Little Boy Blue

So despite what 4-5 out of 9 stupid online quizzes had to say, Baker Baby #2 is apparently a little brother!

All the appropriate body parts accounted for, no visible abnormalities, healthy squirmy kiddo all the way around. Long legs that he likes to put over his head. 🙂

ultrasound

Both times, with Henry and now with “Gotham”, I’ve come away with a lot of different thoughts and feelings. One that struck me this time was that I wondered what our OB* thought of our reactions. Logically, I suppose he probably doesn’t care one way or another — I imagine people have a wide range of emotions in those moments. But I can’t help but wonder if we are reacting in a….. normal way? I have heard many stories of exaltation, tears, etc. — of big emotional reactions as the machine reveals whether the family in question will be welcoming a little boy or a little girl. And we don’t outwardly do that. I know we are feeling big emotions, but something about that environment and that moment brings out the quiet “huh!” in me. Like, “huh! that’s interesting”… I just find myself without anything to say to this guy who is basically a stranger as he prods my belly and tries to get me to decipher the between-the-legs shot for myself.

Oh, and so with Henry, it was so incredibly obvious exactly what flavor of child he was. The very first shot was right between the legs. And with “Gotham” the OB kept trying to get us say what the gender was, and we were both just like, “um, could you just say a pronoun now?” We couldn’t tell at all! So for the first day or two I think I was telling everyone “Well, according to the doctor, it’s a boy……” I never did really see it with my own eyes!

Anyway, so it turns out that “Gotham” is a boy. According to the doctor.

And I honestly thought that I had been telling people the truth when I said that I didn’t have a preference for a boy or a girl, so I was pretty surprised when I realized that that wasn’t actually the case. I had a little bit of a rough 24 hours there, and if you’ve ever had the dubious pleasure of experiencing pregnancy hormones you can just imagine what that might have looked like. The worst of it was feeling like absolute scum for feeling any sort of sadness over being pregnant with a beautiful, healthy baby of any gender — after all of the months and years of fearing I’d never have my babies, while knowing all of these people who haven’t yet, or won’t ever, have theirs.

And then I got over it and now I’m unambiguously happy and excited.

I mean, I felt a bit of a pang when I walked into the Old Navy baby section and saw clothes in the most seriously adorable pink buffalo plaid, because COME ON, pink buffalo plaid? Is there anything more amazing? Why isn’t this in my size?

pinksuit

But it’s okay, because they had the exact same adorable little suit in a blue buffalo plaid, and it came home with me.

blue buffalo plaid suit

This is Gotham’s second little warm thing for when he arrives in January. The first came from his Grandmommy, who knows exactly what a little Gotham needs:

gotham suit

I am wishing that I could find the “big brother” correspondent to this cute pair of navy-and-orange jammies:

little brother

We don’t need a ton of clothes for Gotham, since he has a very fashionable big brother, but Henry was tiny in fairly warm months and Gotham will be tiny in January/February — which is bitterly cold around here — so I’ll enjoy collecting a few little warm fuzzies for him. I do the vast majority of my baby/toddler shopping at consignment shops but couldn’t resist hitting a few Labor Day sales this weekend!

Sidenote: Now that the gender is known, people are very interested in what name(s) we might be considering. I would like to direct those folks to some of our previous thoughts. 🙂

* I am seeing a fantastic certified nurse midwife, but she shares a practice with an obstetrician who is very talented with the ultrasound machine, so he runs that aspect of things.

 

Baby Pictures – 20 Weeks – Gender Reveal!

Yesterday, for my birthday, I got myself a downtown photo session.

Baby Baker's head and upper torso

Baby Baker was very stubborn about positioning. Refused to turn around so we could get a good facial profile — just kept staring at my spine, butt in the air. (And trust me, the doctor tried — I thought I’d have a bruised belly after all of the poking and prodding and awkward body positions!) The picture above is the best one we could get, and it doesn’t really have any facial features. He was able to eventually find the lip and chin, from each side, and determine that there was no cleft. Ryan thinks the doctor saw both eyes, too, but I was thinking he only got a clear look at one.

The thing about that particular baby position is that, while you don’t get to see the face, you get a very clear shot of everything else that is important. For example:

the spine

(Sorry about the glare; I need a scanner or something.)

