Our twenty-week ultrasound was supposed to be Tuesday afternoon, but a last-minute work change bumped it to this morning, two days later. It was all kinds of stress getting down there- height of rush hour traffic, Stephen had to drop G off at preschool, so we had to drive separately, ugh. It sucked. We were both late- I was just a few minutes late, but S got stuck in extra-hideous traffic and didn't get there til after the tech started scanning the baby's head. She asked us if we were finding out, and I looked to Stephen. He told me to decide. Seriously? Yes! He swore he did not care, either way was fine. Ok, I said, we're not finding out. I love the anticipation, I love the big reveal in the delivery room, I love everything about waiting to find out. It's so awesome. I highly recommend it.
Anyway. She continued scanning, and absolutely everything looked perfect. Of course, just like every other ultrasound we've had, there were certain shots she couldn't get for anything. This time, the baby's face was smashed firmly downward, and no matter how hard we all tried, there was just no imaging that baby's lips. She got a partial shot (and omg so freaking cute, the little nostrils, come out here so I can eat you!), but finally gave up. At that point, we'd seen everything, Stephen left to get Gracie from school and I sat with the strip of awesome ultrasound pictures the tech handed me, waiting while she had the peri double-check the images.
I don't know how long Stephen had been gone when I finally started looking at all of them. Face, hand, profile, gender shot...WHAT. Yep. I couldn't even pretend it was something else. Butt, partial femur, and plain as day, dangly boy parts. When my heart started beating again, I started frantically assessing the situation. I needed to tell Stephen. I did not want to tell him over the phone. What the FUCK, how did this HAPPEN??? oh my god, it's a boy. it's a boy! obviously. So, so obviously (he clearly has my modesty, is all I'm saying). The tech came back in the room and cheerfully told me everything looked fine, and I just needed to come back for one picture of the baby's lips. Laughing freakishly (I mean, really. this totally insane, mirthless but neverending laugh-like noise), I handed her the strip of pictures and said, "Um. What's this?" Grasping at straws- ANY STRAW- that I was wrong (although I knew I wasn't, because, see again: so obvious. and anyway, even if she hadn't screwed up like that, the full-body profile shot right next to it clearly shows the cord, and the baby's junk totally separate, so it would have been ruined anyway. it was destined, written in the stars.) She immediately flushed, started stuttering, and looked like she was going to puke all over the room. "Um, ok, wait, is this your name??" She asked. NICE TRY, SWEETHEART. Still making that completely freaky laugh-sound, I said, "Yes. That's my name. And I actually know what it is. It's, um, kind of obvious." And she looked like she was going to cry, and said, "Oh my god. I have never done this before. I have never, ever done this before. I can't believe this. This has never happened. Oh my god." And while she was saying that, she tore off the gender shot and crumpled it up in her hand. I said, "well wait, give that to me! My husband wasn't here anymore when I found it!" And she snapped her head up and said, with eyes like saucers, "Don't tell him!" Then I started laughing for real and said, "I can't do that! Honestly, it's okay. I swear. It happens!" And she said, "Not to me, it doesn't! Oh my god!" At which point, I couldn't take it anymore. Seriously, woman, you could have told me something far, far worse than the sex of my child at this ultrasound. So I looked her straight in the eye and said, "Ok, seriously? This ultrasound scares me half to death. I barely slept last night. I KNOW that you can find awful things here. He is healthy and really, really, REALLY, that is all that matters. OK?!" Because, honestly.
So then I went to check out and schedule the follow-up, completely and totally in a TIZZY. I can catch up with Stephen! I can meet him at school while he gets Gracie and show him the ultrasounds then. Maybe I should stop and get a blue cupcake like when people do the gender reveal that way! (and if we were going to find out, wouldn't that have been fun?!) Blue balloons? GET ME TO HIM NOW.
...So naturally he called about five minutes after I got in the car. And it alll spilled out. "I was racing to get to you because I didn't want to tell you on the phone but I have to tell you that she messed up when she gave us the pictures and the very first picture on that whole strip of pictures was the gender shot and..." "WHAT IS IT????"
"...it's a boy."
"it's a BOY?" (when you imagine this, please hear his voice going up a full octave on the word boy.)
"yes. it's a boy."
We toyed with the idea of keeping it a secret from everyone, but then we wanted to tell Gracie and honestly, how the hell am I supposed to keep a story like THIS under wraps? Girl, please.
And, you know...I am so excited the baby is a boy. It's the cherry on the icing on the cake. I am HUGELY relieved that the baby looks healthy. I know very well that many people leave those ultrasounds with their heads spinning and their hearts broken. But damnit, that's not how I wanted to find out. I didn't WANT to find out ahead of time. I would have been okay with it, but it's not my first choice. And my absolute last choice was to find out by myself, after Stephen left, and miss out on the look on his face when he first heard he was going to have a son. The good thing is, I don't tend to perseverate on things, so I will probably never mention this again.