Metaphorically speaking we opened the Christmas present on Christmas Eve and decided to find out the sex of our baby at the earliest opportunity.
James and I each have a sister. We have a niece. James was brought up with two female cousins. All my mum’s friends had girls and so I spent much of my childhood around their daughters. All we know is female. Everyone thought we were having a girl.
Thanks to the joys of modern technology, the NIPT scan at 10 weeks confirmed Baby C is in fact a little boy. I have to say I always felt he was a ‘he’ and we are overjoyed. In the words of my sister, ‘Thank god. It’s about time we had a boy in this family!’
James’ Dad queried why we had to find out so early. Couldn’t we just buy yellow clothes? But for James and I, it was so much more than sorting out what wardrobe our little one would wear.
After suffering a very early miscarriage I do feel haunted that I don’t know the identity of that sweet embryo. What would we have named that little love and what would our hopes and dreams have been for him or her? Who was the little one that I still grieve for?
We had to seek fertility treatment due to a male factor condition which can potentially be inherited by our offspring. I couldn’t imagine delivering without knowing the sex. Having that baby placed in my arms for the first time and feeling gender disappointment that our little one would suffer the same fate played heavily on my mind. I needed to prepare myself to deal with this. We’ve since found out the chances of him inheriting the condition are slim and with advances in fertility treatment who knows what the situation will be by the time he makes the decision to have a family?
Waiting the week for the genetic screening results from the Non Invasive Prenatal Testing was nerve-wracking. I was worried we wouldn’t be equipped with the support to deal with a high-risk result and the baby’s gender slipped from my mind. There’s an article over on RMF detailing the NIPT process if you’re not familiar with it. Personally, we found it fascinating and very reassuring. Ours was performed by a Fetal Medical Consultant and consisted of a mind-blowing 30 minute anomaly scan (when they’re that small you can see everything rather than at the 20 week NHS scan when they’re too big for the screen) followed by a blood test.
The consultant texted us to say the results were fine and that she’d send over the full report. I waited all evening for James to return home from London at 10pm. There in the comfort of our bedroom, the two of us opened the email to reveal our much wanted little one was male. It was a treasured moment to have that experience outside of a medical institution.
When my niece was little she had two dolls; a female one imaginatively named Baby Mummy and a male one named after her Uncle; Baby Jim. The name has stuck so we refer to the bump as Baby Jim, though my Father-in-Law’s french neighbour calls him ‘Bébé Jim’ which is altogether more cosmopolitan. I love that we can refer to him as ‘he’ as ’it’ seems so impersonal.
Yes it’s been handy to know the sex but either way the baby was going to end up with the same decor scheme for the nursery; grey, white, blue and blush. My friend’s three year old son has an enviable fancy dress collection ranging from Batman to Elsa and I’m hoping he’ll be sharing his dresses and superhero attire with Bebe Jim.
Boys names are so hard though. We had a full female name picked out but we are struggling to agree on the name for Master C. My friend’s boys all have gorgeous names and James doesn’t understand my reluctance to take a name that’s already been ‘taken’.
I am SO excited to raise a boy. However, whatever the gender, we are raising a child with its own personality who will be taught the values of respect, equality, gratitude, honesty and perseverance. Boy or girl, they will be loved beyond measure.
The whole ‘will you, won’t you find out’ debate has always intrigued me. To be honest I have no idea how people have the patience to wait! To those who have littles or are expecting them, what did you do?