The other day a good friend asked me if I was excited – if, after the rollercoaster of junior varsity infertility, I was finally ready to unleash the pregnancy-frenzy. I think I hesitated for a moment – engaged in a kind of surprisingly reflective self-check-in. Well, YES! I guess I am excited!
And I was; and I am. But transitioning from the anxiety of too-much-information, the deep, dark rabbit holes of the Googles, the truths of the interwebs-land-of-infertility-story-sharing and my own difficulty in, at least at first, contending with my own sudden and unexpected label – infertile – left me discombobulated.
Rather than the 8-weeks-pregnant-tell-the-world-or-at-least-Facebook-unbridled-euphoria! that seems to take hold of many in the newly pregnant set, I felt myself holding back. I knew too much, I was too lucky to get pregnant after just 14 months, it was too easy to not have to do IVF,
that shiny thing oh look I’m distracted.
But now, now, I’m there. At nearly 18 weeks, I am starting to think about what color to paint the baby’s room; I’m imagining what those first few weeks will be like, with C and I, at home together with our babe; I put my hands on my burgeoning bump and looked in the mirror and
all I could see was my pregnant body in a muumuu! I felt it, a sort of
cliché zen, like things were right in the world and like I might just have this
very baby. Or, you know, like it was over-90-degrees-in-my-un-air-conditioned-100-year-old-apartment-and-i-was-just-too-catatonic-to-do-anything-but-grin-stupidly-while-sweat-dripped-down-my-back.
Whatever. I’ll take it.
But the point is, there was something else that made this real. Like, real, real. And it’s something that I’ve been keeping from you, dear interwebs, dear loyal readers, dear new-followers-on-the-mysterious-bloglovin-which-makes-me-think-of-mclovin-and-which-I-really-like-but-only-sort-of-know-how-to-use. A big, bad, dirty little secret.
Here goes: we’re having a
feral pig! boy.
We just found out, after we finally got the results of some looney-tunes-test-that-only-newly-pregnant-after-infertility-29-year-olds-can-be-convinced-to-pay-for-when-their-risk-of-down-syndrome-is-one-in-a-gazillion. It’s one of these new tests – noninvasive, pulls out the baby’s DNA, checks for various scary trisomies and in so doing, also extracts the high-school-biology-memories-are-returning! XX or XY chromosome, with over 99% accuracy, so on and so forth.
So we found out. By phone, from a kind nurse, who patiently repeated the results several times because, you know, I was obviously having a series of small strokes, such was my overwhelmed-ness.
And now, here we are. Having a boy. I have never had a preference – I mean it. But at the same time, whenever we imagined a child, we imagined a girl – not because we had a preference, but because we had a name. Since college, we had a name for a girl. It was crazy. We imagined her pulling on our dog’s tail, romping around the garden in rubber boots, singing silly made up songs with C about squirrels and an imaginary cat named Waffles which was an orange tabby that she would pick out.
So yeah, it took a few days to shift our hypotheticals, to start seriously batting around boys’ names, to briefly consider how many times I would get peed on, etc.
But now we’re, kinda, sorta, here. Now I find myself thinking about the kind of son I want to raise; the kind of person he’ll be. And of course, there’s the obvious – he will be a feminist; he will wear a gender neutralizing, androgynous burlap sack until he’s 18; we will use exclusively unisex/intersex/sexless pronouns; we will play Free to Be You and Me records on an incessant, mind numbing loop; he will play with dolls and trucks and he will learn to bake and garden and sew and build fires and fix cars.
And then, you know, he will promptly rebel, join the Federalist Society, work for the NRA, never speak to me again and spend an inordinate amount of time in therapy.
Ah, yes, how quickly I get back to square one…
For now then, C and I are on the same page – screw the specifics of it all – boy, girl, or feral pig – we just want to raise a child who is happy, a child who is kind and compassionate, and a child who does good. Really, that’s it.
And you know,
also a child who takes after both of his parents in the sarcasm and political
opinions department, thanks, universe!
 Err, you know, in similar words.
 Until, like, almost 18 weeks. I know, I know, the portrait of restraint!, etc.
 (Though, anything-that-involves-taking-that-much-blood-shouldn’t-really-be-called-nonvinvasive. So. Yeah. Bunch a liars.)
 The words “punnet square” still elicit very mixed emotions of “ooh, fun, it’s like a puzzle!” and TERROR! TERROR! DO NOT PASS GO!
 The test has some kind of Orwellian-non-specific-but-sounds-like-rainbows! name, like “Sunshine” or “Harmony” or “Expensive-test-your-insurance-won’t-cover!” Something like that.
 But frankly, until I see penis, I’m still not convinced it’s not a goat.
 Which, obviously, was ALL-THE-TIME-FOREVER-AND-EVER.
 It’s our fantasy so, you know, withhold judgment, pleaseandthankyou.
 Fine. That last one might warp him.
 Because, honestly, the only way to play Free to Be You and Me is by record. That stuff is vintage.
 Because really, what other options are there?