So this is going to sound bad: I was kind of hoping Gabriella was a boy. I know, it sounds terrible. And then I hear Annie’s soft little voice saying you get what you get and you don’t get upset. In the early stages of my pregnancy, I was feeling pretty awful and at that point there was really no end in sight. I’m one of those people who starts feeling nauseated from the moment that egg is fertilized; I would never make it on the show I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant because I always know. Then I had an ultrasound around week ten that showed some male parts. That was probably the moment it became real to me and I was finally excited about child #4.
You see that? A penis, right? I was ecstatic. How perfect? It would be two girls and two boys, super symmetrical. I could take the girls out for manis and ice cream and Craig could sit at home with the boys watching football and eating a bucket of chicken. Or whatever it is that guys eat. Craig isn’t much of a chicken-out-of-bucket-guy, but you get the idea.
At around 12 weeks I had another ultrasound. I was making small talk with the tech.
Sooooo, what is it?
I’m not allowed to say until 16 weeks.
That’s ok, I know it’s a boy. (I was totally smug.)
Actually, it can still go either way.
Okay, but there’s a penis.
Hmmmm… actually, it looks more like labia.
What does she know.
Genetic testing has come a long way since my first pregnancy six years ago. It blows my mind that you can give a vile of blood and find out the gender (and all sorts of cool genetic information) weeks after conception. I figured I’d just call my doctor and ask for the results.
Everything looks great, blah blah, healthy baby, blah blah.
That’s great! But what is it?
It’s a girl! Congratulations!
That day, Craig had come home early from work due the flu. I was unsympathetic, as I’ve told him dozens of times to get the shot but he never listens. He was lying in bed, dead to the world with cold sweats, high fever and aches that just wouldn’t back down.
Ummm, Sweetie? I just got off the phone with the doctor, ummm, and it looks like our son has a vagina. On the bright side, she’s healthy!
Was I disappointed? Yes. Did I feel even worse for feeling disappointed? Totes.
It didn’t help that around week 11, I had found a stroller on Craigslist for an excellent price and had to buy it. It was bright blue which was perfect since after all, I was having a boy. However, upon hearing the latest news I was like well screw that, I’m sticking with the blue stroller.
When Annie was born I went all girly-girl on her. She’d wear bows or tutus or something that would let the world know that she’s a girl. And despite the zebra hat with a pink flower that was larger than her head, strangers would still tell me how cute he was. And I’d be like hold me back… what do you mean HE? That was then. Now, I’d just be like thank you, he is cute! (And to be fair, Annie was pretty darn bald!) Back then, I may have found it offensive when people would dress their girls in boys’ clothing; such a waste of having a girl! Old me, or should I say, 2010 Al would never push a girl in a blue stroller. Alas, I’ve done some growing up. Gabriella is thoroughly enjoying being chauffeured around in her blue chariot and I don’t think I’ve ever been stopped on the street by anyone asking why I’m pushing my girl in a blue stroller because — newsflash, 2010 Al — NO ONE CARES.
Looking back, I can’t believe I got upset when I found out Gabriella was a girl. So what if there’s an imbalance? And since when do we care about being perfect symmetrical?
But seriously, missing-tooth-jokes aside, she’s awesome.
Judah loves being the little prince around our house. Lisi likes watching sports with Craig. Annie loves splashing in mud or playing soccer. And without sounding all cheeseball, I am thankful she’s healthy. And super cute.
As a newborn, Judah was a puker, snorer and grunter, a trifecta that guaranteed him eviction from our room at about two weeks. I dismissed it saying oh, haha, he’s such a boy. Gabriella is following in his footsteps but on a three month delay. The spit-up. OMG, the spit-up. We’re talking three to four outfit changes a day — heck, sometimes I put a bib on her just to soak some of it up and it’s still not enough. Did you know that she requires nightly baths just to get the smell off? And it’s not that pukey smell that passes as “new baby scent”, it’s just bad, almost fungal. At night, she sleeps in a crib located about six inches from my left ear. She was fine at first, that little trickster, but then the snoring and snorting! And the farting. Followed by the sharting. Then more spit-up and explosive poops which inevitably lead to yet another wardrobe change at like 3am. I’ve come to the realization that this isn’t really a boy/girl thing. Perhaps just a baby thing?
So I’ll probably end up embracing the feathers and sparkles and gender stereotypes (guilty!) that come with the girly territory, all while pushing her around town in a blue stroller. I mean, I easily could’ve changed the blue fabric to a lovely magenta, but I didn’t. And it wasn’t so that I could mourn the time that I really wanted her to be a boy. I’m not leaving it just on principle either, like hey, remember when I thought you were a boy, here’s a memento. Really, I left the color alone to remind myself of the time I got that great deal on Craigslist. Because like they say, “you get what you get and you don’t get upset”.
And I’m totally not upset.