U/S tech: OK, let's find out if this is a pink baby or blue...hmm...here's the legs...here's the rump...here's between the legs...ummm...this is the umbilical cord...umm...hmm...
Me: What do you think, Bachman? Do you see a winky?
Chris: Um, I don't see what you're even talking about.
U/S tech: Well, here's the left leg, here's the right leg, here's the butt...jeez, this kid is in a bad spot...
Me: [Wincing as the tech digs that little wand into my belly to cajole baby out of its cozy spot] I don't see a winky...is it a...?
Chris: No, wait, I see it...what's that?
U/S tech: I'm gonna say girl...but wait...no...what's that?
Me: I don't see anything.
Chris: What is that? Umbilical?
U/S tech: Oh, man, I don't know...I didn't see anything before, but that is definitely something now...but Baby is all jammed up against the placenta and here's the cord...it's hard to tell...it might be the umbilical cord, or it might be a penis...it might be nothing...
Me: What? I don't see a winky...where?
U/S tech: I don't know...I can't really tell...
Me: But I've been having girl vibes! Move it around some more...want me to do jumping jacks or hold my breath or something?
U/S tech: Sorry. I just can't tell. Maybe at your next ultrasound.
Me: BUT I WON'T HAVE ANOTHER ULTRASOUND! THIS IS IT! WE CAN'T GO YET! WE HAVE TO KNOW! WAIT!
U/S tech: [shakes her head] Sorry. I can't say, and I don't want to guess wrong. Good luck! [And she speeds out of the room while we sit starting at each other in silence.]
So that's that. We don't know if Baby is a he or a she. And as we walked out, I felt bummed -- I was really hoping to prepare my brain, bond a little with my new son or daughter...not to mention prepare Big Brother (who won't even listen to the possibility of a baby sister) and paint the nursery and choose a name and get stuff together. Drat.
But as the day goes on, I've regained perspective. We have a healthy, very active baby growing in there, and up until a few months ago I didn't think that would happen ever again. I saw his/her head and heart and spine and legs and arms and foot -- I saw our baby's little foot! I caught a glimpse of a miracle, saw a tiny 11-oz. person swimming around inside me. And that makes me giddy-teary-happy.
I suppose, too, there's something to be said for the "last big surprise" on the day I get to look this little stinker in the eyes and say hello, my love, we're so happy you're here (now you're in time out for not cooperating at your ultrasound!).
As my sister so deftly put it, "You've got plenty of time --and so does Sweet Boy -- to figure out what it means to have a brother or sister while your infant is changing from a seemingly genderless mass-blob of breastfeeding and pooping hilarity into a real human being that cares about colors and toys and stuff." True. Very true. And like I keep telling Sweet Boy, there's really no difference between teaching a brother or a sister all you know about life; your little sister can play with trucks with you just as well as your little brother can play the piano with you, right?
Stay tuned, then, for the ongoing saga of Is It a Winky or Is It a Hoo-Ha? To be continued around, oh, mid-March.