Flag: If you are feeling annoyed generally about people who are pregnant, let alone those who are pregnant and complaining, this is ABSOLUTELY the wrong post for you to read right now.
Things are going well. I listen to the fetus about once a day on the days I am home. Unfortunately he's moved, so the trusty spot down low on the right hand side no longer works, and I have to scan across the middle of the abdomen, just below the belly button, to hear him. And it's not easy to find. However, I'm not panicking whenI can't find him, I just keep trying until I do. And when I do it puts a huge smile on my face.
Now onto the difficult part. You notice I said 'him' above. I'm fairly sure that the passenger is a boy. It's because of what I thought I saw, for about a milisecond, at the 13 week scan. There she was showing us the long legs the fetus had, and at the top I thought I saw some dangly bits, but she sped by really quickly so I didn't get the chance to be sure. H didn't see anything. Ever since then I've been fairly convinced it's a boy. The difficult part? I'm a bit sad about that. I have been dreaming about my daughter in what I'm sure is an unpleasantly narcissistic manner since I was about eight years old. I don't know why I was always so set on wanting a girl. I suppose it's about helping her have the childhood I wish I'd had, about sharing hopefully just the best bits of myself - the books I loved, the plays, the games. I know in reality it might not be like that at all. She might not enjoy reading, she might have a learning disability, she might be a real girly-girl, who knows. But I've been dreaming about it nonetheless.
I know in my soul that I will love a son passionately, and no less passionately than I would love a daughter. I just don't know what that love wil be like. I don't know what my son will be like. I know that realistically (see above) I don't know what my daughter would be like either, but I've been thinking about it for so long that I have the misapprehension that I do. A friend of mine told me that knowing that her baby was a boy really helped her see him as an individual, truly separate from her, while he was still in the womb. And she'd really enjoyed getting to know him without the burden of the expectations that she might have had for a daughter. That rings really true for me, but I haven't yet come round emotionally to truly accepting this, and embracing the baby as my son. Partly because I don't know for sure yet that he is a boy. Partly because I'm only too aware that I still might not get to meet him (please no). And partly because at some point, for a short while, if the passenger is a boy, I'm going to need to mourn all those images I had about my potential future daughter. Let's face it, it's unlikely I will have another successful pregnancy, so this is it. I need to make the most of it, and I need to let go of all those unrealistic and unrealisable dreams that I had, that I still have.
It's reminding me, now that I'm writing about it, of how I felt about H. He didn't fit my idea of the right man, the man I was going to marry. And it took me a year to realise that he was the right man, it was just that I'd had the wrong image in my head the whole time. So now I'm realising that whether the passenger is a boy or a girl, it won't be the child I've spent my life imagining, it will be him- or herself. I need to let go of those idealised images, and just let the child be.
I know this, and yet I also know that if on the 10th of May we have confirmation that the baby is a boy, I will be a little sad, and I will cling on to those dreams a bit longer. But I also know that this will be the child we dreamed of, no matter how different he looks from the child in those dreams. I'll just need time to learn to recognise him.