In case you missed the memo, I’m pregnant with my third child. And I’m a glorious mixture of anticipation and apathy and anxiety. (Yes, these things can commingle. Trust me.) This pregnancy’s been interesting so far. Familiar and yet new terrain. So much of this makes sense, but so much is startlingly fresh. Now that I am finally beginning to feel better physically, I have been doing a lot more thinking about this. This reality. This fact that we are all on the precipice of compelling change. That our family, as I type this, as cells multiply within my core, is evolving.
My latest fascination is with what’s inside. I know it’s a baby, and itty-bitty at this point. I know, and am utterly in awe of the fact that, day by day, this little being is growing more complex and mature. But I do not know yet whether it is a boy or a girl. It is one of these things, but I am not aware yet which. This amazes me. That there is truth inside me, and I can’t behold it.
I will have an answer in less than two weeks. On my birthday, in fact. (October 4th for all you calendar kids!) Yes, on the day I turn thirty-two, I will lie there on that mechanical chair while a kind woman scans a wand over my belly. An image will appear on the screen. Black and white. If all goes well (and I pray that it does), we will see what awaits us. A heart beating with vigor. A little person in the throes of becoming. And then, at some point, this woman will ask a question I have heard before, “Do you want to know what you’re having?”
And Husband and I will, in unison, say yes. And she will reveal what it is.
And so. Today, I sit here mere days from knowing. Many people have been asking me what I want. And what I want is obviously a healthy child. That’s what matters. All that matters. Truly. But they probe further. Boy or girl? They ask. And I say I don’t know. Because this seems the appropriate answer. There is a creature in there and I don’t want to offend him or her. But I also say this because it is true.
I don’t know.
This happened yesterday. Nanny asked. “What do you want?”
And maybe she was seeking a simple, one-word reply. But that’s not what she got. No.
“I think I want a girl. I love the idea of three little girls growing up together. There is something so magical, so dear to me, about sisters. But… I don’t know. That might be a defense mechanism. Maybe I think I want a girl because I feel that’s what I will have and I want to be okay with that. Maybe what I really want is a boy, to see what it is to have a son, but I won’t admit this because I don’t think it’s going to happen. After all, it must be amazing to know what it is to have a daughter as well as a son. The weird thing is that I really don’t know what it is I want, but I’m pretty sure that I want one or the other.”
Yes, I was rambling. But buried in there, in my meandering monologue, was something I had never really appreciated before. Never seen. That something? That our very desires can often be opaque. Even to us, their owners.
And so. I don’t know. I really don’t know. What’s inside. What I want to be inside.
Either way, it’s incredible, isn’t it? That, in this very moment, as my fingers dance across the keys, little fingers dance inside me. Waving. An early, exquisite hello.
- Do you believe that it’s possible to want something and not know what that something is?
- If you have pregnant before, did you have strong desires for boy or girl?
- Do you think all of us, deep down, want one of each gender or not necessarily?
- Do you think our psyche can work to protect us from disappointment by obscuring the details of our innermost wants?
- What do you think is inside?
- What do you think I want to be inside?