I get dreadfully disoriented with ultrasounds. Ordinarily I’m very good at three-dimensional space. I think it might be because I’m looking at it from a strange angle; if I were sitting up, looking at it straight on instead of lying down and straining to see, I think I’d do better. That being said, even looking at the still photograph I’m not entirely sure whether the pelvis is to the right (my suspicion) or the left in this picture. Is that a leg off to the right?

cross-section of the baby brain

I admit a certain amount of confusion regarding how the ultrasound can see through the skull. I also don’t really recognize anything in this cross-section of the brain, but the doctor was rattling off brain-bits that I’d heard of before, and said that everything was healthy and exactly the way it ought to be.

Although he didn’t print a picture of it, we also got a great view of the heart (four chambers, all pumping) and the bladder. Doctor also got a good look at the back of the neck, which can show indicators for Down’s Syndrome; Baby Baker’s is perfect.

hand

That’s a hand with five fingers on it. You know how you know that you picked the right doctor? When he tells you that there are five fingers, and then says that this is a good thing unless you were counting on raising a six-fingered swordsman.

The next picture is my favorite:

two tiny baby feet

I am an absolute sucker for baby feet. I have never felt the urge to touch a pregnant woman’s belly, or grab at someone’s baby — but it takes every bit of willpower that I have not to touch a baby’s foot if it presents itself. I’m nuts over baby shoes and socks and little baby tootsies curled up instead footie pajamas. I have really lucked out here; my baby will be coming complete with not one but TWO perfect little baby feet!

Anyway, to cut to the chase… it is an excellent thing that Ryan and I were not hoping for a surprise, gender-wise. Remember how I told you that the baby was positioned? Well, the first thing that the ultrasound revealed was a picture looking up (or down, I guess, since baby was upside-down) at the baby’s bottom.

gender

This particular shot is nowhere NEAR as clear as the one Ryan and I saw, immediately. I guess Ryan (who, after all, took care of a little baby boy for several months) knew instantly what he was looking at; I was pretty darned sure but wasn’t sure to trust myself because of that disorientation. (I wasn’t sure what end of the kid we were looking at!) Anyway, I guess neither one of us said anything because we weren’t sure if the other person had seen it yet. Then the doctor pointed it out…

So, yeah. Looks like we’re going to be having a little boy!

I would be lying if I said this didn’t scare me a little bit, but I’m not quite sure if it’s the fact that we’re having a boy instead of a girl, or if it’s the fact that this hypothetical genderless Possibility has abruptly turned into a pronouned Reality. In one fell swoop, I’ve gone from “I’m going to be a mom!” to “I’m going to be the mother of a son who will grow up to become a man.” And that’s a frightening prospect and a big responsibility! I don’t know the first thing about little boys, but then again, I don’t really know the first thing about babies in general. And everyone I know who has boys assures me that they’re great. (Then again, would anyone really post on Facebook, “I have boys and wish desperately that I didn’t”? LOL.)

I am excited. When I think about this baby growing up into a teenager, I remember that I really “do better” with my male students. I’m happy as a clam with my classes of ITE students (almost all male, entirely nerdy) and am pretty okay with just about anything teenage boys throw at me — but my “lose my cool” kryptonite is bratty teenage girls who roll their eyes. I always had more male friends than female. My favorite storybook characters are men and boys; my favorite toys are stereotypically male offerings. (Which, before the Mommy Warriors come after me, would have been a major presence in the household with a baby girl, too. Duh. Why would I have loved blocks and dinosaurs and ray guns if I hadn’t had them growing up in my all-girl household?) And I’ve always thought it must be a nice thing to have a big brother.

It took me about 18 hours, but I think I’ve found my footing again. Now that this has become a Reality — a HE — I suddenly feel inspired to work on getting things ready for him. (Man, it’s nice to have a pronoun!) Right now isn’t the right time to go shopping; December is never the right time for big-ticket purchases like nursery furniture. But I’m ready to start really looking, and clearing out the room, and getting irritated that I can’t paint it. 🙂

Pink or Blue (and What to Do)

boy or girlAssuming the little one isn’t too modest or squirmy, we may know whether to expect a boy or a girl as soon as next Thursday evening. I am simultaneously eager and nervous to find out; I suppose that makes it a perfect opportunity to correctly use the word “anxious.”

Ryan has his suspicions, but I haven’t ever felt any strong sense of gender. Some days I think in terms of masculine pronouns, and some days they’re feminine. Lately I’ve been visualizing a male baby only because I’ve been trying so hard to come up with boy names that I love — which is funny, because I feel as though I may have fallen out of love with my girl names, so I’m basically just a big mental mess in that regard. I’m not worried. It’ll all figure itself out. I have a hard time knowing what it would be like to raise a boy; I was never really around little boys growing up. As a result, when I think about the next few years, I tend to think in terms of a little girl, simply because my imagination knows how to fill in those blanks. I know I will be happy either way, especially if I eventually have at least one of each.

