Ever since the day I whizzed on a stick and sealed my fate, I have been concerned with one thing: what gender will my baby be? I am the type to read the endings of books (magazines, pamphlets, sometimes even paragraphs) first, because the anticipation drives me insane. I need to know how things will go down, immediately.
People always ask if we have a gender preference. They expect us to say “no, as long as it’s healthy.” Both my husband and I think “no, as long as it’s a healthy girl.” We already have a daughter, so it would be kinda nice to reuse the clothes (at least the ones we didn’t have to cut off her body due to explosive poop). We also liked the idea of giving our daughter a little sister. But the idea of having a boy is tempting, too. One of each. A matching set. Boys love their mothers. But whenever I think of raising a boy, I remember when my friend brought her twins to our apartment. Her five-year old boy ran around the place like a Gremlin fed after midnight, literally tearing stuff up, while her daughter sat quietly in the corner and played with a crayon for two hours. While there’s the novelty of a boy, I’ve never been eaten by a Bengal tiger and yet I still know that I would prefer not to get eaten by a Bengal tiger.
Of course, having a gender preference definitely meant our baby would be the opposite. I did what any curious mom-to-be would do: I went online and took the Chinese gender predictor test. I did not like the outcome. I took it again, randomly changing my age, due date, and the lunar calendar, just to see. Same outcome. And since the Internet is never wrong (except when Web MDs said I had meningitis when I really just had a head cold), I guess we were having a boy.
Forget morning sickness or heartburn: true suffering is being kept in gender suspense until the 20-week anatomy scan. A routine check-up that measures all your baby’s vitals, it was the first legit glimpse I got of my fetus’ naughty bits. First, we had to sit through countless images of barely-identifiable baby parts, each one looking like the telltale gender clue.
“Ooh, what’s that?”
“That’s your baby’s femur.”
“Ohhhh. I thought it was…well anyways. What’s that giant thing between the legs?”
“That is the umbilical cord.”
And we kept staring at the screen, pretending to be interested in the skull circumference, while secretly wondering if he will end up looking like the gelatinous mummy he appeared to be. The technician switched the screen to measure blood flow, (or to show us how our baby would look if viewed by Predator).
Finally, our technician offhandedly remarked, “And that’s your daughter.”
Our what, now? All ten Chinese gender predictor tests can’t be wrong.
“Are you sure?”
She got snappy. “Listen, I know what I’m looking for, and I don’t see it.” The tech pointed to a random gelatinous blob. “There. That hamburger shape shows it’s a girl.”
While I wasn’t thrilled with my daughter’s lady parts being compared to fast food, it was still thrilling to have another piece of the puzzle revealed to us. High-fives, all around. My husband and I gave each other credit.
“Good job, hon. It was your X chromosome that made this happen.”
“Well, it was your idea to watch ‘My Little Pony’ while you ovulated.”
And on the ride home, as I grew relieved that our next-born would never pee in my face, play professional football, or be named “Thor,” my mind drifted to training bras, awkward dating talks, and the Kardashians. Suddenly a boy didn’t seem like a bad option.