Making the photo book has inspired me to go a step further in my memory preservation, so I’ve been working on writing more things down. You might think I do so already with this blog, but there is a lot I leave out. See, I’m still not entirely sure what this blog is. So far, it’s Charlotte’s baby book, with a few posts about our home, jobs, and pets. Things never get too personal, and for that reason, I feel it’s not a completely accurate reflection of our lives. A large part of me wants to write something deeper so that we can look back and remember and reflect. Because while I think it’s certainly important to remember how much your baby weighed in pounds and ounces on his/her birthday, I think it’s far more important to remember the weight of the moment your baby was placed in your arms. These are the things I need to write down.
So far I’ve covered the positive pregnancy test, the pregnancy, and my first ultrasound. So yeah, I’ve got a lot more to do. Is it safe to say that I’m trying to write our entire life story? Yes. Is that ridiculous? Yes. But I like doing it, so be it.
I’ll share with you our “It’s a girl” story….
Chris and I decided right away that we would find out the sex of our baby at the 20 week ultrasound. It’s not that we don’t appreciated surprises, but we figured pregnancy and childbirth would present us with plenty of those. (Yep.)
Ever since I even considered kids with Chris, I assumed we’d have sons. All sons. Chris is one of two boys, and his dad is one of four. Six of the eight Doran cousins are boys. I always figured that the Dorans just don’t make girls. Certainly, this child inside of me was a boy; it was a boy long before we were pregnant.
When the day of the ultra sound arrived, July 10th, I was beyond excited. This would be the first time I got to see the little Sprout who was finally making my belly round. Amy and Bob came for the day, and we had lunch beforehand at one of our favorite places in town, Motley Cow. I can still taste that delicious poached egg on sourdough sandwich I had….Mmmmm.
By the time we got to the hospital and I was jellied up for the ultra sound, my stomach was fluttering from nerves (or baby?). Then we saw Charlotte pop up on the screen. She flipped and stretched and scrunched into a little ball for us. It was the most fascinating movie I’d ever seen. The nurse pointed out Baby’s head and feet and hands to us. She pointed out Baby’s spine, belly, and stomach. Most of the time all I could make out were lots of blobs. In fact, there were so many blobs of varying shapes and sizes that I thought for sure a few of them must be my son’s testicles. (Although the quote I used in real life was, “Oh look! I think I see little balls!”) Since we had a student nurse learning how to take all the measurements, we were lucky to have thirty-five minutes of baby-watching. I learned after the fact that most ultrasounds last only about ten minutes if everything’s looking the way it should. Lucky lucky us!
“Do you want to know the sex?” the nurse finally asked.
“Yes!” we answered. This was it!
The nurse smiled. “It looks like a little girl!”
Pause. Smile. Squeeze Chris’s hand. Oh My God! A girl!
“Are you sure?”
“Well, here are her labia so, yes.”
I didn’t see said labia, but I took her word for it. We were having a girl!
Right away, I could imagine my daughter. My daughter. She was two or three with wispy blond hair. We were holding hands in a field (or something). It looked like a hazy photograph in a magazine, and I never felt happier. I think expecting to have a boy made us even more excited to have a daughter. It was so fun to be wrong. I couldn’t stop smiling.
In bed that night, I asked Chris if he was at all, even a little bit, disappointed. I knew the answer already because it was written all over his face all day, but I wanted him to say it. He did: I’m even more excited because she’s a girl. Charlotte was already the luckiest baby in the world.
In truth, I’d always wanted a daughter first. I am a first-born daughter, so I know firsthand that it’s not a bad gig. Your first child is also your only child that gets to be an only child (at least for a little while), and I think it’s special for a mother to have a daughter to share this time with. Corny as this sounds, Charlotte really is my dream come true.
True story: A couple of weeks before I gave birth, I developed a sudden fear that the ultra sound tech made a mistake, and our little she would turn out to be a little he. I’d only had one ultra sound (until the day I went into labor), and everyone has heard the stories. The thing is, those stories are funny and cute when they are about someone else. But when you already have a closet full of pink clothes that you’ve already washed and can’t return (and more importantly, when you’re operating in full-on nesting/frantic/slightly terrified/very large and uncomfortable mommy-to-be mode), it’s not as funny. Plus, when you find out the sex of your baby before its birth, you’re implying that you don’t want a surprise. (Champagne problems, right?) As it turns out, Charlotte didn’t surprise us by coming out with a third leg, but she did surprise us with her grand entrance into the world. Oh boy, was that a surprise.
(I must say: Of course, a first-born son is just as special, and I would have been elated had the nurse indeed found a pair of little balls. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.) But isn’t it true how, once you have your baby, you can’t imagine having anyone different? Especially not the opposite sex. That’s all it is.)
(Oh, and please don’t tell me I should just be grateful to have a healthy baby no matter the sex. Duh. If Charlotte did turn out to be a baby boy, I’m sure I’d think it was the best surprise we’d ever received. But still: That boy would be wearing a lot of pink.)