Saturday, April 6, 2013

The Angle of the Dangle

“By now you should be feeling your baby kick!”

These are the words I’ve been reading for weeks now on every pregnancy app, book and email I’ve gotten. Liars. I don’t feel a thing! Although I do feel jipped.

Oh sure, I’m sure I’ll feel it all soon enough, but it’s hard to know what’s going on in there. And, like any mom-to-be, I’m more than a little freakin’ curious to find out. Due to the fact I underwent fertility treatments, and the fact that I’m 35 and therefore of “advanced maternal age” (ouch! It stings every time I see it on my file), I spent the first several months of pregnancy getting frequent ultrasounds – much more than other, “normal” women get – to check me out, and I liked it. But now it’s been a long time since I’ve “seen” my baby bopping around in there … and I’m getting restless. Thankfully there is another ultrasound on the horizon – in just a few days in fact – and this time I also get to learn the baby’s sex!

Now, if you’ve read my post about the smugness of pregnant women (and you really should)  you know I have a few pet peeves with the whole “learning the gender of the baby” process. The first of which is that, when asked if they’re hoping for a girl or a boy, 99.9% of women respond “Oh, I don’t care, as long as it’s healthy.” Well no shit. Having a healthy baby is literally ALL I think about. I obsess about it. I lament not being kicked in the stomach hard every 5 minutes just so I’ll have an idea that, yes, my baby IS doing well inside there (or trying to beat me to death, whatever). It's why I don't drink a nice big nightcap of scotch before bed, nosh on soft cheeses or take up skydiving. But, “do you want a HEALTHY baby?” is not what I asked you. I asked if you have a preference on the GENDER of that baby. And I know you do. Of course you do. Everyone does. And it doesn’t make you a bad person to hope for one or the other (men certainly seem to have few qualms about declaring that they want a boy – a little boy who they can raise to be just like daddy … whether or not that’s a “good” thing is besides the point). I certainly don’t think you’re going to throw your baby in a dumpster or refuse to care for it if you don’t get your first choice. I’m not even saying you’ll be even remotely upset or disappointed about it. All I’m saying is – you have to have a preference, why can’t you just admit it?

Me? I want a girl.

Oh, there are so many reasons that I want a house full of sugar and spice as opposed to dirt and snails and a million angry looking action figures that I’ll no doubt step on in the middle of the night causing me to curse as their tiny bayonets puncture my foot. There are so many things I want to teach my daughter! About how to be strong and independent but not a diva or a princess … to have compassion and kindness without being weak … to be fearless without being reckless … to rock a frilly little dress while also being able to kick some serious ass … I could go on but you get my point – if I got to pick, I would choose a girl.
But, of course, I don’t get to pick. And, of course, I knew this fully when I embarked on this whole pregnancy adventure. I am fine with it. Because, like (almost) every other mother in the world, I will love my child completely and wholly, boy or girl (AND I hope that he/she is healthy, duh).

And it’s a good thing too, because I know I’m having a boy. I just know it.

GAR thinks I’m crazy (see my previous posts for my disclaimer about using the word “crazy”), not only because there is no way for us to know for sure just yet, but also because he dreamt that we’re having a little girl – he was dreaming about it when I woke him up to tell him that the pregnancy test was positive – and therefore it MUST be true. He has named her and grown attached to her and believes that this will be the case (who’s the crazy one now, huh?) BUT my craziness about having a boy is MUCH more legit than his vision of having a girl. Mine is based on semi-scientific research (I think it’s totally scientific, but I threw the word “semi” in there to make GAR happy)!

It’s called “the angle of the dangle” theory (see, doesn’t that just sound sooo official?) Basically here’s what it’s about – at 13-weeks pregnant (which was when I had my last ultrasound) all babies have external genitalia. What looks like a penis on screen could really just be the beginning formations of a labia. You literally cannot tell what it is – it’s just a nub … or, as this theory says, a “dangle” (which totally squashes what all those expectant parents who brag that their unborn child is “all boy” say when they proudly declare that what they saw was “definitely” a penis! A declaration that has always creeped me out anyway – why are you so braggadocios about your unborn child’s junk?) But, according to theory, if that “dangle” hangs more between the legs, or parallel to the baby, then it’s likely a girl. Whereas, if the dangle is upright at a 30 degree angle or more, it’s more likely a boy. In fact, I read a study online that found that if the dangle was 30 degrees or more in the upright position that there is 97% chance that it’s a boy. 97%! And, of course, our little baby’s dangle was pointing straight up – at a 90 degree angle – when we last saw him (oh yes, I’ve been calling him “him” ever since).

Of course GAR thinks this whole thing in nonsense. The professor part of him claims the study wasn’t published in a peer reviewed journal, that we don’t know the sample size or p value, and he doesn’t believe it’s statistically valid – blah blah blah. And, naturally, the ultrasound tech also told us it’s a load of hooey. Nonetheless, I COMPLETELY believe it and have already started picturing my little boy in teeny bow ties and dockers. And, likewise, GAR is standing firm on his “I had a dream” theory that we’re having a girl.

But I know I’m right. Want more proof? While we long ago settled the debate about what to name our daughter we can’t come to an agreement AT ALL when it comes to naming a boy. This fact alone HAS to mean that a boy is what we will have, right? Otherwise it would all be just too, too easy.

We’ll find out soon enough though (though never, ever soon enough for my liking - I'm dying of anticipation!) and, frankly, I don’t know how people are crazy enough to NOT find out. Clearly they’re just not as much of a planner as I am because I gots to know in order for me to make it through these last 4.5 months. I just gots to! And we’d better name him soon too (yes, “him”) because I want to call the little tyke by his name. I think it will really help us bond with each other – especially now, while I still can’t really feel him in there. And, while I totally DO understand why many people choose to keep their baby’s name a secret until birth (even if it is a little smug-ish to do so) to avoid hearing everyone's snotty opinion about it, I have to say that I could never do it. I have no problem telling anyone. And why not? They’ll have to get used to the name we pick, like it or not. Because once we’ve got this mess sorted there’s no way we’d let anyone else’s opinion sway us.

But we’ll try to do right by you kiddo (at least if your mom gets her name choice we will – no promises on what sort of trauma you’ll endure if dad’s name wins out). Guess it’s time to go through that list of 1 trillion and 1 baby names all listed in alphabetical order one more time, just in case we missed something!

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