Jennifer's Online Pregnancy Diary

Our next OB/GYN appointment is next week, and, as this will be the first ultrasound since the Key Parts of the baby have developed, Andrew and I have now again picked up our discussion of "Should we find out if it's a bo

Our next OB/GYN appointment is next week, and, as this will be the first ultrasound since the Key Parts of the baby have developed, Andrew and I have now again picked up our discussion of "Should we find out if it's a boy or a girl?" Let me start by saying that with this baby, as with Spencer, I honestly don't care if it's a boy or a girl -- here comes the cliche -- as long as it's healthy. However, this feeling is slightly different than it was with Spencer. With him, I had neither a boy nor a girl, so either was fine. This time, I have a boy, and he is *such* a boy, and I love him so much that it's hard for me to imagine having a girl and loving her as much as well (a feeling that I know would vanish as soon as I saw her). I also like the idea of being the only woman in a house of boys -- MY boys. However, I know that Andrew really wants a girl (although I know he would be thrilled with another son, too), and there's a part of me that would love a girl as well, even though the thought of dealing with a teenage daughter down the road scares the heck out of me.

With Spencer we did not find out whether he was a boy or a girl -- Andrew initially suggested that we do, but he didn't feel strongly about it. I, however, felt strongly that I *didn't* want to find out, and so we didn't. From about midway into the pregnancy, however, I did feel that the baby was a boy, due to how active it was as well as the old wives' tale that if you're carrying a basketball, it's a boy.

The odd thing, to me at least, was that once Spencer made his entrance, and the doctor held him up, it didn't even occur to me to look at what he was -- I was just amazed by this BABY that 30 seconds previously had been inside of me and was now being held up in the delivery room lights, just like in the movies. It was Andrew who told me "It's a boy!" I wonder if by learning this baby's gender in advance, I'll lose somewhat that sense of awe and amazement, even though it really wasn't grounded at all in learning that the baby was a boy.

There are three primary reasons why we are considering finding out the gender of number two:

1) To save Andrew's and my sanity. For Andrew, deciding on a boy's name with Spencer was I believe only slightly less difficult than bringing him into the world was for me. We decided on a girl's name immediately -- a family name that we both liked and still plan to use for Number Two, if applicable -- but we could not agree on a boy's name. I suggested several family names, and Andrew rejected them all. I suggested several names that I just liked, and he rejected them all. I brought home Internet lists of names with an English, Irish, or Celtic origin (backgrounds common to both of us), and he rejected them all.

Can you sense my frustration with this experience? In the interim, Andrew was making helpful suggestions such as "If you want an English boy's name, how about Beowulf?"

This frustration was only exacerbated by the fact that I did feel that the baby was a boy, and so, gosh darn it, we needed a boy's name!! Naturally, I was nothing but patient and understanding during this process, especially toward the end in my uncomfortable, cranky, ninth-month-of-pregnancy mood. We finally settled on the name "Spencer" at some point in February, just in time for his March 1 arrival.

Andrew would therefore like to find out the baby's gender simply so that we can both be spared the agony of this whole process again, in the event that the baby is a girl. Of course, if the baby is a boy, then it's deja vu all over again.

2) To help Spencer in his getting used to and understanding the idea of having a younger sibling. I wonder if it might help Spencer to bond with the baby and more fully understand what is happening if we start referring to it as "your little brother" or "little sister" along with the name.

3) To allow us and others to start preparing if the baby is a girl. On the getting down to brass tacks side of things, there is also a very practical purpose that it would make sense for us to find out the gender, namely so that we can hopefully receive some items that are appropriate for a little girl in the event this is what we're having. Since we didn't find out with Spencer, we received all sorts of gender-neutral yellow and green items until the second we announced that the baby had arrived and brought with it a penis. From that point on, it was all blue clothing with trucks, cars, and planes -- all highly appreciated, highly adorable, and highly inappropriate for a girl.

And on top of these reasons, heck, we're just plain curious!

The issue is further complicated by the fact that, here in Switzerland, you get an ultrasound at every doctor's visit and are therefore presented every four weeks with a new opportunity to learn the gender of the baby. It's therefore especially challenging for parents to stick to their decision to not find out the gender of their baby, particularly if they are not 100% confident in or agreed upon the decision. Therefore, even if we reach an agreement on this question before our next appointment, we may not actually stick to it for the remaining five plus months of the pregnancy. So stay tuned!


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