Friday, May 08, 2009


(The Joey at 18 weeks)

I guess I'm not as savvy or clairvoyant or clued-in to the inner workings of my uterus as I thought.

The Joey is a girl. When we saw the (exceedingly clear) image on the ultrasound, Jason burst into tears of happiness. I said, "huh. How about that."

(There's a lady in my office who's pregnant, but who doesn't know what she's having because during the ultrasound, every time they got close to getting a good shot of what was between the baby's legs, the baby moved or pulled up its legs so that there was no way to tell the sex. Not so much with The Joey. She was like the drunk secretary at the Christmas party sitting panty-less on the copy machine.)

I was convinced we were having another boy, for a number of reasons. The fact that going back about three or four generations, the men in Jason's family have managed to sire exactly one girl (Jason's half-sister). The fact that, according to all of my ultrasounds, the baby was measuring bigger than its actual gestational age, which suggested to me early (in the cycle) conception, which suggested a boy, because boy sperm are faster swimmers than girl sperm.

And I was kind of hoping for another boy. Zeke could grow up with a brother, and they could play and rough-house and go through boy stuff together. I've got mountains and mountains of boy clothes and baby accoutrement. I'm familiar with the boy parts, diaper-changing-wise.

Plus, I'm afraid of girls. Or at least, afraid of raising one.

I worry about our hyper-sexualized society, and the pressure on women (and girls) to be skinny and hot and sexually available. I worry about being able to raise a girl with enough confidence and self-esteem to know that she doesn't have to give in to that pressure.

And to be honest, girls kind of scare me.

They're so much more emotionally manipulative and volatile than most boys. I know it's a long way off, but I dread the early teen years. I know what a bitch I was.*

(A 4-D shot in which you can see her face. She's already grinning manaically as she thinks of all the ways she's going to torment her mother when she's older.)

But as I've had a few days to think about it, I've grown accustomed to the idea of having a daughter, and the feelings of happiness and excitement are creeping in and edging out the feelings of doubt and uncertainty. I have such a wonderful relationship with my mother, and have for most of my life, and I'm hopeful that Joey and I can have that as well.

And as my mom pointed out, having a boy and a girl means that they won't be in competition quite the same way that same sex siblings are. Boys tend to constantly compare each others' accomplishments in sports and the like. Girls fight over clothes and who's prettier.

Or maybe I'm just engaging in massive stereotyping on the whole thing.

The truth is, she'll be who'll she'll be. All I can do is hope that she's sweet and smart and funny and happy -- all the same hopes I had for Zeke before he was born. And that turned out pretty well.

So I guess I should stop worrying.

*My torment of my dear mother was relatively short-lived -- I grew out of my monster phase by the time I was about 16 or so. But still. It wasn't pleasant for her while it lasted, the moodiness and crying and general teenage-girl-ness that was my 13- and 14-year-old self.


  1. Let's hope that's the end of the drunk secretary moments.

    (She's lovely! and you're going to be great at it all!)


  2. Well, having one less male in the house will probably make it at least 25% less smelly. Seriously, do you remember how much your brothers stank? What teenage boys lack in hyper-moodiness is made up by the rank smell of their feet.

    Wendy, I think you're such a confident, funny, smart lady and your little girl is so lucky to have a mom like you.

  3. Ali Cudby12:44 PM

    On the other hand, worrying isn't such a bad plan. Teenage girls are, truly, enough to make you want to stick a fork in your eye...or your ear...or both. I'm increasingly of the opinion that all young teen girls should be sent to a convent for a few years. On the bright side, you can always call me and I'm SURE I'll be able to assure you -- from first hand knowledge -- that it could be worse.

  4. Elizabeth -- I'm also hoping she develops a modicum of modesty before leaving the womb. And I am excited, truly I am.

    Anne -- Seriously, you're the sweetest person. Thank you so much for the kind words. I think you're awesome -- funny, witty, cool, smart -- so a compliment from you means the world.

    Ali -- I don't even know why I'm so angst-ridden. The truth is, I have a great relationship with my mom and even my teenage years were, in the grand scheme of things, relatively mild. I know plenty of girls who were much, much worse. I think part of me is so enthralled with Zeke, who is so sweet and affectionate, that I'm worried that his sister won't have his temperament and will turn on me. Which is silly and irrational.

  5. I don't want to dismiss your earlier anxieties because I think it's natural to be anxious when your assumptions and expectations aren't met.

    I think with you as the female example, your daughter is going to be just fine. Better than that, actually! And so will you. Really. If I can do it, anyone can.

    You know how as you've lived through stuff with Zeke - each stage presenting its own challenges and benefits? And it just drags on and on and you want to run away or break things? And then it passes and you look back and realize in the big scheme, it was a very short percentage of your life?

    The teens with either child will be that way. You'll look back and think "life sucked during all that, glad it didn't last forever."

    And teenage boys are just as moody as girls. They just act out in different ways. Trust me.

    -signed a mother of 3, ages 10, 13, and 18

  6. Oh and send them to live with grandparents for 7th grade.

    Just sayin.

  7. Lisa -- Ha! If my parents had their way, I would only have visitation rights for my own children. Seriously, you've obviously raised great kids, including a beautiful, accomplished 18-year-old daughter, so your points are very well taken. And I think you and I have similar parenting philosophies (long live Benign Neglect!), so I feel like there may be a chance for me yet.

  8. This is super exciting! You know how much I was dying to have a girl, even with all the horrendous teen years ahead. Obviously, not having been a parent at all, I have no idea how it differs, but oh, the clothes are so cute! Girl stuff is fun! And Zeke gets to have a little sister!

  9. Susan O.4:07 PM

    Wendy- i think you would be a super cool mom for a girl to have! You'll teach her to be who she wants to be...I've heard teen years are equally difficult, just differnt w/ boys vs. girls. Apparently it's all to prepare you so you don't collapse and lose it when they move out! So happy for you guys- love her smiling face on the 4-d. She really looks like she's grinning from ear to ear!

  10. Anonymous10:00 AM

    If she gets too out of control, you know that you can always send her over to Aunt Kathleen's for a spell!

    Or ship her to Atlanta. Maurice would love to have a sister...since he ain't getting one from me!