I know that there are ways that we could find out the gender earlier. There are blood tests your doctor can give you, urine tests you can buy, and independent ultrasound clinics you can patronize. But we haven’t really felt the urge to hurry it all that much. Now, if Shenanigan keeps his/her little legs crossed and refuses to let us know, we might consider an alternative option — we’d really like to know ahead of time! But for now, anyway, the appointed time is fine.

This doesn’t mean, of course, that I haven’t asked Dr. Google. And, as might be predicted, it was very helpful. According to Baby2See’s baby gender predictor, it’s a boy. According to BabyMed’s Gender Prediction Quiz, it is a girl. The AskManisha predictor says the baby will be a boy. According to THIS Chinese Gender Chart, it will be a girl… but according to this Chinese Baby Gender Prediction, it will be a boy. BabyZone’s Gender Predictor thinks it’s a girl, too, but I express skepticism that the only contributing factors are my birthdate and the month of conception. The Mayan gender prediction method says it’s a boy, because the year of conception and my age are not both odd or even. If they were both odd, or both even, it would be a girl. The one at Childbirth.org concludes that it is a girl, but then confuses the matter with the following explanation:

You are carrying the extra weight out front, so it’s a boy.
The hair on your legs is not growing any faster during your preganacy, so it’s a girl.
Boys are carried low. You are going to have a boy.
Sleeping in a bed with your pillow to the south indicates that you will be having a girl.
Your feet are not colder than they were before pregnancy. You are having a girl.
You refuse to eat the heel of a loaf of bread. You are having a girl.
Dad-to-be is gaining weight right along with Mom-to-be, which means that you’ll have a boy.
The maternal grandmother doesn’t have gray hair (dyed or natural), so a girl will be born.
You had morning sickness early in pregnancy, so you are expecting a girl.
You are looking particularly good during pregnancy. Therefore, it must be a boy, because girls steal their mother’s looks.
Your chest development has not been very dramatic during pregnancy. You should expect a boy.
Since the sum of the mother’s age at conception and the number of the month of conception is an odd number, it will be a girl.
You have a craving for salty or sour foods, which means that it is a boy.
Your nose hasn’t changed during pregnancy, which indicates a girl.
You have been craving meats or cheeses, so it is a boy.
Your baby’s heart rate is 140 or more beats per minute, so it’s a girl.

Having taken these tests and seen what their results were based on, I felt pretty confident in my own ability to create a gender prediction computer model. So I invite you — even if you’re not currently pregnant, BECAUSE IT IS THAT GOOD — to take my own Highly Accurate Scientific Gender Prediction Tool.

hasgpt

So? What do you think?

Silliness aside, I am feeling a little bit uncertain as to what to do after we find out. I think Ryan is in shout-it-from-the-rooftops mode. I know my students are anxious to know (they’ve been bugging me about gender ever since they found out we were expecting). And I certainly plan to make the gender known to the world before the baby arrives, although I am leaning toward keeping final name choices to ourselves.

gender-reveal cake: a cute ideaBut… do I want to do it right away? Do I want to go straight to Facebook and announce pink or blue? Do I want to have, as one of my very charming students suggested, a Pinterest-worthy gender reveal party? Stage a cute (or disgustingly cutesy) photo reveal? Bake blue or pink cupcakes and share them during our department prep period?

Do I immediately want to share the news?

I don’t know.

(In all actuality, the ultrasound is on my birthday and I don’t really plan to go straight home and plan elaborate gender reveal mechanisms, so it’s either going to be a simple “It’s a _____!” or it’s going to have to wait for a couple of days. Oh, and I’m not really at all sure that “Pinterest-worthy” is in my repertoire.)

Part of me wants to relish the secret for a little while, give us time to absorb this new bit of information and whatnot. Part of me knows I’m going to be ridiculously excited and eager to share.

Part of me wants to take me by the shoulders and say, “You are being ridiculous. Why are you thinking about all of this so much?” But it’s not like I’m stressed out about it. I am, despite all of the hemming and hawing I post here, enjoying myself immensely….

And I will almost certainly be blurting out the ultrasound results very shortly afterward. It’s just that, a week out… I’m not sure.