I am a person who likes to plan. It was incredibly frustrating for me that even with all of my planning and trying to get pregnant, the event took nearly five years to come to fruition. You would think that going through years of infertility would have taught me some life lessons on the ridiculousness of some planning. As if we truly have a say! As if we actually get to have any input! Ha!
For as long as I had imagined myself as a mother, I saw myself the parent to a girl. It was easy and logical to visualize this as I came from a fantastic line of wonderful and strong women. I lived in a home with my grandmother and mother and we had such pride in being “three generations of women.” Of course my daughter would make the fourth generation.
As many of us do, I had a name selected for my daughter. I thought of this name every time I went to the fertility clinic and every time I waited for the results of a pregnancy test. I thought a little girl would feel right, feel authentic.
I never imagined my life with a son because it just didn’t seem possible.
When I went to the ultrasound lab for the anatomy scan I had my mother and my grandmother with me. My grandmother went to all of my OB appointments with me. (By the way: the secret to being treated like royalty at the OB’s office is to bring your charming octogenarian grandmother.) The waiting room happened to be filled with little girls that day: a woman with an adorable baby dressed in pink, a pregnant woman with a wiggly toddler in lively braids, and a couple with a girl who was probably around 5 or 6. This little girl decided that my grandmother was there for her to talk to. It was one of the sweetest moments to witness — a little girl explaining to my grandmother about the baby in her mother’s tummy and my grandmother patiently listening and nodding her head at all the right moments.
Between all of the adorable girl tots in the waiting room and this young girl chatting with my grandmother, it simply felt like one of those “signs from the Universe.” A glimpse of my future.
When my name was called for the exam, we all headed back to the ultrasound room and my mother rolled my grandmother right up to the monitor for ringside viewing. The tech introduced herself to my family and then spread the warm goop on my belly. As soon as the wand made contact, there was my baby’s head on the big monitor. I remember telling myself over and over, “It’s real. This is real. This is happening.”
And while the images were so cute and reassuring, they were also frustrating because the baby was not in prime measurement position. The tech jiggled my belly and tried to do a wake-up call, but all we got were some adorable arm gyrations and baby moving from profile to face out. I knew I would have to come back for another anatomy scan. Not having all of the measurements my OB wanted made me worried, but then again, I was in a state of worry for most of my pregnancy. After trying so long to get pregnant, it felt like I was forever waiting for the other shoe to drop.
The tech was clearly starting to wrap up the appointment, and it felt so frivolous to ask, but I wanted to know, needed to know. What was the sex? She jiggled my belly again and my baby popped those legs open.
And there he was … all boy.
Hearing the word “boy,” it completely changed the air in the room. It completely changed my life. It was like someone dropped a quarter into a jukebox and the song of the rest of my life began to play.
We agreed that I should come back in two weeks to have the rest of the anatomy scan performed and as I was checking out, one of my favorite OB nurses came running out to the front desk panting, “What is it?!” I showed her the ultrasound photo and she congratulated me ON MY SON.
It was the first time I had heard this word about my child. I was going to have a son. Before I could even understand that it was happening, I was weeping. Giant messy tears. Tears of relief, tears of happiness, tears that something that I had desired for so so long was looking like it might be a reality. The wonderful thing was that all the nurses and staff at the front desk totally got it, and some even started to cry with me.
Through happy tears I sobbed, “I’m having a son!”
When I got back to the car, my mom and I hugged and exhaled. I asked my grandmother what she thought. Did she have any sort of reaction to the news? She did, and it was priceless grandmother: “Well it was either going to be one or the other.”
While there was most certainly a point in my life where I couldn’t even imagine being a mother to a son, as soon as I knew for sure, I couldn’t imagine anything else. This boy was mine. He immediatly felt right. I never mourned a daughter, because I was never meant to have one.
Later that day, I immediately started thinking about his name. Not a “boy name” — HIS name. It felt really special to think about the twirling and active baby I whispered to every night and select his name, just for him and him alone.
Having a son was the best thing that could have happened to me as a mom. For years before I became pregnant, I had preconceived scenes in my head about what kind of mom I would be — to a daughter. I had imagined so many scenarios, visualized so much. As a planner, that brought me some comfort. But one of the first rules of motherhood is that you really can’t make plans. Plans are ridiculous! Plans hold you back from great adventures.The first lesson my son ever taught me was how fantastic surprises can be.More On