Early on in my first pregnancy, I knew I was having a girl and began to buy dresses, peplum bathing suits, and even put a floral wallpaper order on hold. My husband told me to please slow down until my intuition could be confirmed via ultrasound, but of course, when that time came, the baby’s legs were crossed and the technician said it was impossible to tell. “That’s a ladylike position,” I said, despite usually arguing against any posture being exclusive to one gender or another. In fact, the whole idea of hoping for a boy or a girl seemed a little archaic to me until I was pregnant—people aren’t always binary and of course, anybody can do anything so it shouldn’t matter what biology has to say about their sex. And I do believe that! But when my mom gave me boxes of my own childhood clothes, many of them handmade by her or my grandma, I couldn’t help but want a daughter to dress them in.
A 3D ultrasound proved what I’d known all along: I was having a little girl. I was elated, but more so, I felt vindicated. YES, I would have loved a little boy or intersex child, but I knew Petra to be a girl. Because, I reasoned, she already existed as one inside me.
Thus, early in this pregnancy when I dreamed this baby to be a boy, I clicked a pair of Ollie Jones Pineapple Paradise swim trunks into my cart. Then I thought, maybe I should confirm with science first. So I tied my wedding ring onto a string and asked my two-year-old to dangle it over my tummy as still as she could, waiting for it to go around in circles if it were a girl or side-to-side if it was a boy. Test number one confirmed my instinct to be spot on, but I thought it might be fun to try a few other gender predictors. Feel free to play along with me if you're pregnant or remember your pregnancy well!
Cravings. Lore says salty cravings indicate a boy and sweet indicate a girl, and in my first pregnancy I did eat a chocolate chip cookie from Collective Coffee every morning and fruit all day long. This time around, it’s pickles (OMG so many pickles), popcorn, and homemade veggie snackwiches, and though I try not to indulge these junky cravings too much, I found myself crying in the freezer section at Wal-Mart because it was the third grocery store I’d been to that was out of Schneiders Oh Naturel meatless chicken patties. Signs point to boy.
Complexion. Rumour has it that girls steal your beauty and boys let you glow and I do recall a major breakout with Petra just before I knew I was pregnant. But that was only one blip in an otherwise uneventful complexion story so I’ve gotta rule this inconclusive for me.
The Chinese gender predictor. Basically, you chart the day and month of conception on this calendar and it tells you if you’re likely to have a boy or girl. My result: boy.
And last: how do you feel? The tale goes that is that if you're mostly nauseous and moody, it will be a girl and if you're mellow and feeling well, you're likely carrying a boy. Unfortunately, I had migraines the first time and, sigh, theyyy’re back. Possible girl signal?
Much like the first time, I want who I think I'm having. I want my daughter to have a little brother just like I do. I imagine them in drama and music classes together, playing Lego, and getting very dressed up at Christmas like my brother and I did (bonus: my mom kept my brother's little velvet tux because she seriously kept our entire childhood). So when the ultrasound was not only plain to read but the technician said she’d only seen the kinds of shots she was getting in text books, she was as certain as she'd ever been as to the sex.
And the big reveal? I am indeed carrying a boy. May he be as cooperative in real life as he was at the ultrasound. And may I strive to keep the impact of his gender limited to bow ties, tuxedos, and suspendered jeans.