She and him
Yesterday all four of us met up at the OB/GYN office after our work/school/ballet-packed days to get a glimpse at the fifth member of our posse on the way. Even though the big reveal had already been, well, revealed this time, we thought it would be nice for the kids to see their baby sister in action, legs kicking and fingers waving, hazy and gray and viewed in cross sections. Both Noah and Rosie were excited, though Rosie would say concernedly every few minutes, “I think that baby’s gonna cry.” I reassured her that she most certainly would not, and might even wave at us, which I could tell she thought was a totally ridiculous notion.
We were a crowd in the waiting room, with Rosie dancing in the middle of the floor to Adele and other piped in radio tunes and Noah jumping up every time they opened the door, in hopes that it was our turn to go back. There was a stack of familiar magazines on the side table next to our chairs, and Noah asked if I was going to be on the front of one now that I had a belly like those ladies (Uh. No.) Rosie stared intently at the January issue cover model and declared, “I think that baby is coming out.” L took the time to read up on the (amazingly well-written) material provided within. I remarked at how different this experience was than the other two times, when I felt anxious and jittery, fairly overwhelmed with the enormity of not knowing who was inside me, and then all of a sudden knowing. It’s nice this time, I said. More relaxing. L nodded from behind his magazine.
After about 20 minutes, it was finally our turn. The ultrasonographer ushered us back into her dark room and the kids meandered alongside L and me, wide-eyed, not quite sure what to expect. She was a talkative lady who’d been “in the business” for years and years. Curly-edged glossy profile shots of 20-week old babes-in-womb lined the walls, and pictures of cats and grandchildren were crowded around her tiny desk in the corner. I climbed up on the crinkly paper of the examining table and hiked up my top while she adjusted the pillow behind my back. “They already told us at the 12-week ultrasound what we’re having,” I informed her. “Oh, well, keep it a secret!” she was quick to respond. “Let’s see if I get it right.” All of this was said with a wink in her voice. The kids looked at us with dancing eyes, giddy with the insider information they knew that she did not.
She jellied up the wand, touched it to my midsection and BOOM: there was our baby, clear as day on the screen. Beautiful, in motion, full of life and … a boy.
Even as the words were leaving her mouth, she could tell by the looks on our faces that the secret we were keeping was not boy, but girl, all four of us sure of it and just waiting for confirmation. The look on Noah’s face—if I could have frozen that moment and held it in my hand to tuck away in a pocket for later, I would have, because oh. He was open-mouthed and smiling, all at the same time, and then he looked at me and said, “I’m going to have a brother!” I looked at him, and then at L, and then back at the screen, and then back at L and all I could keep saying was “What? It’s a boy! She said it was a boy!” We were all talking at once, L, the ultrasonographer, Noah, me, and Rosie, who was insisting over and over again, “No, it’s a GIRL! It’s a GIRL!” (Breaking my heart a little more each time, oh Rosie.)
The rest of the ultrasound was a little bit of a blur—at one point L and the technician were chatting about the paralegal profession and I remembered thinking “WHY ARE WE TALKING ABOUT ANYTHING OTHER THAN THE FACT THAT THIS BABY IS A BOY?” because I couldn’t get past the utter shock of it all. I was floored. Gobsmacked. Thrown for a loop. Discombobulated.
A boy? A boy. A BOY. We’re going to have a girl and two BOYS.
This pregnancy has been from the beginning, and continues to be, a crazy, unpredictable, wild thrill of a ride.
Welcome to the family, baby boy. Let’s do this thing.