On Gender

On Monday I learned the gender of my new baby.  I was with my wife at her 19-week ultrasound, and it was quite an emotional experience.

Neither of us had a real preference for the baby’s gender: we both hope to have at least one of each gender.  Still, there was a sense of excitement and expectation for both of us.  The ultrasound tech came in took a number of measurements, but waited until the very end to tell us the gender.  Throughout, we could clearly make out things like the spine, the hands, and the heart.

When she finally told us what he was – a boy – it was like an emotional whallop.  As I said, neither of us had a preference (I’m on record as saying I expected the baby to be a girl), but once we knew what he was, it made this all the more real for me.  I could see that my wife was beginning to look pregnant, and she was feeling him move on occassion, but I had not yet felt him.  For me, it was still like this whole thing was an excercise in hypotheticals. 

But, once I knew what he was, he was no longer hypothetical.  He is my child – my son.

After telling us, the tech left, and was gone for a long time before the doctor arrived to interpret the measurements and pictures taken to us.  I reverted to classic, stereotypical fatherliness, pacing around the room getting worried at the doctor’s long absence.  In the end, there was nothing to worry about, but now that I knew there was a real baby – a baby boy – the weight of impending fatherhood started to fall on my shoulders.

With that excitement over, however, we’re now faced with the long wait until the big day.  For me, I have still to look forward to feeling the baby kick from the outside, setting up the nursery, and other fatherly duties and milestones.