Mr P and I headed in for the big 19-20 week morphology scan on Tuesday. Although the predominant emotion was excitement, there was a nagging sense of apprehension coming along for the ride. I was just hoping that everything looked okay. We had also agreed upon finding out the sex of the baby this time around, which in itself was a new experience.
First time around we went for the ‘surprise’ at birth approach and I enjoyed that experience. But this time around I wanted to feel what ‘knowing’ was like. We honestly had no gender preference either way, so it was more an interest from a practical sense and an interest in having both experiences as this will be our last child.
We were ushered into the room and as soon as the warm gel went on and the dobbler brought up a clear image of our baby, the sonographer asked ‘So do you want to find out the sex?’. We both answered in the affirmative and as soon as we did, we were promptly told we were expecting another boy. I was immediately awe-struck and happy as was Mr P and we joked about how J Boy would love having a little bro to boss around.
The rest of the scan went really well, with no anomalies found. I felt like I floated out of the hospital, both excitedly chatting about our new little man, yet dreading the prospect of trying to name him … boys names were hard enough first time around.
We also then discussed whether we would tell others we knew the sex. Before the scan we had agreed upon the ‘our little secret approach’ but following the scan I felt I wanted to share the news. I had two reasons for this: 1) I was just so damn excited, I knew I’d find it hard not to share and 2) we were very aware that others wouldn’t find the news of another boy as exciting as we did and I kind of wanted to get their reactions and comments out of the way early, without my baby boy in my arms and the resultant new mother hormones.
And judging by the reactions so far, I’m pretty glad we made this choice. Plus, it’s a pretty interesting social experiment.
The most vocal commenters seem to fall into two main groups – those with a strong ‘girl’ preference and those with a strong ‘one of each’ preference (otherwise known as the ‘pigeon pair’ brigade).
Having never felt a strong pull to either camp pre- or post-children, I find the reactions from people that fall into these camps equal parts interesting and annoying. The arguments from both are so steeped in gender stereotyping about not only the parents in question, but an as yet unborn child. A child that will be born with its own unique personality, regardless of its gender.
‘You’ll have to try for another to get a girl’
‘We really wanted you to have a girl to even up the numbers’
‘I wanted you to have a girl that I could dress up in frills’
Are just some of the beauties we’ve heard, and that’s just from immediate family. And although we know they are happy for us and as excited about this soon-to-be-bundle as we are, the disappointment that crept into their voices when we told them the news is a bit of a bubble burster.
Mr P is over the moon. Having grown up with two sisters, he feels it’s finally his time to have the gender balance of power skewed in his favour.
As for me, even though I’ve only known life growing up as one of two girls (and here come the stereotypes) I’ve never been one to dress in frills, I hate shopping and I am fairly low maintenance when it comes to grooming. I have never wished for a girl to do ‘girly things’ with and I am thrilled and at peace about the prospect of living in a household of males (even the cat is a boy).
Yes, I’ll be spectacularly outnumbered but this mum can’t imagine having it any other way.
What’s your experience of the affect of gender on family dynamics? Any weird/unwanted comments to share?