“I would take out minimally three mortgages on my home so I can pay for her to go to therapy four times a week for the rest of her life,” said K.
“Wow, you nice. I would disown her. Fine, too harsh. I would just make my friends adopt her even if she is 26,” I responded.
We were watching a gem of a show on ABC called “The Bachelor Pad.” This beautiful girl named Jamie was so delusional in her one-sided romance with a guy who did not value her in the least. She would follow him to his bunkbed and beg to makeout with him even when he had shoo’d her away before. And even after he had been making out with another gal on the bottom bunk as she fell asleep on the top bunk, knowing what was going on. She obviously did not value herself. This seemed to be a recurring theme among the quality reality shows we tune into.
“These shows are really making me scared to have a daughter,” admitted K.
For better or for worse, we’ve committed to not finding out the sex of our Belly Baby this time around.
For better: We want the experience of being surprised as a few friends have shared that the surprise was the most amazing, thrilling event of their lives. (Here, Kevin wants to point out that the pronoun should be “I”, not “We,” as he was all for finding out).
For worse: I don’t think we’ve purchased a single thing for this baby even though we know there are some gender-neutral options out there. When we are out shopping, we just freeze when we see boy/girl options for clothes and accessories (and Kevin unfreezes just long enough to shake his head at me though he was initially into this surprise business.) And the suspense (that yes, we created), even though we know that there are only two options, Lord willing.
To not know whether we are going to have another son or a daughter is a strange stage, a new experience we created to make our second pregnancy stand out from the first. (Again, I’m sure Kevin would like to insist that I use the “I” pronoun for accuracy). We end up fretting about the potential problems specific to girls when we don’t even know if we’ll ever have a daughter.
On the way to the gym one day, Kevin saw a teenage boy trying to hit on a teenage girl. He watched their interaction and worried that one day he will be cringing at the sight of someone trying to pick up his little girl. If he has a girl.
When I was carrying Micah, I didn’t have time to wonder TOO long as I found out Week 17. The night before, as we were about to fall asleep, I said, “C’mon, Que Bin. Let’s close our eyes for a few seconds in silence and then on the count of three, tell me which name you see on the wall of our imaginary nursery. One, two, three…” We both said “MICAH” even though we were still name-shopping. We both thought “boy.”
The next day, at the anatomy scan, we were holding hands tightly as the sonographer lubed up my belly.
“Can you tell me when you’re actually gonna tell us ‘boy’ or ‘girl’ because I want to brace myself. Otherwise, I’m just gonna stare at your lips intently to see if they’re gonna form a ‘b’ or a ‘g’ sound. Thanks for bearing with me. I’m just too excited,” I said.
Few seconds later…
“OK. Are you ready? I’m going to tell you now.”
“Yes, we’re ready!”
“It’s a boy!”
I started to cry. Kevin got verklempt.
“How sure are you? Can we tell the grandparents?”
“90% sure.” She moved her gadget on my belly a little bit more. “100% sure.”
After the visit, as we’re about to call our parents, I took out a boy’s onesie I had brought in my purse to show Kevin, “Booyah! I had known all along!” I had just felt it but wasn’t sure if it was wishful thinking as gut feelings are not 100%. Then I went on to have a Joy Luck Club conversation with my MiL who said something about how NOW, I can really lead the Kim family since I am producing the fourth generation first son. (Cue “Lion King” song).
This time around, I really don’t know. In a way, I can’t imagine either. I can’t imagine another boy because when I think “boy” I can only imagine my beloved Micah. But I also can’t imagine a girl because I can’t imagine my womb producing a different product from before. I do know that their sonograms look nothing alike. Micah was rounder, this baby is pointier, sharper. Pregnancy symptoms and the way I’m carrying is pretty much the same, not that those are conclusive.
I am pretty surprised at the reactions I’ve been getting from our family and closest friends about our not finding out the sex this time. My mom has begged me to quit doing this because it is just too frustrating and contrived to not find out what is readily available. She said back when I was born, there was no choice but to not know until the birth, but now, for me to look away during the anatomy scan and not find out was ridiculous. My mother-in-law went on a recent trip to Korea and said she couldn’t buy this baby ANY gifts since we don’t know the sex of the baby. My close girlfriends have taunted me, saying on the one hand, this is so not me, but on the other hand, why I gotta make everything such a dun-dun-dun event, and let’s just break into your online medical file.
I admit it’s driven us crazy here and there especially because my medical file is online, always available with my username and password. Yet, it has made our second pregnancy feel less like a mere sequel. It’s been fun hearing people’s theories and hunches, based on their own experiences or general wives’ tales.
For instance, after one of my o.b. appointments, a Black man come up to me on the F train while I was devouring some S’mores scone crumbs from inside my Alice’s Tea Cup bag, making sure I got every last bit. He stared right at my face then at my belly, then back to my face. “GIRL! You having a girl!”
“Is that right?” I asked, wiping the crumbs off my chin. “How’s your track record? How many times have you guessed correctly?”
“I have seven kids. Four by my wife. I guessed right four times. You having a girl.” He was honest. Didn’t lie about his less than stellar track record.
Another time I was running after Micah at Barnes & Noble when I noticed a tan Asian woman staring at me. I wasn’t offended at her long stare because it seemed like she was readying to strike up a conversation.
“How excited are you to have a girl this time?” she finally said.
“Really!? We actually didn’t find out the sex this time but what makes you think that?”
“You’re carrying so wide like I did when I had my daughter. You are having a girl! I’m Indonesian and we know these things.”
And finally, I met a gorgeous mother of four gorgeous, well-behaved boys today. She guessed girl as well but admitted that she thought she was having a girl the fourth time around. Her girl turned out to be her now three-month old son, Luke, the only blue-eyed child among her brown-eyed brood.
Why resort to something as scientific and accurate as a sonogram when I can have all this fun speculating for up to two more months?