Week 21: It’s a boy – aka, the time I burst into tears during an ultrasound

We are having a boy (until a few years from now, when he tells us differently).

I was not expecting a boy; I did not want a boy.  I had no idea I felt this way, however, until Friday’s ultrasound when the lab tech said “You’re having a son!” and I literally burst into tears (not the happy kind).  Woah.

I sobbed all the way home, without really understanding what my problem was.  And on and off again all weekend.  Like, intense, body-wracking sobs.  Harder than I’ve cried since the Lumberjack’s mom died 2 years ago.  The Lumberjack, meanwhile, who had been expressing his preference of a girl all along while I stuck with my overly optimistic “I don’t care as long as it’s healthy!” perspective, could not contain his smile.  He was lighting up every corner of the house.  We figured out later that he knew what he preferred, so he was prepared for the alternative.  Whereas I had completely denied having a preference, so I was totally blindsided by the fact that I had one, and that I wasn’t getting it.

So anyway.

The baby is healthy, you will be happy to hear (as was I).  I have an anterior placenta, which explains why I haven’t felt much movement.  The baby has a huge brain, and a quickly beating heart, and he grabs his little toes when the lab tech is trying to get a clear picture of them.  He has tiny toes!  Because he is tiny!

I did a bunch of reading on “gender disappointment” over the weekend, and apparently 1) I am not alone, and 2) I have it WAY better than some of the women out there.  One lady said that she regularly considers giving up her 3 boys for adoption, so that they can be with someone “who really loves them.”  Holy shit.  But the main thing I learned was that a lot of women have a general idea or vision of what their kid will look/be like, and it usually has a specific gender.  So finding out that you didn’t get that gender requires you to rewrite your perspective of what you’re getting, while simultaneously mourning the kid you won’t be getting (this time around, anyway).

I’m going to have a baby, and he’s going to be a little boy, and somewhere in the past few hours I suddenly got So Fucking Psyched.  I don’t know what happened.  I was walking to work listening to KC and the Sunshine Band’s “Baby Give it Up” and suddenly I pictured myself with a little boy, dancing around a kitchen, and I got so totally, blissfully happy.  I guess I rewrote my vision, and now I’m the one who can’t stop smiling.


I told the Lumberjack “I still need this baby to be a feminist.”  He said “Well, yeah…I assumed that would be a given.  I mean, we’re the ones who are going to be shaping his world view.”  Hot damn I love my Lumberjack.

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  1. I didn’t cry but I was absolutely certain I was carrying a girl so when we had our ultrasound i was stunned and spent a weekend feeling a bit mopey too (though my husband was so happy I tried to hide it) and then like you I got really excited about it. Now that he is here I wouldn’t change a thing. I fully expect to have three boys 🙂 Enjoy him- little boys are really fun.

  2. My boss desperately wants a daughter. She has two sons and experienced a huge, huge amount of gender disappointment with her second son. She’s currently in the process of trying to adopt a girl so she gets one without worrying about the 50% chance of another son. We spent a lot of time talking about her gender disappointment when she had her anatomy scan. It turned out that her first kid was really challenging and she had ascribed all these difficult qualities to “boyhood” instead of just, you know, he’s a challenging child. We talked a lot about how boys have so much diversity, and she might get a fey, poetry-writing, sensitive little boy for her next son (and he’s only 14 months now, but I’m guessing he will be something like that, actually!) as easily as they can turn out to be raging balls of anger, violence and frustration.

    Anyway, I’m parenting a son, and it’s awesome. The world desperately needs smart, savvy dudes who stand up for people and help make the world a better place. We need boys who understand it’s ok to cry. We need dudes who “get” privilege and inequality and can challenge it. The next generation needs radical kids of every gender.


    • Yes! I am excited at my new opportunity to watch masculinity in action, from the very beginning, and to be able to shape and influence it. And I’m excited to raise a boy with the Lumberjack, who cares so deeply about gender, race & class inequality and privilege and is the kind of straight white dude I wish there were more of.

      • also, while i would be happy to parent three or four daughters, i have to say that growing up as a girl right now is fucking terrifying in a way that raising a boy is not. so, there’s that.

      • err, my verbs got mangled in that last sentence but maybe you understand anyway.

  3. Gender disappointment, you say? Fascinating. Thanks for sharing this tidbit. I can totally understand picturing your baby as one thing and then it turning out another way. That’s exactly whey we are finding out beforehand, so we don’t have that moment while holding our fresh-out-of-the-oven baby! Better have it now, so he doesn’t know the difference.

  4. Congrats!!! I really wanted a boy and am getting a little girl. I never really had a “vision” of what one child would be but I have always sort of had a feeling I would have one of each, so I was basically happy not to be having both. Like at the same time. Yikes. I’m excited now though…And a big pink monster has thrown up all over my apartment.

  5. realitybit

     /  April 29, 2012

    I know that if my husband had a preference and it was the opposite of his preference then I’d be upset partially on his behalf too, you know? Like I’d be worried that he was upset, even if he said he was totally cool with it…or especially if I felt like he wasn’t acknowledging and dealing with his disappointment. Not sure if I’m making sense.

  6. B and I are going to start trying, and I have to confess, in all of my concerns about how I am going to continue writing/running/working after I get knocked up and have the kid (assuming this actually happens – I don’t want to jinx myself into infertility) and also about the possibility of severe birth defects, it has never once occurred to me to think about the gender of the kid. I’m not even sure I have a preference, although I also admit this might change once I’m actually pregnant though.

  7. just in case you hadn’t seen this, i thought some of what they had here was just great: http://studerteam.blogspot.de/2011/11/25-rules-for-mothers-of-sons.html


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