19 Jun

When we became pregnant, nothing mattered to us besides having a healthy baby.

It did not matter what day the doctors gave as a due date.

We couldn’t have cared less about having a baby with a big nose or freckles or blue hair.

And we most certainly did not care if we were having a boy or a girl.

In fact, we decided to be surprised, and not find out the sex before meeting our baby.

It’s funny,

Before I was pregnant, I always imagined I’d have boys. There was a part of me that did hope I’d someday have a girl with whom I could have the kind of bond I have with my own mother, but then something would inevitably make me think that I would be a boy’s mom through and through.

Until I became pregnant.

As soon as I found out, for sure, without a shadow of a doubt, that I was, in fact, expecting,

Because as you can imagine, getting a positive result on a pregnancy test wasn’t good enough proof for me,

Nor were two positive pregnancy tests (those lines, they’re just so faint sometimes),

Nor were the several positive pregnancy tests that have the digital readout screaming, “YOU’RE PREGNANT, YOU MORON”,

I knew that my baby was a baby girl.

I knew it in my bones.

But, I made the mistake of listening to the chatter. The countless mothers who told me of how they swore their babies were one sex and then were shocked when they arrived as another.

That’s something I’ve learned as a mom; trust what you know in your own mommy bones.

In any case, as my pregnancy continued and my belly grew, the chatter only intensified.

“You’re carrying high and wide, it must be a girl”

(in truth, I must admit that I was, in fact, carrying totally stereotypically “girl”…but, still)

“Your face hasn’t changed at all. Totally boy”

And, the occasional, “Are you sure there’s only one baby in there?”

But, my personal favorite was the always-lovely-to-hear,

“You are so having a girl. Girls steal your beauty, you know”

Those people might as well cup their hand around their mouth, point and shout “Thar she blows!”, as it really has the same effect.

It didn’t matter what people said, we weren’t finding out the sex, and it didn’t matter, as long as the baby was healthy and strong and well .

And, going into the 20 week anatomy scan, the baby’s sex was the last thing on our minds.

I didn’t sleep for two nights leading up to the exam.

I just couldn’t wait to see our baby.

I basically flew into the hospital’s perinatal testing center,

So anxious for the ultrasound to begin,

I could scarcely wait one minute more

I filled out the forms as quickly as I could write, and when the receptionist called my name, I leapt out of my seat much faster than any nearly five-months-pregnant lady should ever move.

But, to my absolute horror, the receptionist was not, in fact, calling me to go back to the ultrasound room. She was calling me to apologize for the other receptionist’s huge scheduling error. They had made my appointment at another hospital, nearly 45 minutes away. We’d have to reschedule for the following week.

Now, remember my experience with pregnancy induced insanity?

Yeah, this was one of those moments.

I had a meltdown.

The tears began to flow so fast that I truly could not see straight.

The nurses walking in and out of the reception area were so alarmed at the sight of a hysterical pregnant woman that they brought us into the manager’s office so that I could collect myself in private

(read: so that I would stop scaring the other pregnant women in the room)

Now, looking back, I realize it only would have been a few days. I could have waited. But, I hadn’t slept in nights, had been counting down the minutes until I would see our baby, I was hormonal and I couldn’t cope.

I decided to dig in my heels. I wouldn’t leave without seeing our baby.

And so, four hours and many teary conversations later, I was lying on a table with cold goo being spread across my belly.

And, in an instant, the machine before us turned on,



Lit up the screen.

The scan was great, all of the organs were perfect, and baby was measuring exactly on schedule.

And, then, at the exact same time, my husband and I saw something. A little something wiggling between the legs. Almost in unison, we both shouted

“Is that a penis?!”

Now, we had already instructed the ultrasound tech that we did not want to find out the sex of our baby. We were keeping it a surprised. She praised us.

But, then we saw that little squiggle wiggle.

It was clear that tech did not know what to say.

“Um, do you want me to tell you?”

My husband and looked at each other. It had been an absolutely harrowing day. We needed some good news, and the news of our baby’s sex would be more than good, either way.

And so, the reluctant technician flashed an image on the screen,

A rear view (no pun intended) of her bottom half.

There was nothing there. No squiggle wiggle sticking out. Nothing waving at us.


My husband spoke first,

“There’s nothing between her legs”

The technician nodded and started, “You see, here are three lines…”

And before she could continue, I screamed,

“IT’S A GIRL!?!??!”

“Yes,” she replied, “It’s a girl!”

All that came next was a deluge of tears,

Tears of joy.

We  were both in awe,

sheer amazement,

We were having a girl.

Secretly, I believe that my husband was hoping for a little girl.

I know that I was over the moon.

And I had known it all along.

We still kept the news a secret.

At least, for a little while.

It was only after an ultrasound at 31 weeks,

One that I begged my OB to give us,

That I felt confident enough in her, well, girl-ness, to reveal the news to the world.

My OB sent me home with a souvenir that day.

Something to look at anytime I had doubts that the little wiggling thing in our anatomy scan was just an umbilical cord.

A special, zoomed in ultrasound picture for me to treasure.

With the caption,

“My Vag”

Anyone who tells you that you should totally wait until the baby is born before finding out the sex, that it is the only surprise left in the entire world, that it will make the actual birth so much less exciting if you know the sex…..

Has no freakin’ idea what they’re talking about.

Because, I’ll tell you,

Even though I knew she was a girl,

Dreamed she was a girl,

Believed, in my heart of hearts, that the little baby inside me was a girl,

There was nothing like the shock of seeing her on the ultrasound screen that day,

All waving and kicking in her girly goodness.

If the way I felt that afternoon was not sheer, unadulterated shock and joy,

I don’t know what in this life is.


12 Responses to “ultraSurprise”

  1. Sarah July 31, 2010 at 10:54 pm #

    We’re finding out gender a week from Monday and this just made me even more excited, which I didn’t think was possible! Also… I, too, am totally guilty of peeing on THREE digital pregnancy tests and then waiting for my blood work to come back before I was convinced. 😉

    • mommyeverafter July 31, 2010 at 11:00 pm #

      That is so exciting, I can’t wait to hear the news!! Do you have any gut feeling? As I said, I remember being like 5 weeks pregnant and just thinking of her as a girl. It surprised me, because I hadn’t expected to feel that way, and I hadn’t expected to have a girl, but I just knew..


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