Saturday, 23 March 2013
I am so an original...
"Is it a boy or girl?"
Since the use of diagnostic genetic testing and ultrasound in obstetrics, it seems that almost all pregnant women and their partners can't wait to find out their baby's gender. At nearly every new OB visit with a primigravida, I mentally time how long it takes before they ask "how soon can we find out?" There are so many more options for novelty scans just to determine gender as well as a growing trend for 'reveal' parties. Yet, despite all this technology there are still some old school couples who want to keep the surprise until the end. I always found the delivery to be much more fun if the gender was unknown, and even when I thought I didn't ever want to have a baby, I always said that I would keep the gender a secret. (For the record, I have witnesses)
As Myrtle was a bit older than me, I looked up to her when we were growing up and I tried to emulate everything she did, which in turn really irritated her and she complained to her parents and mine that I was always "copying" her. Truth be told, I feared that I could be perceived as copying her again if I got pregnant soon after she made her announcement, which served as the silver lining for my next few BFNs. When she confronted me about seeming distant toward her pregnancy, she asked "Are upset that I became pregnant before you as you've been married longer?" I told her that was ridiculous and perhaps irrelevant as I wasn't sure I could become pregnant. In all honesty, I was jealous that she was pregnant and I wasn't. I was frustrated that I was struggling to conceive while it came so quickly for her. I wasn't bothered at all about her being first. Until she announced that she would be keeping the gender a surprise. Sigh. Should I ever become pregnant, I'll be seen as copying once again.
I don't know why I'm yielding so much to my inner 8 year old self. Infertility teaches us to appreciate what is really important and to disregard the trivial stuff. However, there is so much taken away from us during this process, are we to be denied petulant whining too? Co-worker just had her anatomy scan this week and also decided not to know their genders (although I had a dream she's having a boy and a girl). It's just another disadvantage of being infertile. Everyone around you gets first crack at shower ideas, nursery themes, baby names...etc... One of my other favourite scenes from 'the Baby Shower' episode of Sex and the City is when Charlotte discovers that the mother to be is planning to use her selected baby name. The other mothers can't understand why she is so upset; after all she's not even pregnant. Even though she probably agrees with them, Samantha comes to Charlotte's defense by yelling "You, bitch!" to the honoured guest and leads the girls to storm out of the party.
On some level there is a concern that the friends and family who promised, "it will be your turn one day!" might actually be too busy to give you the same attention when or if it does happen. Husband and I were quite generous to our friends in England when their babies were born, but as they all have at least two or three kids, I'm not expecting that we would get any gifts (not that it matters, at all). Alternatively, the other possibility is that you'll get everyone's used furniture and baby items, and not to be ungrateful, but it seems that it was more about your friend's need to clean the clutter from the attic than to give you a meaningful gift. Additionally, pregnancy is now old news as everyone has been there, done that. Although, you may have one friend who after being pregnant once, is now an expert and will lead you through what to expect while you're expecting, least you try to experience anything yourself. At the same time I also fear receiving extra attention and having others treat the pregnancy as if it is uber special, you know...given the circumstances...
In truth, I really don't want any attention if I do ever become pregnant. I won't tell my parents until after 20 weeks and I'm planning not to tell my staff at work. I want to see how far along I can get before someone is brave enough to tell me I'm getting fat. I don't want a baby shower or any gifts. I just wish I could be thought of as being original for withholding the gender until the end.