Years and years…and years ago when I found out I was pregnant with my first baby I couldn’t wait to find out what my loins spawned. Would I be buying pink frilly curtains with ballerinas posing in the five basic positions or crib sheets covered in quarterbacks and wide receivers?
We reached the three month mark and began telling all of our friends and family (and any stranger who asked, “How are you today?”) that we were pregnant. After congratulating us, they all had one question, “Are you going to find out if it’s a boy or a girl?”
“Heck YEAH,” I exclaimed with excited conviction.
Just before our four month ultrasound where we would surely learn what our little bundle was sporting down below, my husband sat enjoying a glass of wine while I sat drooling over it. “So honey,” he said very sweetly as he picked up my foot and started rubbing it, “don’t you love surprises?”
OMG. OMG. OMG., I thought, here comes a little blue box of appreciation.
“Of course I love surprises sweetie,” I said with excitement and had to force myself not to hold out my hand and close my eyes.
“That’s good,” he said as he rubbed my foot, “because I was hoping we could not find out the sex of the baby.”
Crestfallen and hormonally enraged, I jerked my foot away and stammered, “No we are not NOT finding out the baby’s sex. I want to know. I want to know what color to decorate the nursery. I want to know what cute clothes to buy for my baby and most importantly, I WANT TO KNOW.” With that I rushed to my bedroom, flung myself onto the bed and cried giant irrational tears of a hormonal pregnant woman until I fell asleep.
The next morning, after a trough of happy-mood-inducing Fruity Pebbles, I opened the conversation back up with my husband. We spent the next several days debating the merits of both sides. Ultimately he won. We decided not to find out the sex of our baby. I am glad we didn’t. Yes, it took every ounce of patience in my ever enlarging body, but it was incredible to hear the words, “It’s a boy Stefanie,” just as the first scream of life escaped my newborn baby’s lips.
I had two more babies after that. Both times I found out the sex the very moment I was able. I highly recommend, if you can muster up the patience, to try waiting with at least one. There is something truly magical about being surprised.
For those of you who can’t wait, here’s a tip: Instead of finding out in the sterile ultrasound room, have the technician write the sex of your baby on a piece of paper and place it in a sealed envelope. Open it together at home. It’s a wonderful moment with your spouse, don’t share it with a stranger.
How fortunate was I, in all three of my pregnancies, (and you probably were too if you are reading this) that I was allowed the privilege of frivolous thought? Boy or girl? Girl or boy? So many mothers here in the U.S. and around the world are not as lucky. They wonder if their babies will be healthy, if the baby will survive childbirth, if they themselves will survive it. If the birth is successful, they deal with the first years of life being riddled with health issues, a lack of vaccinations and malnutrition. Please help me to help ABC, the United Nations Foundation and Million Moms Challenge change the face of pregnancy and motherhood for those in need.
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Becoming pregnant changed my life, and I’d love to hear more about your best or most difficult pregnancy moments. By replying, you will be entered to win an exclusive Million Moms Challenge Gift Pack, which includes an all expenses paid trip to a conference on mothers hosted by the UN Foundation in DC (Jan/Feb 2012), an iPad2, a custom-made Million Moms Challenge pendant and $50 donation in your name to Global Giving.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Million Moms Challenge. The opinions and text are all mine. Contest runs September 19 to October 16, 2011. A random winner will be announced by October 18, 2011.