04 September 2008

Snips and snails, sugar and spice

Yesterday I was offered a seat on the underground for the first time. Bruce often wondered aloud who would be the first person to spot my condition without having been told, and now we know. Her blue eyes bulged with concern and she scolded: “You should’ve said something!” I’m not quite sure what I would say though, in this case. I’ve got a loaded womb – give me the seat or I’ll puke in your lap! There’s no easy way to ask.

Our second, mid-pregnancy scan was much gentler overall than our first. The ultrasound technician was Jeremy – a kindly, broad-featured South African in his late forties, with tousselled hair and fine, wire-frame specs; he looked like he must spend his free days chopping wood for the fireplace, playing Handel in the kitchen while making soup and then applying paint to model trains with a tiny brush in a dimly lit basement.

He squinted amicably at the information on his screen, turning the wet wand this way and that to get a better look at all the parts. “Do you want to know the sex, if I can spot it,” he asked before he began, and we said yes. After what felt like several agonising minutes where I couldn’t read Bruce’s expression and had given up on Jeremy’s altogether, he said that everything looked normal. He showed us the arms, the hands and fingers, the long narrow bones of the legs ending in feet, and the details of the face and spine. And then he asked again if we wanted to know what it was.

Do you?

Probing for a good look at the genitalia, Jeremy laughed kindly and said, “Well, it’s not 100% accurate, but in my opinion, it looks like you’re going to have a little boy.” He said this with a warm, low smile in his voice. And he twisted the wand until the tiny little scrotum came into focus.

And then I basically ruined the moment by looking woundedly at my very excited husband and asking him if he’d have been as happy with a girl. Because I am an over-analytical, emotionally-retarded idiot at times (always then), and for a second believed that what I was seeing wasn’t rejoicing at the news of a healthy baby but relief that it wasn’t the girl every person in our family save for my sister had predicted.

Even if there had been some relief mixed in with his reaction though, it’s completely understandable, as Bruce has spent his entire life in the exclusive company of girls and women. It’s about time we upped the testosterone levels around here, and even though I don’t know a thing about little boys or how their brains and bodies work, I still have a hard time not crying when I think of how lovely our lives are going to be from this point onwards.

My own reactions to news always come much, much later, when things begin to sink in finally, like they’re doing now.

6 comments:

thelass said...

Oh oh oh!!! Congratulations! Boys aren't any big mystery - you're going to do fine.

Friday said...

Thanks very much! This is what Bruce tells me as well: that basically they spend the bulk of their time wanting and thinking about 'stuff', as in comics and video games. I just hope I can talk him around to piano lessons on top of the action figures!

veganmama said...

I have two boys, and though I'm a bit ashamed to admit it, I cried when I found out the second one was going to be a boy. But it's all fine -- it's been 11 years of boys, boys, boys for me... but it's remarkable. Congratulations!

Friday said...

It's odd, but a few weeks ago I would have said there's no way in hell I'm doing this again. Yet part of me wants to do just that, and I'm not even through the first one! Bruce thinks it's because I secretly wanted that girl, but I'm beginning to think this whole procreation business is as hard a habit to break as any other physical addiction. Or possibly it's just the happy hormones kicking in after a very long period of morning sickness. Yeah, that's likely it.

Lacking said...

;-).

Mrs Slocombe said...

oh don't just have one: we have two, in a half and half way, and it's much better for them even if they don't always think so: we met too late to have one of our own, which fills us with wist.......