People have always asked if we find out the gender of our babies before birth, and my answer has always been the same: “No, because I’ve never had a midwife who did ultrasounds. I would love to if I had the chance, but I just can’t justify the extra cost.”
I always thought people who didn’t want to find out were a little weird. Who wouldn’t want to know? It would make it so much easier to plan ahead for clothes and accessories. You could name your baby way ahead of time and talk about it/him/her without the awkward pronouns. What’s not to love about knowing ahead of time, except for the cost?
Tomorrow I visit a new midwife for the first time. She has an ultrasound machine in her office. The cost of the ultrasound is included in her price for prenatal & delivery. At 20 weeks, people tell me I should be able to find out what we’re having.
And to my complete shock, I suddenly understand why some people don’t want to know.
I feel like I’m being offered the chance to peek at my presents before they are given to me. “It’s ok,” the voice in my head whispers. “It’s not really cheating. Everyone does it, and nobody will mind. You’re expected to do it. Who wouldn’t? Why wouldn’t you?”
But I feel like the delivery itself will be anticlimactic if the baby and I have already met. It will become simply something to be endured, instead of the price and prelude to meeting our newest baby.
And because the thought is lurking shamefully in the back of my head, I have to admit that I’m afraid it might be easier to be disappointed if I see a little girl in an ultrasound. At the moment of delivery, there is no way to be disappointed. I will have a sweet, precious new baby in my arms and at my breast. But at the halfway mark, with 20 weeks to go, maybe there is a chance of disappointment. I might have to put on a brave smile and say that I’m grateful while inside I’m making emotional adjustments to the notion that my boy still doesn’t have a brother.
I’m sure this falls under ovarian guilt. I just want to be sure I’m as thrilled to meet this new baby as I have been with all the rest – and I’m suddenly unsure if that would happen in an ultrasound.