual monogram will be very symmetrical — mRm — and I think I’ve already expressed to you my love of symmetry. (I realize I take a huge step revealing the name so publicly because I know there are some of you out there with ugly, mortal enemies named Madeline and you will be the first to tell me about them. But I don’t care. I’m still vomiting from happiness.)
When all was said and done that day, it was probably the most fun doctor’s appointment of my entire life. And, as an added bonus, our doctor promised us free Raggae CD’s the next time we come in. No kidding. After all, nothing says sugar and spice and everything nice like a little Rastafarianism.