Caroline and I had two appointments yesterday. One involved estate planning attorneys and life insurance agents. Not fun. The other involved ultrasound technicians and our fifth child. Quite fun. There was only one problem. We still weren’t sure whether or not we wanted to find out the sex of the baby. At least Caroline wasn’t sure. I was. I wanted to find out. But I also wanted Caroline to make the decision.
As we left the estate planning meeting, one thing was clear. That decision would have to be made during the commute to the doctor’s office. Or so I thought.
Since I would go straight from the doctor’s appointment to my office, Caroline and I made that commute in two separate vehicles. Which meant we would try to reach our decision via a cell-phone discussion. But it didn’t happen. Since I wanted to find out, Caroline thought we should go ahead and do just that. But I told her that I wanted her to be the one to make the decision. And, these days? It takes her 30 minutes to call a coin toss. (Pregnancy-related indecision issues, you see.)
But she seemed to be leaning toward having the ultrasound tech put the answer in an envelope which we could open later, should we decided we wanted to find out. Which, when you think about it, was a pretty indecisive decision.
So the debate continued on the elevator ride up to the third floor. As we walked the sterile hallway to suite 301, we still hadn’t come up with an answer. So, the debate continued in the ultrasound room itself. Then, once the tech entered and began the examination, the debate continued while the ultrasound was being conducted.
Finally, Caroline turned to me and said “give me the best arguments you’ve got for wanting to find out.” Here are the five I presented:
- 1.Avoiding Birthday Disappointment: Like countless other parents, I’m blessed to know the myriad of magical feelings that accompany the birth of a healthy child. And I don’t ever want even the smallest tinge of disappointment to be among them. Whether any of us want to admit it or not, most of us do, indeed, have a notion, if not a preference of what the sex of our unborn child is. And should the sex turn out to be contrary to that notion or preference, then there could be a bit of a let down. And a miraculous birth is no time during which to feel even the tiniest of let downs. Accordingly, best to find out the sex now, I argued.
- 2.Meeting Your Child: Among the biggest joys I’ve experienced during the past 3-1/2 years has been getting to know the little people my triplets continue to become. And I can trace that getting-to-know process back to one point in time — the anatomy ultrasound when we first found out their sexes. The first step to meeting child number five is figuring out if it is a little boy or little girl.
- 3.Getting On With It: Caroline and I are busy as all get-out. We live in a world of constant mayhem where very few of the moments are ours to spend as we see fit. What few of those moments we do have are usually spent planning and mapping things out to best organize the blissful chaos that is our family life. To maximize those moments, we depend on as much knowledge as possible. Therefore, finding out the sex was a must if we wanted to best use what little time we have.
- 4. The Name Game: Speaking of getting on with it, and speaking of using what little time we have effectively, why waste precious moments thinking of names for a sex that is not the sex of your baby? With all we’ve got going on, it seemed to me that eliminating one half of the baby name universe would be a good thing. Especially because naming a baby is hard. (By the way, naming a baby would be a lot easier if my wife weren’t pregnant.)
- 5. Time for Excitement: Caroline and I have both had a very hard time with this pregnancy. It’s one thing to be pregnant. It’s another thing to be pregnant with four children. It’s another thing, still, to be pregnant with three toddlers. And, yet another thing to be pregnant at age 41. Even so, none of those compare to being pregnant under all of those conditions. Did I mention that Caroline’s thyroid has been acting up which has even further drained her of her energy? We’re not looking for any sympathy. But the facts are the facts. And the fact is, this pregnancy has pretty much kicked Caroline’s ass. And you know what that means? It’s pretty much kicked my ass, too. As such, I thought it’d be the perfect time to infuse a little energy and excitement into this difficult process. Finding out the sex would do just that.
Just as I got done pleading my case, the nurse tech (who will, from this point forward forever refer to Caroline and me as “that couple…”) looked at my wife and asked “What’s it gonna be? I’m about to get to the part where you’ll have to look away if you don’t want to know.”
“Let’s go for it. Tell us what we’re having,” Caroline said
I thought Caroline was carrying a little girl. In fact, I was pretty much certain. And when the ultrasound tech showed us the view looking up at our baby’s bottom and legs, I knew I was right.
Until I saw a little extension sticking out from between those legs. Check that. There was nothing little about it. That thing was a monster.
Big schvantz jokes notwithstanding, child number five, our Grand Finale, is a little boy. And we’re awfully excited.