The night before the ultrasound I fell asleep easily, but when I awoke for my nightly bathroom trip I couldn’t find dreamland again. I laid there in my bed, I moved to an empty bed, I returned to my bed, crowded with my love and my snuggly daughter, and I tried to relax. I prayed for sleep. I meditated. I thought too many thoughts.
The first look into my womb loomed before me and my body made it clear that I harbored some underlying anxiety. Meanwhile, sweet little baby kicked and prodded me as baby usually does at night.
I’m okay, Mama. I’m healthy and happy in here. Stop worrying and start sleeping.
And I whispered.
Mama loves you so much, baby.
From the beginning of this pregnancy, I believed I was growing a girl. Actually, before I got pregnant, I thought I would have another girl. I even saved every stitch of girl clothing while selling off the bulkier baby items like our frilly pink swing and beloved bouncer.
But I also doubted this intuition. I wondered if it was desire for a girl and not a girl herself.
I held my precious baby nephew, a boy who brings tears to my eyes every time I see him or think of him and I knew how special it would be to raise a little man. I thought of my cousin’s boys and their gentle dispositions and how the 3 year old calls me “Mama Lucy” which melts my heart every time. I remembered my own baby brother, a boy whom I wanted to be a girl until he showed up in my house and my 6 year old self found there was never a more perfect baby. And I thought of Emile when I met him, 2 years old and as cute and lovable as his daddy.
I found a boy name I loved. My sister wanted to send me all of her boy clothes. Everyone who offered an opinion, save for three girlfriends, told me this baby would be a boy.
But I couldn’t shake my image of a girl to share big sister’s pale lavender bedroom. Two little caramel girls in the matching white beds my own big sister and I once shared. I don’t know if I would call it a longing as much as an unavoidable knowing.
It turns out there was a reason for that.
We’re having a girl. A baby girl!!
Giovanna, who had already convinced herself she would have a sister, didn’t bat an eye. “Grammy, I told you it was a girl!” she said to my mom who’d been trying to prepare her for either gender. Meanwhile, the baby’s daddy looked a bit shocked as he believed all those crazy kicks to be the work of a tiny but strong boy.
It turns out boys aren’t the only strong ones.